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Tech Coast Angels support national Angel Capital Association

IRVINE, Calif. (Business Wire) -- The Tech Coast Angels (TCA), the largest angel network in the United States, today announced it is assisting the national Angel Capital Association (ACA), the preeminent North American association of angel investor groups, in developing best practices for managing deal flow, due diligence and post-investment follow up that will benefit all member angel groups.

In addition, TCA founder, Luis Villalobos, is serving as an ACA founding board member and heading up the task force on angel investment research.

"Angel investors have supported entrepreneurs since the beginning of the last century," Villalobos said. "The economic conditions of the past few years have highlighted that being a good investor and supporter of new ventures requires attention, discipline and continuous improvement. Angel groups have been growing as a way to institutionalize these processes -- and the ACA takes that a step further by sharing the best practices for considering and making investments, linking the expertise of different groups across the country, providing new tools for portfolio management and mentoring promising entrepreneurs. TCA is pleased to have been an ACA founding member and to continue to support ACA and its programs."

Angels are typically high-net-worth individuals and "cashed out" entrepreneurs interested in mentoring and investing in other entrepreneurs. In the past several years, an increasing number of individual angels have joined together to form angel groups in order to pool resources and investment expertise.

Villalobos said that TCA continues to attract new members in Southern California and that ACA continues to add new angel groups throughout North America.

"An increasing number of individuals are looking at informed investing in high-potential start-up companies as an attractive investment option," Villalobos said.

The evolution of angel groups fills an important funding niche between informal investors of family and friends, and formal venture capital. The number of such angel organizations has tripled since 1999, numbering nearly 200 in 2003.

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation of Kansas City, which focuses on advancing entrepreneurship, sponsors the Angel Capital Association.

ACA itself does not provide funding to entrepreneurs but advances angel investing by supporting the development of successful angel groups through the sharing of best practices and industry data.

ACA is currently working with the Kauffman Foundation to design a confidential survey of angel groups and individual angels to get insight into regular deal flow in the angel community. A secondary aspect of the research program is to gain greater understanding of the number of individual angel investors in the country, where they are located, and how much they invest, among other things.

The Tech Coast Angels is the largest angel investor network in the United States, providing funding and guidance to the most early-stage, high growth companies in Southern California. Since its inception in 1997, TCA members have personally invested $51 million in 80 companies and are the area's major source of referrals to venture capital firms.

TCA has leveraged its investments into more than $512 million in funding for TCA portfolio companies by attracting venture capital firms as co-investors. TCA offers early-stage companies much more than capital, the group also mentors entrepreneurs and provides them with access to the contacts and knowledge of TCA's more than 220 members in its three networks in Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego.

The Angel Capital Association was formed in January 2004. It is the preeminent North American association of angel investor groups. ACA's mission is to advance angel investing by supporting the development of successful angel groups, sharing best practices and industry data, building public awareness, and establishing professional standards. Currently, 60 angel groups throughout the United States and Canada are members of the organization, including 48 founding groups.

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