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Venture Capital Resources in Southern California

Compiled by Hank Meyer

Venture Capital Networking Groups

These are non-profit associations designed to bring entrepreneurs with new and emerging businesses together with professional providers of resources and expertise required to implement these ideas and plans.

Over 50 such organizations have been established throughout the United States. The Association of Venture Capital Clubs coordinates activities and programs at the national level.

All have regularly scheduled meetings and programs. The groups normally meet on a monthly basis and are valuable contact forums for the entrepreneurial process.

Their commonality is in "deals"--creating an informal networking atmosphere for the discussion of practical skills and funding alternatives that can foster new ventures.

Venture networking organizations serve three primary interest groups: entrepreneurs, capital providers, and advisors.

Entrepreneurs are inventors or innovators with ideas for new ventures, individuals with business plans, executives of development stage companies, senior executives with more established high-growth enterprises, and qualified individuals seeking to join venture companies.

Capital providers include members of venture capital firms, private individual investors, investment bankers, commercial bankers, small business investment corporations, and the venture arms of larger corporations.

Advisors are providers of professional services, including accountants, lawyers, management consultants, marketing communications professionals, members of the academic community and others serving entrepreneurial companies.


Tech Coast Venture Network (TCVN)

4th Thursday of month, except January, 6-9 p.m.

University Club, UCI Campus

Contact: Atticus Wagner, (949) 855-0652 x101; fax (949) 859-1707


The Tech Coast Venture Network (TCVN) assists early stage and growing companies. Its focus is on the opportunities and problems of "high-growth or high-tech" organizations that require assistance.


Los Angeles Venture Association (LAVA)

2nd Tuesday of month, 7:15-9 a.m.

Summit Hotel Bel Air (405 Freeway & Sunset)

Contact: Christyne Buteyn, (310) 450-9544; fax (310) 395-0657


The Los Angeles Venture Association brings together venture capitalists, academicians, management candidates and providers of professional services. LAVA supports emerging growth companies by providing access to financial, professional and educational resources.


Orange Coast Venture Group (OCVG)

3rd Tuesday of month, 11:30-1:30 p.m.

University Club, UCI Campus

Contact: Renee Wagner, (949) 859-3646 x105; fax 859-1707


The Orange Coast Venture Group (OCVN) brings together people who are interested in new enterprise and the process of creating it. The OCVN provides educational resources and support for funding sources, advisors and infrastructure participants assisting in the development of new and growing enterprises.


San Diego Venture Group (SDVG)

4th Wednesday of month, 7-9 a.m.

La Jolla Marriott Hotel

Contact: Erin Hall, (619) 272-1985


The San Diego Venture Group (SDVG) is a forum for information and networking opportunities with the goal of furthering the growth of entrepreneurial business. SDVG brings together the people in San Diego who are interested in new enterprise and the process of creating it.



Funding and Business Information Resources

Southern California Funding Directory: This is an excellent one-stop financial shopping source for entrepreneurs and their advisors. It contains articles on all aspects of the funding process, and lists capital resources and service providers from Santa Barbara to San Diego. It is published by the Tech Coast Venture Network (949-855-0652).

Entrepreneurship 101: A comprehensive tutorial on how to choose, start, finance, plan and grow a company. The Los Angeles Times has been running this series developed at USC's Marshall School of Business Entrepreneur Program on an occasional basis for the past year. Chapter 4, "How to Finance Your Business," is especially useful. The entire program is available on Times'Small Business Web site.

San Diego MIT Enterprise Forum: The Forum's focus is on encouraging the growth and success of technology-based entrepreneurial ventures in Southern California. Its monthly programs address a range of key entrepreneurial issues from financing, marketing and business planning to executive leadership and staffing. The Forum also provides advice, support, education and networking opportunities. Phone: (619) 236-9400; fax (619) 236-8940.

Venture Capital Resource Library: The Venture Capital Resource Library is an extensive online directory of venture capital resources and related services. It contains a wide spectrum of information on sources of money, advisory services and research reports relating to financing companies.

Finance Hub--Venture Capital on the Web: Another excellent site serving entrepreneurs and investors on the Web, the Finance Hub includes a number of articles on obtaining venture capital, a list of venture capital firms, and links to VC consultants and finders among its many resources.

Small Business Administration: This is a gateway to the numerous services and resources offered by the SBA. It contains a wealth of information relating to all aspects of starting, financing and expanding a small business.

