The Alliance of Angels — a 15-year-old Seattle angel investment organization that boasts more than 60 members — is spinning off from its longtime non-profit parent organization, the Technology Alliance.
In a press release today, Alliance of Angels Chairman Dan Rosen said that the move marked the “next logical step” for the angel group.
“Our members and the entrepreneurs we support won’t notice any changes in the AoA program,” said Rosen. The group — which invested about $10 million in 33 deals last year — recently named Yi-Jian Ngo as managing director. Ngo and Rosen will continue to the lead the group, which saw a big outcome last year when portfolio company Pacific Bioscience Labs (maker of the Clarisonic device) sold to L’Oreal. Other past successes include Dashwire, Insitu, CleverSet and SnapIn Software.
In a press release, Technology Alliance executive director Susannah Malarkey said that the landscape is very different today from when Bill Gates Sr. started the Alliance of Angels in 1997.
“AoA is well-equipped to fulfill its mission on its own, while we turn our attention to a need that has not yet been adequately addressed in our state: very early stage commercialization and the successful formation of science and technology-based businesses, which is the purpose of our Innovation Showcase program,” she said.
That program focuses on spinning technologies out of the University of Washington and other research-based organizations. “No one else is really focused there and it is a big need,” said Malarkey, adding that they plan to continue funneling promising startups to the Alliance of Angels.
To date, more than 160 companies have raised $60 million through the Alliance of Angels. The group will remain a non-profit entity, Malarkey said.
The group’s seed fund, an early-stage investment fund supported with cash from Madrona and Trilogy, operates as a separate LLC. It has nearly deployed its capital, but has retained some cash for follow-on investments, Malarkey said.
UPDATE: Here’s more from Dan Rosen who is attending the Angel Capital Association annual meeting in Austin, Texas this week.
We have been operating independently for several years, have our own board, and, as we raise the next AoA Seed Fund, realized that it was just time to be fully independent. (Tech Alliance chair) Jeremy Jaech was terrific to work with on this; he is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor. We will focus more on entrepreneur outreach, and helping our AoA Portfolio companies with more programs. While we will maintain our close relationship with the TA, we also expect to create many more affiliations and partnerships to drive the AoA program forward.