California Retroactive Tax Surprises for Early Investors and Entrepreneurs

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Exits

In late December, the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB)  decided to cancel the Qualified Small Business Stock (QSB ) tax benefits and retroactively deny the benefits for the past five years. Yes, RETROACTIVELY! Investors and Entpreneurs alike are in for a surprise — see this article for a summary of the change in QSB benefits and how it effected its author.

Here is just one quote from the article:

“More importantly, the FTB’s radical action is going to send a terrifying message that will have the unintended consequence of driving young, growing businesses to friendlier environments. That’s the last thing that the state of California needs right now”

Portfolio Company Aperia Technologies Raises $5.7M Round

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Portfolio

We invested in Aperia Technologies of South San Francisco in mid 2011 as part of a deal led by the Sierra Angels with significant participation from the Band of Angels.

The company has developed automatic tire inflation technology and had gained enough customer interest in the last year to attract this new $5.7M round of funding. The technolgy utilizes a wheel’s rotational motion to maintain optimal tire pressure, increasing MPG, extending tire life, and reducing blowouts. For the trucking industry this value proposition is significant.

SacAngel Mentoring and Networking Pays Off For Founder in Electro Scan

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Mentoring

On this website we often mention the work we do in the community helping entrepreneurs and startups in ways other than purely putting up hard dollars – e.g., our Angels on Campus and Angel In Action programs, and being advisors in the VentureStart program. Most of that “community” work is done in the background and seldom are the results obvious or transparent – usually we’re just one of many helping hands contributing to any one success.

Portfolio Company Aperia Technologies Emerges at the Wall Street Journal ECO:nomics conference

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Investments, Portfolio

SacAngels members invested in Aperia Technologies as part of a deal led by the Sierra Angels with significant participation from the Band of Angels. According to the SEC Form D, the total raise was almost $700K.

Aperia have kept a pretty low profile since their funding while the product was developed and market development was initiated. Recently, more information about the company has emerged as the company CEO, Josh Carter, was invited to speak at the Wall Street Journal ECO:nomics conference in Santa Barbara (take a look at the program; it has some pretty impressive speakers).

Portfolio Company Glue Networks to unveil Cisco Virtual Office-as-a-Service

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Investments, Portfolio

Today we saw this press release about our Portfolio company, Glue Networks, new product, Cisco Virtual Office-as-a-Service (CVOaaS). They are showcasing  the product at Geek Day in Washington,US.

The new release automatically builds, maintains, monitors, and manages next-gen networks anywhere in the world, and delivers voice, video and real-time data applications for remote offices and employees with plug-and-play simplicity, error-free set up, military-grade security, and full network lifecycle management for a low monthly fee.

Portfolio Companies Welldog and Cloudcruiser in the News

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Investments, Portfolio

We invested Welldog about a year ago and they are now growing rapidly. See this recent press release about a A$4MM (about the same in US$) order for their services in Australia. Welldog provide data service to the coal mining and coalbed methane discovery industry.

We also invested in Cloud Cruiser almost two years ago and they continue to gain significant recognition in the Cloud computing space — they provide cloud cost intelligence solutions. They were recently selected “As One of 20 Coolest Cloud Software Vendors”. They join the likes of industry heavyweights Google, Oracle, Microsoft, Salesforce, Intuit, and SAP in that top 20 list. See the press release.

Financing Plans for Startups

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Raising money

While most startups do the mandatory business and financial plans, they seldom put much effort in a financing plan. How will the company be funded, what are the milestones for each funding round, how will the capitalization table look after each funding round, and who makes what at the exit? The financing plan is a key part of the whole plan and provides the guiding light as to where the entrepreneur should focus his or her efforts in raising money — a task that takes enough time and that time should not be wasted chasing inappropriate investors for the stage of the company.

Eco Catalytics is a Global Finalist in the Cleantech Open Competition

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Angels On Campus, Events, UC Davis

ECO Catalytics, an Angels On Campus mentored company, are winning more awards for their technology and products that originated at UC Davis.

This time they won the Smart Power category prize in the California Cleantech Open Semifinals for the development of a material deposition process that cuts fuel-cell platinum costs by 95%. This prize  is awarded to entries dealing with smart grids, and energy control and storage. Previously they won awards in the UC Davis Big Bang Business Plan competition, and gained national recognition in the Walmart Better Living Business Plan Challenge.

Portfolio Company WellDog Closed $5,000,000 to Support Expansion

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Investments, Portfolio

International mix of angel and strategic investors provide debt and equity capital

Below is the press release from Welldog mentioning our recent investment. There is also a short note in the Sacramento Bee.

Funky scientist WelldogLaramie, Wyoming (8 June 2011) – WellDog announced today that it has closed on $5,000,000 in new debt and equity financing to support its continued expansion.  The round was led by Simon Ashton and his strategic investment company, ProX Pty Ltd, and included participation by members of Sacramento Angels, Houston Angels, and some of the successful entrepreneurs behind Pure Energy, as well as expanded investment from the Brisbane Angels.

Angels On Campus — UC Davis Big Bang! Winners

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Angels On Campus, Events, UC Davis

The Winners

George Cimino, PhD, Paul Henderson, PhD, & Chong-Xian Pan, MD, PhD of Accelerated Medical Diagnostics


Anthony Santamaria, Daniel Misicak, PhD, Tomas Sudnius & John-Paul Farsight of Eco Catalytics

Accelerated Medical Diagnostics (AMD) won first place ($10,000) in the competition and Eco Cataltyics (EC) won second place ($3,000), as well as the People’s Choice award ($2,000).

The Angels on Campus program has again seen positive results from going onto the UC Davis campus to mentor teams taking ideas and research from the lab into the business world. This time it was the student run Big Bang! Business Plan competition. The finals were held on campus on May 19th and the first, second, and People’s Choice award winners, as well as one of the other five finalists, were all participants in the Angels on Campus program and benefited from the advice, connections, and mentoring received from members of the Sacramento Angels and others non-affiliated Angels.

The teams came from two different programs within UC Davis. AMD emerged from Partnerships for Innovation (PFI). Part of the PFI mission is to take technology at the intersection of engineering, life sciences and medicine, create companies, and contribute to our region’s economic growth.  AMD are well on their way. What do they do? They have developed a diagnostic test that looks like it can predetermine if a cancer patient will respond to a particular type of chemotherapy, or not. Many people don’t respond to common treatments yet suffer painful, expensive, courses of treatment just to find out. It is estimated that over $2.5 billion is wasted each year on ineffective chemotherapy treatments.