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Education Cowtown Angels make IT service investment

Cowtown Angels make IT service investment

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Robert Francis
Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

Members of the Cowtown Angels, a program of nonprofit technology incubator TECH Fort Worth, have invested $620,000 in Wisegate Inc., a private IT research service that provides senior information technology professionals with access to IT discussions, products and solutions. The latest investment, the fourth since the organization launched in September 2012, is the largest investment to date for the Fort Worth-based angel network. This is also the first investment where the Cowtown Angels network has been the lead investor group, involving three other large U.S. angel investor networks. “I see this investment as validation for our idea that there was a need for a local angel network,” said Darlene Ryan, executive director of TECH Fort Worth. “We believe that the Cowtown Angels program increases the amount of entrepreneurial activity here and helps the entire community.” The Cowtown Angels program connects local “angel investors” with companies in North Texas needing startup capital. According to the Angel Capital Association, an “angel” is a high net worth individual who invests directly into promising entrepreneurial businesses in return for stock in the companies. They must meet criteria set by the Securities and Exchange Commission for “accredited investors.” Generally, this includes individuals who have a net worth exceeding $1 million, not including their residences. TECH Fort Worth receives applications of companies who want to “pitch” to Cowtown Angels members at their monthly meetings, presents the qualified applicants to the Angels’ screening committee and helps companies selected by the screening committee prepare their presentations. Angel members decide individually whether they want to invest in a company. The Cowtown Angels members, which have now grown to 20, have invested $1,415,000 in four companies and currently have two more deals under consideration. In addition to Wisegate, members have invested: $345,000 in PerioSciences, which has developed a line of antioxidant oral care products; $125,000 in National Dental Implant, developing a non-surgical tooth replacement for non-functional teeth; and $325,000 in Inview Technology Corp., a developer of compressive sensing cameras.  

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