The San Diego network of Tech Coast Angels, the largest angel investing organization in the United States, announced that its annual Quick Pitch event in which startup companies pitch for venture funds, has been renamed The John G. Watson Quick Pitch Competition in honor of the late angel investor.
Watson was heavily involved in organizing the Quick Pitch competition as a board member of San Diego Tech Coast Angels. He joined the organization in 2008 after a career at companies including Dow Chemical (NYSE: DOW), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), Wyeth Laboratories and ICN Pharmaceuticals. He also served at Vestar Inc. as well as Galagen Inc., and was president of Ionian Technologies in San Diego.
“John Watson was an active, gregarious and positive influence on local businesses and entrepreneurs until his unexpected death in 2010,” said Jeff Draa, president of the San Diego Tech Coast Angels. “John was murdered for his money, by a person he thought was a friend. That person is in the California state penitentiary system now, probably for the rest of his life, but John’s spirit lives and from now on the annual event he loved so much and did so much work to promote, will bear his name.”
The Quick Pitch competition is one of the most recognized angel investor events in the nation. The program is ideal for entrepreneurs looking to jump-start their ventures and for investors seeking to learn about the latest innovations in Southern California. Ample time is allotted during the annual program for networking with Tech Coast Angels investors, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs. Quick Pitch is open to all entrepreneurs and startup companies headquartered in Southern California that are seeking funding. Ideal companies are early stage, high growth focused on developing and commercializing disruptive technology regardless of their industry.
The John G. Watson Foundation has been supportive of the TCA and Quick Pitch event.
“We’ve had generous support from the family and foundation and we wanted to acknowledge that,” said Draa. “One of our objectives with this very popular event is to celebrate the investment and innovation community that accounts for a large part of the region’s economy. The John G. Watson Foundation has been very supportive of our group and of entrepreneurship generally in the San Diego area. John embodied this spirit and we’re privileged to rename the competition for him.”