Alamo Angels, which has had multiple leadership changes since its founding four years ago, will become an affiliated organization within the foundation, with the goal of growth for both organizations, said Rahul Patel, an Alamo Angels board member.
Under the Texas Research and Technology Foundation, Alamo Angels will have a chance to thrive and succeed, Patel said. Patel said the move is in no way reflective of the Angels’ past executives and that, without them, Alamo Angels would not be where it is today.
“Any organization that’s new is going to have growth periods, just like when you start to walk,” Patel said. “You start to crawl, you start to get up, and you fall down a few times – I think for us this is truly an example of being able to continue to grow Alamo Angels.”
The alliance will bring more capital to the foundation, which will help startups all over the city and Texas, said Randy Harig, CEO of the Texas Research and Technology Foundation.
Alamo Angels will keep its 501(c)(6) status as a business league, promoting local businesses as a nonprofit. The Alamo Angels will establish its headquarters at the VelocityTX Innovation Center, a new incubator and accelerator where startups can grow. Founded in 2017, VelocityTX is a subsidiary of the Texas Research and Technology Foundation.
Since its founding, the Alamo Angels has grown into a network “of San Antonio leaders coming together to build a stronger startup ecosystem,” Patel said in a foundation statement.
Harig said the foundation is extremely excited about the partnership, which will allow the foundation to build on the work it has been doing with the Alamo Angels over the past six months.
“During that period, we have been strategically working with the Alamo Angels executive committee on activating the vision of making San Antonio a world-class innovation region,” he said in the foundation statement.
Harig told the Rivard Report Wednesday the foundation was a member of the Alamo Angels before discussions of a partnership began and that, while the Alamo Angels had grown to a “pretty good level,” it was “clear it needed more focus, and that was all.”
“They have a good following of investors but some of their leadership was getting into things of their own, getting diverted, and we didn’t want [the Angels] to go dormant because of those diversions,” Harig said. “So part of [the partnership] was I didn’t want to let [the Angels] go, and the other part was we wanted to bring our expertise to it.”
Previous Angels directors expressed excitement about the news.
With both organizations having aligned missions to grow San Antonio’s startup scene, their alliance makes perfect sense, said Dura Software Chief Financial Officer Chris Burney, the Angels’ founding executive director, who left to start Dura Software in 2018.
Burney’s replacement, Cat Dizon, left the helm after a year in June to focus more of her energy on local venture firm Active Capital, which she co-founded and serves as chief operating officer. She agreed that the partnership is a great fit.
Kim Biffle, now chief business officer of the Witte Museum, followed in Dizon’s wake but told the Rivard Report that she is no longer director of the Angels. Biffle declined to comment on the new affiliation.
The leadership structure of Alamo Angels under the Texas Research and Technology Foundation is still being finalized, Patel said. Harig said both groups are hopeful that, under this partnership, they can bring high-quality companies to the city and state.