AngelMD Aims to Harness Houston Physician Braintrust for Investments

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investments). angelMD has personnel in Denver, CO, as well as its headquarters in Seattle and the Houston office.

In addition to the matchmaking-style platform AngelMD began with, the group launched its own $10 million fund in April that will invest in angelMD-approved companies. Parsley says the fund will begin investing in the next month in as many as 20 startups with individual investments of between $250,000 and $500,000.

Offering a fund in which angelMD has vetted the investment choices appeals to physicians who may not have a lot of professional experience or time to do due diligence on investments, Parsley says. “They may not have that confidence or experience to decide in which deal to invest and how much,” he adds.

So far, angelMD’s Texas investments include Curtana Pharmaceuticals, an Austin, TX-based biotech company developing treatments for brain cancers in adults and children that was founded in San Diego. (The company agreed to move to Texas in 2014 after receiving a grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.) Another is Saranas, a Houston-based medical device company.

In May, angelMD announced it was investing in Windpact, which makes a patented padding system that uses air and foam to absorb and disperse impact energy to improve the performance of helmets and other protective gear. Windpact participated in the inaugural 1st and Future startup contest held during Superbowl weekend in Houston this past February.

Going forward, Parsley says angelMD is looking to offer premium memberships for a fee—right now it’s free for startups and investors to sign up—for extra services and events the platform is developing. And another source of revenue for the group would be sponsorships by affiliated groups who want to get in front of angelMD’s affluent membership roster, he adds.

Before angelMD’s arrival, there were other physicians playing prominent roles in Texas’ venture capital scene. Joe Cunningham, and his brother Casey, are both doctors and partners in Sante Ventures, which is based in Austin. And physician Clay Heighten is a founding partner of Green Park & Golf, a venture firm based in Dallas.

There is room for growth, Parsley says. “There are 900,000 physicians in the U.S.,” he says. “We just have a very small number of that.”

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Angela Shah is the editor of Xconomy Texas. She can be reached at ashah@xconomy.com or (214) 793-5763. Follow @angelashah

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