By Thomas Lee
MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota — Twin Cities Angels said it’s investing an undisclosed amount in Ativa Medical, a St. Paul-based diagnostic device company.
Ativa marks the debut of TCA-II, the group’s second investment fund, which hopes to distribute an estimated $2.5 million to 15 companies over the next two years.
In a phone interview, TCA president John Alexander said the new fund consists of about 50 people, almost 25 percent more than the previous fund. Each investor contributed $50,000 to the overall pool and can make additional bets on individual start-ups. The first TCA fund invested at least $2 million in 10 start-ups, including companies that make robots, medical devices, beer and reusable envelopes.
Alexander said the group opened the fund to out-of-state Minnesotans and venture capital firms, but TCA-II remains exclusively local angels.
“Our members have been pleased with the quality of companies we have been reviewing since we launched Twin Cities Angels in 2006 and especially those we have seen since May 2009 and reviewed by our current Fund,” Alexander said in a statement. “With the closing of our first investments, we close our organization to new members through the life of this fund. We open again to new members once we create our next fund.”
Ativa serves as an accelerator of sorts, using computer simulation technology to speed point-of-care diagnostic products from proof-of-concept to full-scale commercialization. The company said it would acquire and license technologies with a focus on high-value tests that employ microfluidics nanotechnology, fluid separation, molecular diagnostics and micro electro/optical detection systems.
Ativa is led by CEO David Deetz, who founded two diagnostic companies: PPG Biomedical and Diametrics Medical. The company’s board includes James Stake, a former executive at 3M Cos. and Tiffany Olson, who was previously CEO of Roche Medical Diagnostics Corp., a multibillion-dollar unit of drug giant Roche.