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Deep Blue Medical and Ready.Set.Food! honored at the premier annual event for angel investors in May

Luis would have been thrilled to see how far his legacy and light has shined in the angel community to reward exceptional innovation and ingenuity.”

— Digvijay “Sunny” Singh, Ph.D., TCA VG chair

IRVINE, CALIF., USA, May 23, 2024 / — TCA Venture Group (TCA VG) today announced that two of its portfolio companies, Deep Blue and Ready.Set.Food!, won both categories of the esteemed Luis Villalobos Awards at the Angel Capital Association (ACA) Summit in Columbus, Ohio earlier this month. Named after Tech Coast Angels’ founder and luminary of the angel community, Luis Villalobos, the annual award recognizes the most innovative ACA-invested companies.

Deep Blue won the Life Sciences Category, with next-generation surgical devices that prevent soft tissue surgery failure. Deep Blue Medical’s soft tissue surgery platform utilizes mesh extension sutures that distribute and reduce tension at the surgical site to reduce cheesewiring, reduce pain, and provide a quick, convenient surgical approach.

Ready.Set.Food! won the Technology Category, with an innovative allergen introduction system to provide babies with healthier futures, free from food allergies. In addition to its growing product line and distribution, the company has created greater awareness and has furthered legislation efforts to mandate early allergen introduction for babies.

TCA VG chair, Digvijay “Sunny” Singh, Ph.D., said, “We are so proud of our two portfolio companies. They are both so deserving of this prestigious award, and I think Luis would have been thrilled to see how far his legacy and light has shined in the angel community to reward exceptional innovation and ingenuity.”

Supporting quotes:

Deep Blue:
“The process of working with TCA San Diego (now NuFund) was excellent, and their early support in our first equity round made a big difference in the growth of Deep Blue,” said Bill Perry, CEO and director of Deep Blue. “Prasad Sunkara was a tireless champion and a pleasure to work with and their investment process actually helped us be better positioned for future investment.”

Prasad Sukara, Ph.D, and deal lead with NuFund (formerly TCA San Diego), said, “The company has the perfect team solving an unmet surgical need. I was impressed with background and experience of the founding team, Bill Perry, a medical device expert and Dr. Howard Levinson, a well-regarded plastic surgeon. Deep Blue Medical was focusing on solving the common failure in soft tissue surgery due to suture pull-through of tissue or mesh through with their innovative technology. I am happy to note that Deep Blue has successfully developed and commercialized the T Line mesh products for various indications during the past five years since we invested.”

Daniel Zakowski, CEO and co-founder of Ready.Set.Food!, said, “We have been so grateful for the amazing support we’ve received from angel investors like TCA VG, from our earliest days up through our most recent fundraise. I started Ready. Set. Food! seven years ago, after my nephew developed multiple food allergies, with the goal of helping to end the food allergy epidemic, and TCA VG’s support has helped to make this mission a reality.”

“The company checked all of the boxes that we look for in a start-up: an experienced, passionate founding team with complementary skills; a large and growing market opportunity; a proprietary product; and early market traction demonstrating market fit,” said Ron Silverton, co-deal lead and TCA-LA executive committee member. “But what compelled me to lead the deal and evangelize for the company was its mission to prevent babies from developing potentially lethal food allergies: a mission I personally can identify with given I too have a child at risk of anaphylaxis from dairy and nuts.”

Dr. Singh, co-deal lead, added, “In addition to the usual due diligence, I saw that Daniel and his team had a very personal story where a family member was affected by childhood food allergies. They had set out to build a company to combat a problem that was deeply personal and the team seemed quite driven by it.”

About TCA Venture Group:
Founded as Tech Coast Angels in 1997, Tech Coast Angels Venture Group (TCA VG) has invested approximately $280 million in more than 544 companies, attracting an additional $2.2 billion in capital. With 400+ accredited investors in TCA-LA, TCA-OC, TCA-Inland Empire, Pasadena Angels, MEDA Angels and TCA Southeast, TCA VG is a key seed and early-stage funding source. Its members, including founders and business leaders, deliver more than capital — providing counsel, mentorship, and access to extensive networks. Connect with TCA VG on its website, X/Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


Kimber Smith-Fidler
Smith Fidler/Colures, Inc. for TCA Venture Group
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