San Diego Business Journal

Tech Coast Angels’ San Diego network launched a new, $2.2 million fund to invest in promising early-stage companies. The angel investor network announced the creation of its new ACE annual fund on Dec. 12. It will allow Tech Coast Angels (TCA) to make investments of up to $500,000 quickly—in as little as 30 days—for strong startup teams.

Last year, Tech Coast Angels invested in 43 companies, with an average investment of $388,000 for new portfolio companies.

“San Diego desperately needs capital providers to help support innovation, and TCA has adapted to accommodate entrepreneurs more efficiently,” Russell Hall, membership chair for Tech Coast Angels-San Diego, said in a news release. “Our members are energetic, deal flow is improving and so are the number of successful exits. Much of this has to do with the new initiative taking hold and the stars aligning. I’m very excited about the future of our organization.”

Tech Coast Angels San Diego also hit record membership levels, with a total of 175 members at the end of 2018. That’s a 40 percent increase from last year.

“It has been exciting to see our startup ecosystem grow in San Diego, and with that growth comes elevated interest in early-stage investing,” Dean Rosenberg, president of Tech Coast Angels San Diego, said in a news release. “We have increased member recruiting and investor education, which has led to an inflow of new, high-caliber and diverse investor members.”

Some of the new members include executives with Qualcomm, Illumina, Medtronic, NuVasive, Dexcom, Tealium and Seismic.

Al Bsharah, vice president of data and analytics for Seismic, said he recently joined Tech Coast Angels and helped invest in the annual fund.

“Five years ago, when I was raising a seed round for my company, I pulled 75 percent of $1.5 million from San Diego angels and VCs. TCA’s reputation was lacking, so I didn’t approach them,” he said in a news release. "Today, I’m a proud new member. … The reputation at TCA has done a complete 180 and that’s what got me excited to participate.”

Correction: This article has been updated to reflect the correct number of members for Tech Coast Angels San Diego.