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New venture brings source of equity funding for San Diego entrepreneurs

Firm seeks to invest in mobile health, genomics and big data

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Jeff Belk, a San Diego technology veteran and former Qualcomm executive, announced the founding of Bright Light Management at the San Diego Venture Group’s Crowdfunding event on Feb. 27.

Bright Light Management is a new venture that has been formed to identify, evaluate and stimulate funding for early-stage, entrepreneurial projects and advance them to the next phases of their development.

Belk said Bright Light Management will initially focus its efforts in the mobile health, wearables, wireless, genomics, big data and consumer-lifestyle services and applications sectors.

Belk and OurCrowd’s general partner and CTO Gadi Mazor also announced Bright Light Management’s venture partner role with OurCrowd. Together, the two firms will bring new sources of equity funding for San Diego entrepreneurs to build and scale their companies.

OurCrowd is the global leader in equity crowdfunding for accredited investors and has previously led or co-invested with leading venture capital firms in 33 startups and has 4,000 accredited investor members from 53 countries, with more than 150 residing in San Diego County.

San Diego companies placed on the OurCrowd website will make use of OurCrowd’s compliance, investor management and offer platform, and will leverage OurCrowd’s global base of accredited investors.

“For decades, funding options available to emerging San Diego companies have often been limited, with a heavy reliance on Silicon Valley for funding,” Belk said. “With the recent emergence of equity-based crowdfunding, accredited investors in communities like San Diego can now directly participate in the growth of emerging companies and help to drive the San Diego County economic engine in new ways.”

Founded by leading Israeli venture capitalist Jon Medved, OurCrowd has created an advanced platform for accredited investors. With initial investments largely focused on the vibrant Israeli startup community, OurCrowd is now expanding its model into other markets.

“OurCrowd is excited to be working with Jeff Belk to bring our platform to accredited investors in San Diego,” said Medved, CEO of OurCrowd and a San Diego native. “San Diego has a reputation for accomplishing the hard things in fields such as wireless, IT and the life sciences. We look forward to our presence in San Diego to identify amazing companies that will help transform our future.”

San Diego Venture Group estimates that approximately 1,000 San Diegans participated in angel investments in 2013. According to U.S. Census Bureau’s statistics on household income in San Diego County, up to 7.3 percent of county households may meet the threshold criteria for accreditation for equity based crowdfunding platforms. These new rules allow potential investors to support the growth of companies that can start, hire and grow in San Diego.

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