Richard Morganstern

Executive Committee, Tech Coast Angels

Age: 65 - Residence: Brentwood

Companies Funded: 140 + companies in 10 years

Value of Fundings: $90 million of Tech Coast funds; $900 million+ of VC and other funds

What I Look For in a Business Plan: Management, market, competitive edge and IP.

Reason I'm a Tech Investor: You are on the cutting edge of the future and get to hang around with people who are building things as opposed to tearing things down.

What Surprised Me About Angel Investing: You have to be nimble. Most successful companies achieve success in a manner different than contemplated in their early business plans.

Secret of Being a Good Tech Investor: There are three rules to successful tech investing. The first is good management. The second is good management. The third is don't forget the first two rules.

My Worst Deal: An early investment in a company where the CEO was using investors' funds for nonbusiness reasons. There were early signs I chose to ignore at the time, a mistake I did not make again.

Hints for Entrepreneurs: Be direct and open, and surround yourself with the best team you can attract.

My Vision of Web 3.0: There will be seamless communication between individuals and access to unlimited information across multiple platforms. Everyone will be connected to everyone else 24/7 unless they actively seek solitude. The technical capability is not here today but it will be sooner than most folks think.


Raulee Marcus

President, Pinnacle Management

Residence: Hermosa Beach

Years in Tech Finance: Less than 10

Companies Funded: 17

Value of Fundings: $500,000 +

How I Broke Into Tech Finance: I joined Tech Coast Angels almost 10 years ago because I couldn't understand the excitement around ideas that came to be called the "tech bubble" and wanted to learn what it was all about.

My First Significant Deal: I co-lead the deal and went on the board of Green Dot. It is my largest Tech Coast Angels investment. It pioneered the concept and is by far the leader in selling reloadable prepaid debit cards at retail.

What Surprised Me About Angel Investing: Investing wisely is more of an art than a science, so emotion plays a bigger role than I expected.

Secret of Being a Good Tech Investor: I don't know that there are secrets but I never invest in something I don't understand, where I can't help when needed or that I can't get others excited about.

My Worst Deal: Investing in an online education company that was too early in the cycle. We lost all of our investment but that is my only total loss.

My Vision of Web 3.0: I think that Web 3.0 will do things that can only be done via the Web and thereby offer the physical world new creativity, control and chaos-management tools.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.