4/18/2012 – St. Louis Arch Angels’ Annual Report Reveals a Record Number of Investments in 2011

The Arch Angels network invested nearly $3 million in 11 local early-stage companies last year

St. Louis, Mo., April 18, 2012…Locally, investments in early-stage companies have risen significantly in the past year, and much of this support has come from the St. Louis Arch Angels investors. The network’s 2011 annual report, which was recently released, shows that the St. Louis Arch Angels had a strong year, providing almost $3 million in funding to 11 existing and new startups, the largest number of companies the group has ever funded in a single year. In its seven-year history, the 47-member group has received over 700 applications and has invested more than $26 million in 28 companies.

“Our growth can be attributed, in part, to the increasing number of high-quality business plans and professional presentations we are seeing,” noted Gil Bickel, chairman of the St. Louis Arch Angels. “The increasing high-quality activity in the entrepreneurial community is very exciting for us, and we know it is more important than ever that we continue to grow as an organization, attracting more members so we have more dollars to invest to help advance the ideas that are being generated here.”

Among the promising new early-stage companies that impressed investors in 2011 is Nawgan, which has developed a line of all-natural alertness beverages scientifically formulated to enhance concentration and focus. The line is available locally in all Walgreens locations and most grocery outlets, and nationally, it can currently be found in The Vitamin Shoppe. The company received an investment of $173,000 from the Arch Angels. Chesterfield-based Katalyst Surgical, which is an ophthalmic surgical instrument designer and manufacturer, received $123,000 from the Arch Angels, while Veniti, a medical device company focused on the management and treatment of venous disease, received $220,000 in Arch Angel funds. Capital Innovators, which is dedicated to fostering very early-stage technology innovation and growth, has developed a 12-week accelerator program to provide tech startups with the resources and connections they need to get to the next level. The company received an Arch Angel investment of $375,000 in 2011.

The company receiving the largest Arch Angels investment in 2011 was downtown St. Louis-based Pulse Therapeutics, which secured an additional investment of $500,000 to support its work developing a medical device that will significantly increase the efficacy of clot-dissolving drugs for emergency room-based treatment of ischemic stroke. The six other companies securing investments in 2011 have also previously received additional funding by the Arch Angels.

While it’s too early to predict what levels of success these newer entrepreneurial ventures may reach, many of the companies the Arch Angels have invested in over the years have already seen great success. For instance, Divergence, an agricultural biotechnology company, which previously secured $127,500 in funding from the Arch Angels, was acquired by Monsanto in 2011. Other Arch Angels funded success stories include Gridlogix, which was acquired by Johnson Controls in 2009 and U.S. Spine, which was acquired by Amedica Corporation in 2010.

“We have much to be proud of as a group,” notes Bickel. “We have helped to create ground breaking technology in multiple fields, and aside from the three companies that have already exited profitably, we have several others that have an opportunity to do so in the next 12 – 18 months.  We will continue to support these promising local startups while working to foster cooperation and partnership among those active in the entrepreneurial arena to create additional opportunities for the future.”

For more information about the St. Louis Arch Angels or the organization’s 2011 annual report, visit www.stlouisarchangels.com or call 314.444.1151.

The St. Louis Arch Angels network was established in January 2005 as an independent, 501c(3) not-for-profit corporation. Arch Angel members, who are business leaders from the St. Louis region, provide seed and early-stage capital in the range of $250K-$1M, an investment range not generally served by venture capitalists. The Network was organized by the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association and the Nidus Center for Scientific Enterprise.


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For more information, contact:

Julie Hauser, The Hauser Group, 314.436.9090

Chris Walsh, St. Louis Arch Angels, 314.444

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