A small group of Tucson-based private investors formed the Desert Angels™ in 2000. Since that time, the Desert Angels has grown to become one of the country’s leading angel investor groups. Today, the organization has over 90 members, many of whom have invested in a significant portfolio of companies.
The primary focus of the Desert Angels is to fund entrepreneurial ventures. To that end, the organization reviews over 300 applications per year as possible investments. Those companies that excel during the Desert Angels’ rigorous screening process are invited to present to the organization’s general membership at one of its monthly dinner meetings.
The Desert Angels hold monthly dinner meetings from September through June. In addition to listening to one or two companies, members often hear from nationally recognized speakers including successful entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and thought leaders in the angel investment community.
As the Desert Angels has grown, its members have become increasingly involved in educational activities in the Tucson community. These activities have included sponsoring the local presentation of the Kauffman Foundation’s “Power of Angel Investing” seminar and assisting the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management and its McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship.
Angel Capital Association
The Desert Angels are a charter member of the Angel Capital Association. The Angel Capital Association is the trade association of angel investment groups in North America. Founded by angel investment groups in the United States and Canada to help maximize the success of group based angel investors, ACA accomplishes its mission by providing professional development, best practices, networking and collaboration opportunities for angel investors who belong to member angel groups. More than 220 angel groups are members of ACA, and those groups represent about 12,000 accredited angel investors. More information is available at www.angelcapitalassociation.org.
Current Desert Angels Board of Directors
Curtis Gunn, Chairman
Base Horner, Screening Panel Chairman
David Cohen (Beach Fleischman)
Darryl Dobras (DBD Investments)
Harry George (Solstice Capital)
Larry Hecker (Hecker & Muehlebach)
Daniel Janes (Tech Launch Arizona)
Michael Kanko (Import Genius)
Shannan Marty (High Roads Ventures)
Francie Merryman (Northern Trust)
David Smallhouse (Miramar Ventures)