So very quietly over the past month and a half I’ve been brushing up on my JAVA language skills and decided on a project with docx4j (creating Microsoft Word .docx files for use in JAVA applications). In order to get the API I have to open up a github account and I never heard about it before. Pretty excited to advance my developer repertoire. Nerding out.
The Tech Coast Angels
Tech Coast Angels (TCA) is the largest angel investor group in the U.S., and has been fueling the growth of innovative companies and entrepreneurs in Southern California since 1997. TCA identifies, mentors and funds early stage companies to help get their ideas to market. The TCA has over 300 members that are experienced CEOs, senior executives, current and former entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and other professionals. Members not only invest but frequently serve on boards and assist companies with relationships, strategy, supply chain, team building and additional fundraising.
TCA members have invested over $180 million in more than 300 companies and have helped attract more than $1.6 billion in additional capital/follow-on rounds, mostly from venture capital firms. In 2014 alone, TCA invested over $16 million in 60 companies; in 2015 the total was $13.5 million in 58 companies. In fact, the most recent Halo Report rated TCA as #2 nationally in number of funded deals. A recent analysis by CB Insights ranked TCA #1 out of 370 angel groups on “Network Centrality” and #5 overall in “Investor Mosaic.”
Basically, the Tech Coast Angels are unique in the amount of funding and level of involvement they provide young companies. They are the quickest way to $1M in funding.
I’m a new volunteer to the Tech Coast Angels.
Annually, they have an event called the John G. Watson Quick Pitch Competition. There they invite entrepreneurs of the community to pitch their businesses and win money. Often times they are approached by members of the TCA for additional investments. That’s really cool. So, when they needed a volunteer, I was happy to join the team.
I am on the committee to bring aboard some local food companies to have a booth and sample their products. I think it’s very important that the TCA interact with local and growing companies. I am not getting paid.
My Experience I Bring
I have worked with several angel investors in Las Vegas Nevada to grow a fund and perform due diligence on companies. I did so as a way to help my fellow entrepreneur students at the University of Nevada. I’m proud to say I’ve helped several companies get funded and gained experience in fundraising.
Why Did I Get Involved with the Tech Coast Angels?
I got involved with the TCA because I know that supporting the startup community is in line with what I believe in, what I do, and what I have experience in.
I believe businesses exist to solve a problem and provide employment. When the 2008 recession hit I saw a lot of people desperate for work and that cause became my mission. I wanted to help people find work by helping them start businesses.
I’m a generalist so I’ve worked in many roles to support young companies. I’ve learned that no entrepreneur is born knowing everything, there’s always something to do, and I wanted to be helpful and useful.
Startup and small businesses are the backbone of America. They generate the most new jobs each year vs. larger and older firms. By helping young companies grow, I help people get jobs.
What Do I Get Out of Volunteering for the Tech Coast Angels?
I hope by working hard to complete the goals of the Tech Coast Angels’ John G. Watson Quick Pitch Competition committee I grow a stronger personal network, build friendships, make business contacts, and have fun. I do want to benefit from the relationships I make.
I want to keep my skills sharp. What I’m doing is essentially business development and a core skill for any businessman. This is an opportunity for me to develop and hone my abilities, while benefitting the startup community. It’s a win-win scenario.
Are You A Company I’ve Tried to Reach?
Wow! I’m happy you read this far. Yes, I want to help you. You’re also helping me, but you’re also helping you. Help me to help you to help the startup community. Email me back! Juan@Prestartable.com.
And as I mentioned, I’m not getting paid to volunteer.