A small group of Tucson-based private investors formed the Desert Angels™ in 2000. Since that time, the Desert Angels has grown to become one of the country’s leading angel investor groups. Today, the organization has over 80 members, many of whom have invested in a significant portfolio of companies.
The primary focus of the Desert Angels is to fund entrepreneurial ventures. To that end, the organization reviews over 300 applications per year as possible investments. Those companies that excel during the Desert Angels’ rigorous screening process are invited to present to the organization’s general membership at one of its monthly dinner meetings.
The Desert Angels hold monthly dinner meetings from September through June. In addition to listening to one or two companies, members often hear from nationally recognized speakers including successful entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and thought leaders in the angel investment community.
As the Desert Angels has grown, its members have become increasingly involved in educational activities in the Tucson community. These activities have included sponsoring the local presentation of the Kauffman Foundation’s “Power of Angel Investing” seminar and assisting the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management and its McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship.
Angel Capital Association
The Desert Angels are a charter member of the Angel Capital Association. The Angel Capital Association is the trade association of angel investment groups in North America. American Capital AssociationFounded by angel investment groups in the United States and Canada to help maximize the success of group based angel investors, ACA accomplishes its mission by providing professional development, best practices, networking and collaboration opportunities for angel investors who belong to member angel groups. More than 220 angel groups are members of ACA, and those groups represent about 12,000 accredited angel investors. More information is available at www.angelcapitalassociation.org.
Our members are as diverse as our portfolio. From entrepreneurs to engineers, from surgeons to scientists, our membership consists of domain experts who add important value beyond capital to our companies.
Screening Panel Chairman
Currently, Mr. Horner serves as Chairman of the Screening Panel for the Desert Angels. He is a co-founder of Arch Partners LLC, a seed capital fund investing in very early stage entrepreneurial ventures. Mr. Horner was a co-founder of US Capital Partners LLC, a boutique investment banking firm. Prior to founding USCP, he was a senior member of the Corporate Finance Division of EVEREN Securities, Inc. and Smith Barney, Inc. Mr. Horner received his B.A. from the University of California at Santa Barbara and a M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.
Curtis Gunn is Chairman of the Desert Angels, a very active angel investment group of accredited investors in Tucson, Az that review presentations from early stage startup companies looking for potential funding. Prior to this role, Curtis traveled the world competing as a professional cyclist riding for both US and Australian-based Professional Cycling teams. Previous to his life as a professional athlete, he was an entrepreneur founding and operating companies based in retail, Internet, healthcare and real estate. As an angel investor, Curtis has invested in over 40 different companies across a broad spectrum of industries, technologies, and geographies. Curtis serves on the board of Startup Tucson and was formerly on the board of the Angel Capital Association.
Tech Launch Arizona
Daniel Janes is a successful entrepreneur and now early stage investor. Dan’s breadth of experience includes being a West Point graduate and former Army officer who led operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, led lean process implementation at a large government agency, built a successful big data and analytics startup to acquisition, and grew new technology offerings in a publicly traded company. Dan currently advises companies throughout Arizona as a board member of Desert Angels and Invest Southwest.
President of BeachFleischman
David is President of BeachFleischman, the second largest locally-owned CPA firm in Arizona. He has consulted with many companies on entity structuring, exit planning, incentive compensation arrangements, and specialty federal and state tax credits. He has been an active angel investor since 2001.