Angel Capital Association Appoints Jamie Rhodes to Board

North American alliance of angel groups expands board from nine to eleven members

Kansas City, MO, — The Angel Capital Association (ACA), the trade association of leading angel investment groups in North America, has elected five new directors, expanding its Board of Directors from nine to eleven members. The organization also elected officers for the 2010-2011 term.

“The Angel Capital Association will greatly benefit from the experience, enthusiasm, and expertise of these five new board members who represent leading angel groups from across the country,” said Marianne Hudson, executive director of ACA, an organization that was established by angel groups to build professionalism of angel investors. “Growing the board from nine to eleven directors allows ACA to increase our national leadership and industry presence and participation.”

Catherine V. Mott, CEO and founder of BlueTree Capital Group and BlueTree Allied Angels has been elected chair of the Board of Directors. Mott moves into this position from the Angel Capital Education Foundation where she has been a board member since 2007 and board chair since 2009.

“Since BlueTree was established in 2003, the number of organized angel groups has grown by 50 percent,” Mott said. “I am honored to lead the continued efforts of ACA to assist in the expansion of angel networks and groups. Angel investing is all about investing in innovative start-up businesses, which is one of the fastest ways to create jobs and meaningful personal wealth.”

Previously Mott founded Synergetics Sales Performance Group, LLC (formerly Strategic Sales Solutions) and Indigo Capital Development, LLC. Prior to forming her own businesses, Ms. Mott served in senior management roles in corporate banking management.

“Catherine brings great experience and focus to ACA,” said Hudson. “She will help the organization grow and bring enhanced value and professionalism to thousands of angel investors across the continent.”

Also joining the ACA board for three-year terms are Anita Brearton of Golden Seeds (Boston forum); Troy Knauss of Guardant Partners, (Greensboro, NC); Ralph Mayer of Tech Coast Angels, (San Diego network); and Jamie Rhodes of Central Texas Angel Network, Austin, TX.

Anita Brearton is a managing director and the Boston Forum Leader of Golden Seeds, an angel investment group that provides early stage and growth capital to women led businesses across all industry sectors. She also works with technology startup companies as a marketing and strategy consultant and with the Simmons Graduate Entrepreneurship program as a coach and mentor to first time entrepreneurs.

“As both a leader and member of an angel group, I’ve found the public policy support around angel investing, the investment and angel group operational best practices, and the networking and syndication events that ACA delivers to be immensely valuable,” Brearton said. “I am looking forward to making my contribution as an ACA board member as we further develop ACA’s resources and benefits for our members.”

A seasoned marketing executive with more than 28 years experience in high technology with companies in the United States and throughout the Asia Pacific, Ms. Brearton served as vice president of corporate marketing at Sycamore Networks where she led the company’s marketing strategy from infancy through its highly successful initial public offering.

Troy Knauss is currently a partner with Guardant Partners, an administrative company that organizes and manages private angel investor funds, including the Charlotte Angel Fund, Emergent Growth Fund II, Research Triangle Angels, and Wilmington Investor Network, with a focus on high-growth, high-technology firms. Knauss is a member and previous fund executive for the Piedmont Angel Network, a series of committed capital angel funds with more than $15 million under management.

“I am proud of what ACA and previous board members have accomplished to bring attention to angel investors and angel groups, and I am thrilled with the opportunity to serve alongside people who are truly making a difference,” Knauss said. “From the Southeast perspective, we need to continue to learn from what other regions of the country are doing and what they are investing in. For groups like ours, ACA offers a whole network for education and sharing best practices.”

Knauss co-chairs the ACA committee on collaboration and syndication, which is responsible for opening up investment opportunities across regions, the United States, and North America.

“This is a great time to look at co-investing,” said Knauss, who brings more than 18 years experience in family and startup businesses. “With the current financial crisis, there are entrepreneurs out there with good ideas that aren’t getting funded. By combining the deal flow and due diligence of multiple ACA angel groups, we will find the best opportunities, we will invest in the best entrepreneurs, and we will make the best investment decisions.”

Ralph Mayer has been an active angel investor since 2000. He was most recently chairman of the Tech Coast Angels Board of Governors and is also past president of the San Diego network of the Tech Coast Angels, the largest angel network in the country. He is currently chairman of Airsis Inc. and an advisor to other startups in Southern California.

With a master’s of science from M.I.T and a bachelor’s degree in architecture from McGill University in Montreal, Mayer has extensive experience in product marketing and software development. He was CEO of Multistat, Inc., a software startup funded by Tech Coast Angels, and before that a founder of MatrixOne Inc., a Boston-based firm developing and marketing computer aided design workstations and enterprise software.

