Tech Coast Angels Signs Advocate Partnership Agreement with IBM Watson AI XPRIZE

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Southern California angel investor network brings its expertise in regional innovation and entrepreneurship to renowned $5M AI competition

Tech Coast Angels

“We are delighted to be able to use our influence in the region to empower innovative entrepreneurs and our angels to make a collaborative impact on crucial issues facing society,” said Jeff Draa, 2017 chairman of Tech Coast Angels.

Tech Coast Angels is proud to announce it has signed an advocate partnership agreement with IBM Watson AI XPRIZE, an inspiring $5M competition aimed at alleviating some of the world’s toughest challenges through scalable Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions. Through this partnership, Tech Coast Angels will provide access to its network of angel investors, offering expertise, mentorship, and access to capital for Southern California based teams.

The goal of the IBM Watson AI XPRIZE is to accelerate adoption of AI technologies and generate creative, innovative and brave collaboration. The four-year competition kicked off on June 23 2016, with registration for teams closing on January 19, 2017. For the first time in XPRIZE history, teams are able to define a problem of their own that will use AI to address humanity’s grand challenges. Annual milestones will take place in 2017, 2018 and 2019, with a final competition and grand-prize winner chosen at TED 2020.

“We are delighted to be able to use our influence in the region to empower innovative entrepreneurs and our angels to make a collaborative impact on crucial issues facing society,” said Jeff Draa, 2017 chairman of Tech Coast Angels. “This partnership reinforces our belief in the importance of AI in shaping solutions; it helps us nurture a regional center of AI expertise here in Southern California by helping to build great young companies; and it provides our members with an opportunity to discover, invest in, mentor and grow innovative AI teams and technologies.”

Interested AI entrepreneurs, early-stage companies and investors in Southern California may email for more information. IBM Watson AI XPRIZE information and registration can be found at

About Tech Coast Angels:
Tech Coast Angels (TCA) is one of the largest and most active angel investor networks in the nation, and a leading source of funding for seed-stage and early-stage companies across all industries in Southern California. TCA members are accredited investors who collectively invest in startup companies in the range of $250k to $2M as a group. The companies TCA invest in go through well-structured, transparent, and time efficient screening and due diligence. TCA members are themselves founders and executive level business leaders who have extensive knowledge in the investment process and world-class business practices. TCA members thus provide companies with more than just capital; they also contribute counsel, mentoring and access to an extensive network of investors, customers, strategic partners and management.

TCA is a catalyst in the growth of the thriving Southern California entrepreneurial ecosystem of innovation, funding mostly emerging technologies and life science companies. The most recent Halo Report rated TCA as #2 nationally in a number of funded deals. A recent analysis by CB Insights ranked TCA #1 out of 370 angel groups on “Network Centrality” and #5 overall in “Investor Mosaic.” Since its founding in 1997, TCA has invested over $176 million in more than 300 companies and has helped attract more than $1.5 billion in additional capital/follow-on rounds, mostly from venture capital firms. For more information, please visit

XPRIZE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is the global leader in designing and implementing innovative competition models to solve the world’s grandest challenges. XPRIZE utilizes a unique combination of gamification, crowd-sourcing, incentive prize theory, and exponential technologies as a formula to make 10x (vs. 10%) impact in the grand challenge domains facing our world. XPRIZE’s philosophy is that—under the right circumstances— igniting rapid experimentation from a variety of diverse lenses is the most efficient and effective method to driving exponential impact and solutions to grand challenges. Active competitions include the $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE, the $20M NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, the $15M Global Learning XPRIZE, the $10M Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, the $7M Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE, the $7M Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE, the $5M IBM Watson AI XPRIZE, the $1.75M Water Abundance XPRIZE and the $1M Anu & Naveen Jain Women’s Safety XPRIZE. For more information, visit


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Kimber Smith Fidler

Katherine Schelbert