Arizona Technology Investor Forum (ATIF) is an active community of accredited investors who invest in early-stage technology companies located in Arizona and the surrounding states. Since our first transaction in May, 2007, ATIF members have invested in 28 companies, providing over $7.2 million in capital, making us the most active technology investor in central and northern Arizona.
ATIF members invest their own personal resources directly in companies and through ATIF Sidecar Funds. Sidecar Fund I, now closed, invested in 8 companies in 18 months. As classic angel investors, members contribute not only capital funds, but actively participate as board members and advisors to portfolio companies, adding their expertise, insight, experience, and connections to help those companies grow.
ATIF members meet quarterly to consider investment opportunities. Typically, members see 3 companies which have been selected from dozens of applicants to our formal screening process. Subsequent to the meetings, members interested in individual companies collaborate on due diligence to ensure rapid but thorough analysis of the opportunity. Those choosing to invest share a common set of terms and candidate company valuation.
ATIF is a member of the Angel Capital Association (ACA), a professional alliance of angel groups.
Dr. Thomas Duening founded ATIF in 2007 when he was Director of Entrepreneurial Programs at the Ira A Fulton School of Engineering at Arizona State University. Under Tom’s leadership ATIF became firmly established as a serious angel group in Phoenix. In mid-2009, Tom moved from ASU to the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. He remains involved with ATIF.
In October 2009, ATIF became independent of ASU and is now a 501(c) 6 non-profit corporation. At the spin-out from ASU, Paul Winandy succeeded Tom Duening as managing director of ATIF. Paul ably led ATIF for 14 months, until he left to become CEO of WebPT, an ATIF portfolio company.
In November, 2010, Jim Goulka succeeded Winandy as the leader of ATIF.
ATIF Sidecar Fund I
In December, 2011, ATIF launched ATIF Sidecar I LLC, its first fund. The Fund offers members and selected others the opportunity to invest along side individual ATIF members who make individual investments. The Fund deployed its capital in less than 18 months, investing in 8 companies, in a diversified array of domains and industries.
How ATIF Works
ATIF believes that early stage investing, like startup entrepreneurship, requires the collaboration and teamwork of an array of people with diverse competencies and skills. ATIF levers the brainpower, time, expertise, and connections of its members and associates to strengthen member decision-making, increase capital available to companies seeking funding, and assist them in growing.
- Our Screening Committee is comprised of 10 or more members from a wide array of backgrounds.
- Due diligence is a team effort; all members interested in a candidate for investment share in the analysis.
- Often, companies seek funding of amounts larger than ATIF members supply on their own. We collaborate with other angel groups, in particular Desert Angels, New Mexico Angels, and Tech Coast Angels in San Diego and with selected local VC and private equity firms, such as Canal Partners , to complete a transaction.
ATIF sources investment opportunities in part through collaboration with other angel groups, from VCs and private equity firms, and from alliances with the incubators and accelerators in central and northern Arizona, as well as our other Alliance partners throughout the state.