Welcome to the Desert Angels™. We are a Tucson, Arizona based non-profit organization of accredited investors who seek opportunities to invest in Southwest regional startup or early stage companies. The organization serves as a forum for its over 90 members, who invest individually from their personal funds. Since 2000, Desert Angel members have invested over $37 million in more than 85 presenting companies.

Man lives 555 days without a heart

by Curtis Gunn on June 21st, 2016 at 7:04pm

“It feels like a real heart”

It’s not the first time a patient has lived for a long time with an artificial heart, but Larkin became the first patient in Michigan to go home with the portable device.

The SynCardia temporary artificial heart in Larkin’s chest replaced his failing heart, including its chambers and four valves. Two tubes, exiting the left side of Stan’s body beneath the ribcage, connected the artificial heart to a 13-pound machine called the Freedom Driver.

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Filed under: Funded Companies, Press

ReplyBuy Nominated for Best in Mobile Fan Experience, Further Solidifying Its Market Presence

by Curtis Gunn on April 27th, 2016 at 5:45pm

ReplyBuy, the global sales platform that combines mobile messaging, payments and digital commerce, continues to experience rapid growth within its initial launch market. Sports and entertainment are the company’s first industry verticals. Over the past year, there has been a significant increase in the number of organizations that have embraced ReplyBuy to power instant mobile sales by removing the friction that typically accompanies event-related consumer transactions. In addition to public-facing exposure, the company is also experiencing notoriety among peers and industry authorities.

ReplyBuy was recently honored for its innovative solution and proven results with some significant award nominations. The company was nominated in the category of “Best in Mobile Fan Experience” for the 2016 Sports Business Awards, hosted by the Sports Business Journal. Nominees were announced on March 14 and winners will be announced on May 18 in New York City at the New York Marriott Marquis at Times Square. This nomination is especially significant to ReplyBuy because of the vast number of sports teams that trust its solution to help them engage with their fans

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HTG Molecular Diagnostics Expands Distribution into Israel, Spain and Portugal

by Curtis Gunn on April 20th, 2016 at 8:18pm

HTG Molecular Diagnostics, Inc. (Nasdaq:HTGM), (“HTG”), a provider of instruments and reagents for molecular profiling applications, today announced distribution agreements with Gamidor Diagnostics (“Gamidor”) in Israel and Durviz s.l. Parque Tecnológico de Valencia (“Durviz”) in Spain and Portugal to manage distribution of HTG’s next generation sequencing (NGS)-based products.

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Clinical Trial Evaluating CPP-1X/sulindac in Patients with Familial Adenomatous Polyposis

by Curtis Gunn on April 4th, 2016 at 7:38pm

Cancer Prevention Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (CPP), a private biotech company developing novel therapeutics to prevent cancer and other diseases, announced today that target enrollment has been achieved for the company’s pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial, CPP FAP-310, evaluating CPP-1X/sulindac in adults with familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP). FAP is a rare genetic disease that, if untreated, progresses to colorectal cancer in almost all cases. The trial has enrolled 166 patients at 21 research institutes in the United States, Canada and Europe.

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Film shot entirely in Arizona financed by Tucson investors

by Curtis Gunn on March 16th, 2016 at 5:43pm

This is the story of a movie shot completely in Arizona, with talent from the state’s universities in front of and behind the camera, and a production fully financed by Tucson investors.

No, it’s not science fiction.

The film, “There and Back,” is a love letter to Arizona by writer and director Marcus de Leon, who wanted to create a project that took advantage of all the local talent he had met as a volunteer fellow at the University of Arizona’s Hanson Film Institute.

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SynCardia releases early findings on 50cc temporary Total Artificial Heart

by Curtis Gunn on March 9th, 2016 at 6:44pm

SynCardia Systems, Inc. announced that between December 2014 through Wednesday, February 24, 2016, 23 patients (70% female, compared to the historical average of only 12% for the larger 70cc TAH-t) have been implanted with the new 50cc SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart (TAH-t).

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Desert Angels Supports Creative Economy, Adds Film Investment to Portfolio

by Curtis Gunn on March 7th, 2016 at 6:54pm

Tucson-based investment group Desert Angels, which usually invests in tech and biotech companies, has now expanded its portfolio to the creative economy, backing its first film, “There and Back”.

The film, a family road trip drama, is currently in post-production editing. Notably, it was written and directed by Marcus De Leon, best known as the writer/director of The Big Squeeze, and stars Lara Flynn Boyle. The movie will go on the worldwide film festival circuit this fall to search for a distributor.

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Picmonic Launches Program to Boost NCLEX® Pass Rates & Add 4,000 New Nurses to the Workforce in 2016

by Curtis Gunn on March 7th, 2016 at 6:51pm

Picmonic, Inc., the world’s leading visual learning community for nursing students, announced a bold initiative to reduce the shortage of entry-level nurses in the workforce with an NCLEX® pass guarantee for subscribers.

Demand for qualified nurses is rapidly outpacing supply, with the Bureau of Labor Statistic projecting the need for an additional 526,800 nurses before 2022, an increase of 19%. Most job growth can be attributed to increased patient demand and a need to replace workers who retire over the coming decade.

“The nursing shortage is reaching crisis levels, and is having a detrimental impact on the quality of care for patients and the quality of life for nurses,” said Ron Robertson, CEO and co-founder of Picmonic. “Last year, over 40,000 nursing students failed the NCLEX® exam. If Picmonic can boost pass rates by a modest 10% with our pass guarantee, we can help get more than 4,000 qualified nurses into the workforce every year.”

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Tucson-based NuvOx Pharma wins latest Venture Madness

by Curtis Gunn on March 7th, 2016 at 6:23pm

A Tucson biotech company beat out 63 startups to win the third annual Venture Madness early-stage business competition in Scottsdale.

NuvOx Pharma won a total of $110,000 in grants and investment funding, which will be used to help the startup expand its clinical trials on a drug that delivers oxygen to the body to treat a number of diseases.

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How this Phoenix software startup is spending its $1.2 million in funding

by Curtis Gunn on February 29th, 2016 at 6:04pm

ClearVoice Inc., the Phoenix-based content marketing software startup, has raised $1.2 million in its seed round.

The company will use the money to hire about 15 people in sales, marketing and product development by the end of the year.

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