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Daily Business Report — Jan. 28, 2013

Angel Investment Outlook for 2013
Tech Coast Angels to inject $15 million this year into California firms

By Gary Phillips

Gary Phillips

There has been a fair share of pundits claiming that angel investment is waning; that such opportunities will remain few and far between for deserving startups seeking to take their innovation to market.

I beg to differ. In fact, 2013 could very well be the year such investment returns with great vigor.

Case in point. The Tech Coast Angels is planning to inject $15 million into California-based firms this year. That’s an estimated 50 percent increase over last year, and will bring the total amount of investment since the group’s inception 16 years ago to more than $140 million. San Diego companies can expect to get about a third of that, as I along with more than 100 other investors belong to the organization’s San Diego affiliate. With the recession finally waning, individuals are looking to put more of their money to better use. Angel investment will provide many that very opportunity.

What’s more, this year will see a reinvigoration of angel investors to not just provide their capital, but also their time and expertise to startups. That’s because many have been entrepreneurs themselves, and have the battle scars to prove it. It’s not simply money that a good angel investor brings to the table, but also their experience to help a company’s executive team navigate rough waters in addition to their ability to open doors to potential deal opportunities when possible.

The increased investor interest brings about a need for angel groups to become more “entrepreneur friendly.” The traditional months-long application and funding processes must be streamlined in order to get to a “go/no-go” decision on investing in a particular company much faster. At The San Diego Tech Coast Angels (SDTCA), for example, our intention is to reduce the time between the beginning of the due diligence process and receiving a signed term sheet to 30 days or less. Even for those that don’t get funding, getting declined at a faster rate means less time spent dragging them along at the expense of finding other sources of capital.

Generating more investment opportunities will also require angels to expand their network in search of deals. Many prospects will come from local attorneys, accountants and other entrepreneurs. At SDTCA, we also plan on holding several, free “Meet-the-Angel” events this year to allow startups to pitch to members in an informal and social environment. We’re also revamping our on-line application process to make it easier for entrepreneurs to apply.

The bottom line is this. Angel investment is finally on the rise. This year could be a banner one, but will require a full commitment from those with the purse strings to make it so. If SDTCA is any indication, we’re already on our way.

About the author: Gary Phillips, is president of the San Diego Tech Coast Angeles, an affiliate of the largest angel investor group in the United States. Its members provide funding and guidance to more early-stage, high-growth companies in Southern California than any other investment group. He can be reached at phillipsg@cox.net.

Townhome Development
Opens Jan. 26 in Carlsbad

Costa Pointe

Costa Pointe, a new luxury townhome development in Carlsbad’s La Costa community, will open its doors on Jan. 26.  Public grand opening events will be held on February 8-9 and February 22-23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. featuring light refreshments and tours of the staged model units. Costa Pointe has 58 three-story townhomes with two to four bedrooms and up to three and a half baths ranging from 1,326 to 2,042 square feet.  Four plans are available for rent. Community amenities include a pool and spa, a fitness center with cardio equipment with personal televisions, two barbecue grills with covered tables, pet friendly areas, a rubber surfaced tot lot and a closed circuit camera surveillance system throughout the property. Costa Pointe is located at 7600 Sitio Del Mar.

Planning Commission Approves
Senior Project Village at Zion

Mission Times Courier — The San Diego City Planning Commission voted unanimously Jan. 17 in favor of rezoning for Village at Zion, an affordable senior housing project accommodating up to 60 multi-family units on a 1.2-acre vacant lot currently zoned single-family residential in Allied Gardens. The vote was 6-0 with commissioner Robert Griswold absent. The commission’s recommendation to approve the project, located at 5157 Zion Ave., now moves to the City Council for final action at a future date. “This project is conveniently located near a supermarket, a community center, a library, a senior center and Kaiser medical facilities which are all in the neighborhood,” said Robin Madaffer, an attorney representing project developers. “We all know there is a shortage of affordable housing in San Diego.” Not everyone in Allied Gardens was pleased with the prospect of having a multi-family senior affordable housing complex in their midst. Several people told commissioners the project wasn’t right for their area. (For the full story, visit scoopsandiego.com/mission_times_courier).

Northrop Grumman-Built Global Hawk
Supports Studies on Climate Change

A Northrop Grumman Corp.-built NASA Global Hawk is now conducting science missions to study the impact of atmospheric change on the Earth’s climate. The Global Hawk is collecting data and helping scientists learn more about the humidity and chemical composition of air entering the tropical tropopause layer of the atmosphere and its impact on the Earth’s overall climate. The Airborne Tropical TRopopause Experiment (ATTREX) campaign, sponsored by NASA, began on Jan. 16 at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, and will conclude on March 15. “Global Hawk is able to fly as high as 65,000 feet for periods up to 31 hours, providing the unique combination of high altitude and long endurance performance capabilities that allow the science community to study and deepen our understanding of climate change,” said Fred Ricker of Northrop Grumman’s aerospace systems sector. “Global Hawk is the only aircraft able to repeatedly access the atmosphere above and below the tropopause layer, and it can do that over thousands of miles.”

AGC 2013 officers, from left, Secretary-Treasurer Jon Cloud, Vice President Walt Fegley, Senior Vice President Brian Jordan and President Jeff Turner.

Associated General Contractors of America,
San Diego Chapter, Installs 2013 Officers

Jeff Turner, vice president and district manager of Flatiron, has been installed as president of the San Diego chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America for 2013. He succeeds Dave Carlin of Soltek Pacific Construction Co. Flatiron was recognized as the 2011 Contractor of the Year in California by Engineering News Record. Turner has served in various posts with the AGC, including senior vice president and vice president. The other AGC officers installed were: Brian Jordan of Helix Electric Inc. as senior vice president; Walt Fegley of Reno Contracting Inc. as vice president; and Jon Cloud of J. Cloud Inc. as secretary/treasurer. Members appointed to the executive committee are Mike Carcioppolo of Hawthorne CAT and Kevin Elliott of Old Roll Inc. They will serve as ex-officio members of the board.

Phil Blair Elected Chair of Convention Center Corp.

Phil Blair, executive officer of Manpower of San Diego, has been elected chair of the San Diego Convention Center Corp. Blair also serves on the board of directors for the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, LEAD San Diego, the United Way and the Holiday Bowl. 

Nico Ferraro was elected as the board’s vice chair. 

Newly appointed to the board by the mayor and City Council, is Rabbi Laurie Coskey, executive director of the Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice.

Constance Blackburn of Poway Re-appointed to
California Commission on Teacher Credentialing

Gov. Brown has re-appointed Constance Blackburn, 61, of Poway, to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, where she has served since 2008. Blackburn has been a teacher with the Escondido Union School District since 1985. She was a special education teacher for the deaf and hard of hearing with the Aldine Independent School District from 1979 to 1981, the Houston Independent School District in 1979 and the Jefferson County School District from 1977 to 1978. Blackburn earned a Master of Arts degree in education from California State University, Los Angeles. The position requires Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Blackburn is registered decline-to-state.

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The Daily Business Report is produced by SD METRO.

Contact: Manny Cruz (619) 287-1865. manny@sandiegometro.com.

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