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Active Angels Invest in Bevy of Startups; Tech Coast Angels Members’ Investments Reflect Diversity of Startups in SoCal Region

This article originally appeared on OC Startups Now, www.ocstartupsnow.com, on July 23. As a subscriber, I have permission to re-post this article here: https://www.ocstartupsnow.com/home/news-tech-coast-angels-recent-investments-angel-group-continues-to-invest-in-diverse-array-of-startups

NEWS: Active Angels Invest in Bevy of Startups; Tech Coast Angels Members’ Investments Reflect Diversity of Startups in SoCal Region

Individual angel investors who are part of Tech Coast Angels’ five SoCal chapters have invested in a diversity of startups recently, including a medical device company; a company that raises poultry in an environmentally-conscious way; and an augmented reality (AR) software company that serves the ophthalmology industry.

Tech Coast Angels, (TCA) is the leading source of funding to early-stage companies in SoCal, as well as the second-most active angel investor network in the U.S. in terms of funded deals.

Individual investors typically invest between $25,000 and $50,000, although they can invest more. There are also three funds under the banner of Angel Capital Entrepreneur Fund (ACE I, ACE II, and ACE III), which have invested in companies in tandem with individual investors. Many TCA members invest through the ACE fund, as well as through sidecar investments in companies.

TCA has five chapters: OC, LA, SD, Central Coast and the Inland Empire. As of February, Hicham Semaan has been the new president of the OC chapter. He’s been a TCA investor since early 2015. He was the CEO of QuickStart, with HQ in Austin, for more than 18 years. The company provides online IT training.

Hicham Semaan, President, Tech Coast Angels OC

Semaan replaced outgoing president Grant Van Cleve, who became the CEO of Buy It Installed, with HQ in Irvine, last August. See related story here.

An indication of the robustness of TCA’s investments: Last year the five chapters collectively invested more than $14 million in 43 companies across a diverse mix of industries, according to TCA’s 2017 annual report.

These are some of the startups TCA has invested in recently…

Eyedaptic, with HQ in Laguna Beach, is developing visual-aid software, for age-related, macular degeneration and other retinal conditions. Its software is embedded in AR glasses that simulate natural eyesight to restore a complete field of vision. AR is the overlay of digital images onto the real world.

Retinal vision disorders affect 400 million worldwide, including 178 million who suffer from age-related macular degeneration.

TCA OC has invested $80,000 in Eyedaptic’s funding rounds. The company has amassed more than $550,000 in total, mostly from Ophthalmology Retinal Specialists.

Eyedaptic is currently raising $1 million in convertible notes.

Jay Cormier, founder and CEO, Eyedaptic

The pre-revenue company was co-founded in 2016 by Jay Cormier (CEO) and three others. Cormier previously participated in three startups/turnarounds/acquisitions including Teridian, a “smart” energy measurement company, which was acquired in 2010 for $315 million.

Eyedaptic recently participated in OCTANe’s LaunchPad accelerator.
OCTANe is a life sciences and tech accelerator in Aliso Viejo.

JC Ruffalo, director of LaunchPad and investor relations at OCTANe

“It has been great working with Jay and seeing the evolution of Eyedaptic over the past eight months,” said JC Ruffalo, director of LaunchPad and investor relations at OCTANe. “Jay has built a great company around a great idea to improve the quality of life (for) people suffering from…macular degeneration.”

Hardware-enabled software products are “powerful, as well as capital efficient,” Cormier told OC Startups Now. “That – coupled with (AR) experiences and family members with macular degeneration, badly in need of help – came together to inspire the founding of Eyedaptic.”

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