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Rebrand, Expansion for SoCal’s Tech Coast Angels

One of the area’s largest network of investors, formerly known as Tech Coast Angels, has rebranded into TCA Venture Group (TCA VG).

TCA VG says the new name reflects its diversification into different industries and regions beyond technology companies in Southern California.

“Looking at our original history, we are no longer just Tech Coast,” Chairman Emeritus David Friedman told the Business Journal.

The rebranding, announced Jan. 17, includes a new logo that will be incorporated across the nonprofit organization.

Regional Presence

Since its founding in 1997, TCA VG has expanded its geographical footprint with added chapters in Los Angeles, Inland Empire, Pasadena and a specialized healthcare-focused chapter called MEDA Angels that’s based in Washington, D.C.

TCA VG also broadened its investments to include late-stage seed funding in addition to early A-round funding.

The organization has invested around $300 million in more than 525 companies to date.

Syndication Network

All five networks are connected through TCA VG’s angel syndication network (ASN), which is led by Richard Sudek, chief innovation officer at the University of California, Irvine and chairman emeritus of TCA VG.

Through the network, TCA VG partners with other angel groups such as startup accelerator Expert Dojo in Santa Monica.

TCA VG and Aliso Viejo-based Octane’s LaunchPad accelerator last year launched a joint program dubbed Orange County Healthcare Innovation Table to advance healthcare startups.

Participating startups benefitted from the program’s partnership with Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) Research Institute and Hoag which provided support on the clinical development process.

The program resulted in 30 startups being matched with a clinical or hospital partner during its pilot.

ASN is made up of over 1,500 angel investors across the country and has made more than $1 billion in direct investments, according to its website.

Medical Devices

TCA VG says it’s seeing continued investments in medical devices.

Friedman was the deal lead of TCA VG’s investment in Lake Forest-based startup Single Pass Inc., which makes an electrical cauterization device that streamlines performing biopsies for physicians.

Friedman served as president of TCA Orange County for two years ending in 2022 before becoming chairman.

Now, as chairman emeritus, Friedman says he’s able to pursue his own interests such as collaborating with universities to host events for the entrepreneurial community.

TCA VG regularly works with local universities and most previously partnered with Westcliff University in 2022 to host bi-weekly pitch sessions for startups seeking investments. The sessions took place on campus to help students learn more about pitching and investment strategies.

“I get a chance to give back and learn new things, that’s what makes the angel investing community exciting,” Friedman said.

One of Friedman’s goals is to further expand TCA VG’s licensing into Silicon Valley, Florida and Georgia.

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Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung joined the Orange County Business Journal in 2021 as their Marketing Creative Director. In her role she creates all visual content as it relates to the marketing needs for the sales and events teams. Her responsibilities include the creation of marketing materials for six annual corporate events, weekly print advertisements, sales flyers in correspondence to the editorial calendar, social media graphics, PowerPoint presentation decks, e-blasts, and maintains the online presence for Orange County Business Journal’s corporate events.
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