Although its taken a few years to get off the ground, the New Orleans’ member-managed South Coast Angel Fund finally announced its first investment: Omnicademy out of Baton Rouge. Omnicademy is a social networking platform that enables universities and colleges to syndicate their courses to one another, enabling institutions to benefit from economies of scale in higher education, while providing an easy to use interface and tools for faculty and students. South Coast has invested $500,000 and will have two seats on Omnicademy’s executive board as part of the investment.
Omni Academy’s co- founders are Dr. Stacey Simmons and Kieth Crawford. Simmons was named to Fast Company Magazine’s 100 Most Creative People in Business last year largely on the creation of Omnicademy, and she won the 2010 Governor’s Technology Leader of the Year Award. Simmons is also the founder of the Baton Rouge Digital Industries Consortium and the co-founder of the Red Stick International Animation Festival. Crawford is the chief financial officer for GNO Inc.
“We are delighted to be South Coast’s first investment, the attention and mentorship we have received already have been invaluable,” says Simmons. By working with such a dedicated and experienced group of investors and business leaders from around Louisiana we are much better positioned to be successful. It is an exciting time, South Coast is creating a wave of technology entrepreneurship in Louisiana that will make people around the country stand up and take notice. We are very proud to be the first technology company in this transformation.”
As a member-managed angel venture capital fund, the South Coast Angel Fund utilizes its capital, resources, and expertise of its members and a unique partnership with Loyola University to help launch and grow early-stage companies, primarily within Louisiana and the Gulf Coast community. South Coast will typically invest between $250,000 and $500,000 in a company. The fund focuses on early-stage companies where a product has been developed, although not necessarily fully functioning, and where the principals and founders are highly committed.