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January 2, 2024  BACK


Learn what's happening tomorrow at the meeting, this month in local events, and this year with the Pasadena Angels.

This Month's Contents

1) Companies Presenting at Breakfast Meeting
2) Companies Funded in 2023 
3) Pasadena Angels' Initiatives for 2024
4) PA + ASN Calendar of Events - January 2024
5) Announcements (News & External Events)

1) Startups Presenting at Breakfast

Wed Jan 3 from 7:00-9:30am

We had 5 companies presenting at our Wed 12/13 Screening Meeting. Princeton Identity and Kenko Physical Therapy, Inc. advanced to the Wed 1/3/2024 Breakfast Meeting at the Valley Hunt Club, Pasadena. Since the Screening Meeting Kenko Physical Therapy has decided to postpone their final round pitch to a later date in 2024.


COMPANY:        Princeton Identity

CEO/Founder:   Bobby Varma, Hamilton Township, NJ


Princeton Identity has developed "iris on the move" solution that identifies a large volume of people at incredible speed and high accuracy.

Princeton Identity takes a platform approach to Identity Management for Access Control, Point of Sale (POS) and Time & Attendance (T&A) solutions by offering a suite of hardware, software, and integration capabilities that can be combined to create a total solution. Our "Iris on the Move" technology and Solution-as-a-Service business model has driven the adoption across Higher Education, Manufacturing and Data Centers.

2) Companies Funded by the Pasadena Angels in 2023


3) Pasadena Angels' Initiatives for 2024

In our November meeting, the PA Board reviewed 2023 results while determining the initiatives we'd be taking in 2024 to strengthen the organization.  The following represents a summary of the major initiatives planned for 2024.

The overall theme for 2024 is: The Year of the Deal

Last year we focused on stimulating participation in due diligence.  This year we will focus on the deal itself, specifically concentrating on:

  • Deal sourcing - everyone needs to be involved in bringing in deals to fill the top of the funnel.   

    • Last year we had 676 companies apply for funding, of which 102 were the more valuable referrals from PA members.  

    • 2024 Target - All (100%) of members to refer one deal 

  • Deal negotiation - we are no longer necessarily accepting valuations and terms as presented

    • During initial screening of an interesting new company with a "premium" valuation, we may respond to the application by saying we will screen you if you lower your valuation to $X and be flexible on your terms.  Previously we just would have passed.  

Deal Management to Change:
We will be exploring a new process for deal management within the PA starting in January.  The current process of selecting a Deal Lead at the end of the screening meeting is flawed.  The monthly screening meeting, held at 8am the last Wednesday of the month (all members are invited!), is where members listen to pitches and vote on the two companies to present at the all-member breakfast the following Wednesday.  While we have had as many as 25 people attend the screening, there are usually less than 10 people still on the call when we wrap up around 9:30a.  It has been from that small group that we have been sourcing people to lead deals.  This year we hope to make deal management more of a team effort that arises organically from the interested investors at the Wednesday breakfast.

Enter the new process:  Now there will be a Deal Liaison to volunteer at the screening meeting, and they will be the founder's point of contact with the PA prior to breakfast.  The Deal Liaison will be available for the founder to answer questions, explain what to expect at breakfast, how our process works, etc.  However, the Deal Liaison's responsibilities will end at breakfast.  The Deal Liaison may be interested in the deal and may join in the diligence, but no further commitment to the company is expected.  

Going forward we will still have the initial diligence meeting with the founder at the end (no change).  Once the questions have been wrapped up and the founder has been excused, those interested will decide together how they will approach the diligence, assuming the deal moves forward.  Someone from this group will need to be the main point of contact (Deal Lead) and communicate the team's diligence findings to the founder and potentially PA Fund III, should they qualify.

2024 will also have new initiatives in:

Member Education - we will have a fairly short presentation on an educational topic relative to angel investing at each breakfast.  Topics will be wide ranging so long as they are interesting and informative to Angels. Look for Stender Sweeney's Lessons Learned presentation in January.  You won't be disappointed.

Marketing - new PA Board member, Jennifer LeBlanc, has taken over the unoccupied Chair of the Marketing committee.  Jennifer has already identified a qualified newly minted college grad who will help us reignite our social media accounts and help drive more startup applications to the PA in this Year of the DealTM.

PA Fund III - is open and ready for your funding.  Many thanks to Kiem Tjong and Marcus Filipovich for the work they put into making our Fund possible.  Fund partners will vote on the final parameters of the fund (what qualifies for fund investment, amount of investment, etc.) once all the LP's have been determined.

Growing Association with Tech Coast Angel Venture Group
Pasadena Angels’ association with TCA is entering its third year. This association has allowed the PA to draw lessons learned as well as new opportunities from a much bigger pool of start-ups. Our own Dave de Csepel has recently been elected by the TCA Board to serve as vice-Chairman of this umbrella group, which assists and expands the capabilities of our 4 major angel groups.  TCA Venture Group includes not only ourselves, but also TCA-LA, TCA OC, TCA Inland Empire, as well as MEDA Angels. Each angel network will continue to operate independently. MEDA Angels will continue to source, refer and screen medical and life science opportunities nationally, which adds an important area of expertise that PA has been fortunate to leverage.

Expanding our geographic reach will continue to be a focus in 2024. Since COVID, approximately half our PA’s presenting companies have been from outside Southern California. Given that the angel investing process has become so much more virtual, opening up geographically to new members and new regions for sourcing companies is a natural step. It creates a wider funnel through which PA can increase deal flow.  Expanding to new parts of the country, including the Northeast, the Southeast and Texas, will create new sources of opportunities going forward.
In addition, more educational and networking opportunities for all of our members will be made available.  Investing in funds set up by our sibling affiliate groups is also a great way to stay diversified. Stay tuned for another all-TCA gathering, hosted by TCA-LA sometime in the next couple of months.  For any questions regarding the Tech Coast Angel Venture Group please don’t hesitate to email Dave de Csepel at

Welcome to 2024!