Money-Tree Survey: This Price Waterhouse Coopers Money Tree Survey is a quarterly study of equity investments made by the venture capital community in private companies in the United States. As such, it serves as a barometer of regional and national economic health demonstrated through entrepreneurial developments, and identifies promising industry segments. The survey has become a staple for the financial community, entrepreneurs, policy makers and others who track "hot" companies throughout the country. Look deeper into the site for more useful information.

National Venture Capital Association: The NVCA is a trade association representing the interests of the venture capital and private equity industries. It works to stimulate the flow of risk equity capital to emerging and developing companies. The Web site contains a detailed description of how the funding process works from the firm's perspective.

Venture Law Group: The Venture Law Group is a large firm which specializes in representing deal-intensive technology companies, both public and private, and the venture capital funds and investment banking firms that finance them. Founded by groups of senior technology lawyers from three of Silicon Valley's leading law firms, VLG concentrates on helping technology companies get started, find financing, and structure and grow their businesses. This is a good example of a law firm which strives to treat clients as business partners, combine legal skills with good business judgment and play an active role in helping its clients succeed.

Caltech/MIT Enterprise Forum



The following are Web sites for print publications specializing in investment-related information and articles on technology business and finance. These sites offer many resources on financing for Internet and technology entrepreneurs, including venture capital, commercial and commercial and investment banks, angels and private investors.

Red Herring On Line




The following are organizations in Southern California that provide various kinds of forums, meetings, resources and networking for entrepreneurs in the technology/Internet/digital media fields. Most of them have information about upcoming events on a wide variety of topics, and all have links to other related industry partners.

Tech Coast Alliance

Los Angeles Regional Technology Alliance

San Diego Regional Technology Alliance

CONNECT (San Diego)

Software Council of Southern California

American Electronics Association

(Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego chapters)

Venice Interactive Community

Orange County MultiMedia Association

San Diego Digital MultiMedia Association

Association of Internet Professionals

(Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego chapters)



Upcoming Events and Conferences for Entrepreneurs

(Check Web sites or call to confirm topics, dates, times, locations and RSVP information.)

Funding Your Venture: An Entrepreneurs' Viewpoint

January 12, 1999

Caltech/MIT Enterprise Forum

Cal Tech Campus, Pasadena

Phone: (626) 395-3916; fax (626) 795-7174


Funding a Technology-Based Business: Sources and Methods for Financing

January 19, 1999

Orange County MultiMedia Association

St. Joseph Center, Orange

Phone: (714) 284-0800

Contact: Ray Wells

If you have a Technology, Computer Hardware/Software or Internet/Digital Services business, or have every thought of opening one, you need to attend this January event. It will cover approaching sources of capital, choosing equity partners, understanding criteria for lending, determining limits for funding, and how much you give up. Basics of and layouts for business plans will focus on the tailoring that is needed for each kind of source. A Commercial Banker, an Angel, and a Venture Capitalist will be available to give their industry's perspective; they will advise the prospective client on how best to approach them and what is needed before they attempt funding. There will also be an hour-long question-and-answer period where specific concerns can be addressed.


Tech Coast Corporate Investment & Strategic Alliance Conference

February 3, 1999

Orange County Business Council

Doubletree Hotel, Costa Mesa

Phone: (949) 476-2242

Contact: Sandy Davis

This conference will provide information and contacts in technology, life sciences and other growing industries that are seeking equity funding or alliances with Fortune 1000 firms. Corporate investments and alliances can be a critical source or supplement to formal venture capital, angel financing, private placement, or bank debt.


The 1999 Investment Capital Conference: Sources of Capital for Emerging Growth Companies

March 4, 1999

Los Angeles Venture Association

Phone: (310) 450-9544; fax (310) 395-0657

Contact: Christyne Buteyn

LAVA's 5th Annual Investment Capital Conference will feature presentations by principals of firms and individuals who provide capital to emerging growth companies. Funding opportunities will cover a wide variety of types and sizes of transactions ranging in size from under $500,000 to over $5 million. See LAVA's Web site for an overview of the 1998 Conference speakers and topics.


Fifteenth Annual Entrepreneurs Conference

May 1999

Harvard Business School Association of Orange County

This all-day event is a premier program for gaining the perspectives and strategic tools needed to build and grow small companies and new business ventures. See the Web site for further information and an overview of the 1998 Entrepreneurs Conference that took place on May 12, 1998 at the Irvine Hyatt Hotel.

For additional events:

Tech Coast Alliance

Master Regional Calendar of Events

Los Angeles Regional Technology Alliance

Calendar of Events

San Diego Regional Technology Alliance

Calendar of Upcoming Events


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