Newest Texas Angel Network Hosts Statewide Summit in San Antonio

San Antonio—Six months after the launch of San Antonio’s first angel network, the city is playing host to a statewide summit on angel investing Friday to help members of the network gain insight from other angel investors across Texas.

The San Antonio Angel Network was officially launched by a group of local entrepreneurs and investors in December and now has accepted 65 members into its network. The group has closed two deals so far and has invested $875,000 total, with three more other deals currently open, says Chris Burney, the group’s executive director. Burney said he can’t reveal any other details about the open deals. (Read on for more information on the two deals the angel network has closed.)

On Friday, the summit is being hosted with the Alliance of Central Texas Angel Networks, a group connecting the more than one dozen angel networks in the state. The daylong agenda consists of speakers discussing their background in angel investing and offering members of the networks advice on subjects such as sourcing deals and finding the right time to exit.

Speakers include Jim Conner, the former chair of the Silicon Valley-based angel group Sand Hill Angels, and Graham Weston, an angel investor and former CEO and chairman of Rackspace, the cloud computing giant that went public in 2008 and was sold last year to private equity for $4.3 billion.

“We rely heavily on the structure of ATAN to help us learn about best practices from the larger, more established groups across the state,” Burney says. “We’re the new kids on the block.”

The San Antonio Angel Network’s first two investments were in local tech companies. The first was HelpSocial, a social media-focused software provider for customer service companies—a business in which billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban also invested early on. The second startup was Parlevel Systems, another software maker focused on vending machine managers.

The desire to host the summit in San Antonio is also based on wanting to show that the city is developing, both in terms of its startup community and culturally, Burney says. Lorenzo Gomez, CEO of co-working space Geekdom, is giving opening remarks at the conference, talking about the rise of a tech district in San Antonio’s downtown, which includes a new tech and business-focused high school and numerous young startups. The conference is also being hosted at the Hotel Emma, which was opened in part of the former Pearl Brewery, a century-old facility that was redeveloped into a shopping district.

“I thought it would be a great way for us to get ATAN people in our backyard and learn from more experienced groups,” Burney says. “It also helps that we get to showcase San Antonio a little bit.”

David Holley is Xconomy's national correspondent based in Austin, TX. You can reach him at dholley@xconomy.com Follow @xconholley

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