“ACA has proved that there is a lot that angels need to be concerned about beyond what is happening in their own backyard,” Mayer said. “Our participation in the modification of the recent financial reform legislation helped make our members aware of the importance of having a group that was working on our behalf with the resources to be able to work with our federal government and make them aware of the needs of angel investors and our impact on job creation.”

Jamie Rhodes is currently entrepreneur in residence at Texas State University in San Marcos, TX. He has more than 30 years of experience in technology management and previously founded Perceptive Sciences Corporation, a market research firm built on cognitive technology, and co-founded a telecom industry startup.

“The Kauffman Foundation data shows the importance of startups to job creation in the U.S.,” said Rhodes. “That’s also the importance of angel investing. Startups create jobs. Angels help create startups. The Angel Capital Association helps angels do what we do better through education, best practices, and shared experience.”

With the support of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, Jamie founded the Central Texas Angel Network (CTAN). He has also helped organize angel groups across the state into the Alliance of Texas Angel Networks (ATAN) to foster angel investing and syndicate angel investments.

“Since CTAN’s formation, we have participated in ACA,” Rhodes said. “ACA members have been there for us whenever we had a question or needed experienced advice. I am excited about serving on the ACA board to help grow the number of angels and angel groups in all parts of the U.S. by building community.”

ACA supports the growth, financial stability, and investment success of member angel groups. The organization also serves as the public policy voice of the angel community and is focused on advancing policies at the state and federal level that support and promote angel investing.

Current board members David Verrill of Hub Angels Investment Group, Boston, MA, and Steven Mercil of RAIN Source Capital, St. Paul, MN, will serve as vice chair and secretary/treasurer respectively for the 2010-2011 term.

The Angel Capital Association is the trade association of leading angel investment groups in North America. The mission of ACA is to support the growth, financial stability, and investments success of its member groups. ACA’s mission is accomplished by providing professional development, best practices, networking and collaboration opportunities for angel investors who belong to member angel groups. Today 150 angel groups are members of ACA, and those groups represent over 6,500 accredited angel investors. More information is available at www.angelcapitalassociation.org.

BlueTree Allied Angels is a regional group of accredited investors who invest in regional early-stage companies. Based in Pittsburgh, PA, the members-only organization is designed to operate as a network of private equity investors who meet monthly to evaluate and consider pre-institutional, early-stage investments. It was Western Pennsylvania’s first “business model” angel network. Since its inception in 2003, the company has invested approximately $15 million in twenty-six new and early-stage companies in Western Pennsylvania. INC magazine cited BlueTree as one of the United States’ leading angel networks in 2009. BlueTree Capital Group provides the management oversight and services to BlueTree Allied Angels. (www.bluetreealliedangels.com)

The Central Texas Angel Network is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to providing quality early-stage investment opportunities for accredited Central Texas angel investors, and to assisting, educating and connecting early-stage growth companies in Central Texas with information and advisors for the purpose of raising money and assisting in their growth. (www.centraltexasangelnetwork.com)

Golden Seeds is a network of angel investors dedicated to investing in early stage companies founded and/or led by women. With locations in New York, Philadelphia, Boston and San Francisco, Golden Seeds has more than 150 accredited investors. The Golden Seeds Angel Fund, launched in 2008, is a vehicle for high net worth individuals to co-invest alongside Gold Seeds members. (www.goldenseeds.com)

Guardant Partners created a network of committed capital, member-managed angel funds, in the Southeast, capable of investing $250,000 to $1.5 million in early and expansion-stage, high-growth entrepreneurial ventures with an emphasis on technology and life science deals. Participating Funds remain independent but get the advantage of working with members from other groups to put more money around the table to delay or totally avoid venture capital rounds, to create stronger monitoring to help portfolio companies reach exits, and to increase access to the best deals throughout the United States. Guardant currently administers funds in North Carolina and Florida. (www.guardantpartners.com)

The Piedmont Angel Network is a member-managed angel venture investing capital fund designed to capitalize on the growth in entrepreneurial activity and early stage venture financing, primarily in the Piedmont area of North Carolina and secondarily in other regions of North Carolina. The fund may also evaluate qualified investment opportunities outside of North Carolina but the focus is clearly on the Piedmont and other North Carolina region investments. (www.piedmontangelnetwork.com)

Tech Coast Angels is 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. TCA members invest in companies in a wide range of industries, including the life sciences, biotech, IT, services, retail, Internet, financial, software, media, consumer products and tech startups. TCA members give companies more than just capital; they also provide counsel, mentoring and access to an extensive network of potential investors, customers, strategic partners and management talent. TCA has more than 250 members, including its venture capital affiliates, in five networks in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Westlake/Santa Barbara and the Inland Empire. (www.techcoastangels.com)

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