(Current TCA President) Dean Rosenberg and (Executive Director) Ashok Kamal and, (Treasurer) Sergio Gurrieri have done such great work. I’m taking that work and moving it into the future.
We’ve created a path to engage prospective women investors. When I joined, there were maybe five women in our membership. A lot of these women have the industry knowledge to support the ecosystem, but maybe they don’t plug in, or they shy away because (angel investing) is too risky. With the new fund, you’re able to reduce your risk, and also learn.
The fund has been a big driver of membership. You’re always getting more first-time members. If you’re investing in 12 companies over a year, you have a better chance at a return.
We’re close to 200 members. Investor education is something that we’ve started to concentrate on this year. What makes us stronger is if we can share that knowledge.
How has San Diego’s startup ecosystem changed?
I’m seeing valuation for very early deals explode. It shows there’s a lot of capital out there. That’s a good thing. But are these companies going to be able to support that valuation later on?
I feel like San Diego is at an inflection point. We’ve all seen the ecosystem grow and mature. We’ve seen later-stage funding interested in San Diego deals.
I see it on a trajectory to continue to grow. The ecosystem is less fragmented. You see a lot of collaboration, with
Connect and the San Diego Venture Group (merging), and universities starting to bridge the gaps. It’s that secondary, sleepy market that’s waking up.
What advice would you offer angel investors?
My advice is the advice my dad gave me. If you’re just starting to make direct investments, hold off for six months, because when you start, everything is going to look amazing.
Involve yourself in as much due diligence as you can. Get out of your comfort zone. If you’ve always been doing investments in hardware and software, participate in due diligence for life sciences companies.