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San Diego Investors, Tech Coast Angels Team Up

September 20, 2000|Denise Gellene

A group of wealthy San Diego investors is teaming up with Tech Coast Angels, a larger investor group that funds technology start-ups in Orange and Los Angeles counties.

The move increases the size of deals and experts available to investors in the three counties. Thus, it should be easier for investors to spot deals suited to their individual business backgrounds.

"We're sending deals up north and they are sending deals to us," said Bill Carpenter, an electronics industry entrepreneur and member of the San Diego Tech Coast Angels, formerly the Band of Angels. Angel groups provide start-ups with seed money of $50,000 to $2 million in return for an ownership stake in the company.

In addition, the 40-member San Diego group has hired UC San Diego to screen applicants for equity funding. The application can be found at http://www.connect.org/angels.

The 2 1/2-year-old San Diego outfit has invested $16 million in start-up companies since its inception. The Tech Coast Angels, with 150 members in Orange and Los Angeles counties, has invested $30 million since its inception three years ago, said founder Luis Villalobos. Among its investments is a $4-million stake in the Irvine-based incubator Gazelle Lab, launched by Villalobos.

Members of the angel groups are typically former entrepreneurs with a net worth of $1 million or more.

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