Mike Krebs
Chairmain, Pasadena Angels

4) PA + ASNCalendar of Events - January 2024

Wed 1/3    Company Evaluation Breakfast Meeting, Valley Hunt Club 7:00am to 9:30am,  zoom link 
Thu 1/18   ASN Trending Thursdays, 9:00am to 10:30am
Tue 1/23   Two Pre-Screening meeting Panels, before Noon
Wed 1/24  Two Pre-Screening meeting Panels, before Noon
Wed 1/31  Screening Meeting, 8:00am to 10:00am, zoom link
Wed 2/7    Company Evaluation Breakfast Meeting, Valley Hunt Club 7:00am to 9:30am,  zoom link 

5) Announcements (News & External Events)


Fund III

PA Fund III: Capital Call Opening November 2023
Company Investment Sizes: $100 - $150K
Existing Members: Opening December 2023
New Members: Opening December 2023
Management Fee: No management fee. There is a one time 5% Expense Charge
Carry: None
Min Unit: $10K
Contact: Co-chairs;  Kiem Tjong & Marcus Filipovich 


Verizon & Open Sesame Media work with AWS to demo real-time remote music collaboration session


LAS VEGAS, NV – Verizon and Open Sesame Media are working with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to demonstrate how musicians in Los Angeles and Las Vegas can collaborate in real time, using 5G, AWS Wavelength, and Verizon’s Quality of Service (QoS) API utilizing “SyncStage,” an ultra low-latency audio solution developed by Open Sesame. As part of this technical demonstration at AWS re:Invent 2023, from November 27 through December 1 in Las Vegas, attendees will have the opportunity to be a part of the collaboration between songwriters and musicians in Los Angeles and Las Vegas during a live jam session.

“Developers and enterprises who utilize our 5G Network and Edge Services are able to orient their applications to deliver low latency use cases for their customers,” said Anil Guntupalli, Vice President of Technology and Strategy Planning for Verizon. “As part of this evolution, network APIs represent a change in the way network resources are consumed. QoS API is an example that allows us to match network performance characteristics to specific application requirements and provide a differentiated customer experiences. This is a perfect example of Verizon’s network capabilities for use cases demonstrated by Open Sesame.”

“Today, nearly two million professional music creators, including songwriters, performing artists or musicians in the U.S. alone are collaborating in person and another 14.6 million semi-professional creators are working remotely via software tools. Current remote music collaborations do not have the same feeling or level of productivity as when musicians are physically in the same room in real-time, limiting the type of collaboration an artist can do remotely,” said Julian McCrea, Co-Founder and CEO of Open Sesame Media. “This demonstration will highlight how this technology can increase productivity and drive down costs for the entire industry, including musicians, music production software companies, audio engineers, live streaming platform companies, app developers and more.”

Open Sesame Media provides low-latency synchronized audio over 5G to music creators via its patent-pending SyncStage platform. SyncStage allows music creators to suddenly have access to live, remote audio sources directly in their Digital Audio Workstation that they use every day. At AWS re:Invent, SyncStage will be running on AWS Wavelength, which embeds AWS compute and storage services at the edge of the 5G network.This demonstration will show how by using AWS Wavelength with Verizon’s network, application traffic can reach servers without leaving the network, optimizing the user experience and application performance, as well as driving millisecond-level connections.

Audience members at the event can participate by adding lyrics, chorus, and melody ideas to the sessions. One lucky person will also get to participate in the music sessions to experience in-person music play with remote musicians. To take part and for a chance to be on stage at the Venetian with a Las Vegas “residency,” email the demo to
Link to article:

External Events


Past Issues:

  • Nov '23: Mustapha Baha

  • Sept '23: Noria with Yoram Cohen

  • June: RealKey (Christopher Hussain) and Stender Sweeney 

  • May: Terry Kay

  • Apr: Irrigreen (Shane Dyer) and Mandy Wang 

  • Mar: EventHub (Michael Bleau) and Don Hall

  • Feb: Everyset (EB, Ebrahim Bhaiji) and Richard Chino

  • Nov '22: Cactivate (Wentao Xiao) and Gene Stein 

  • Oct: C360 Technologies (Evan Wimer) and Kenji Funahashi

  • Sep: Woody Sears (Autio) and Mike Krebs

  • Jul: Open Sesame (Steve Lyons) and James Schaefer 

  • Jun: HavenLock (Alex Bertelli) and Anil Jha

  • May: Discotech (Ian Chen) and Gary Awad

  • Apr: Sashee Chandran, Seatrec and Susan Marki

  • Mar: Yezin Taha, Spine Align and Jamie Bennett

  • Feb: Phoenix Gonzalez, Repurpose and Marcus Filipovich 

  • Jan: Ksenia Yudina, BeTheBeast and Larry Uhl 

  • Nov '21: Roy LaManna, TotSquad and John Keatley

  • Oct: Dr. Chorom Pak of LynxBio and former president Al Schneider

  • Sep: Luk Network, Brandon Cavalier and Nancy Dandridge

  • Jul: Electrum, Jose Gomez and Julie Pantiskas

  • Jun: Ready, Set, Food, Dr. Mirianas Chachisvilis and Joseph Pitruzzelli

  • May: MagicLinks, Christopher Hussain and Janice Orlando


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We hope you enjoyed this edition of the Pasadena Angels Monthly Newsletter. Any suggestions for future pieces, questions or comments? Please email me at

Dave de Csepel
Chairman, Pasadena Angels

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