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New SideCar Angels group will ride along with other local startup investors

Posted by Scott Kirsner  October 4, 2012 08:20 AM

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A new group of individual investors is already starting to inject some extra fuel into the local startup scene.

But the group, SideCar Angels, won't accept business plans or solicit pitches from entrepreneurs. Instead, it'll add its capital to investments that have already gotten the green light from other local angel groups like CommonAngels and smaller VC funds like NextView Ventures. The group has already put its money into an investment in ezCater.com, a referral site for catering services, alongside with LaunchPad Venture Group.

"SideCar Angels was formed to fill out syndication rounds with angel groups, micro-VCs and superangels," explains co-founder Rick Lucash, right, "enabling its members to join with well-regarded investment groups on the same terms." The group has a "central fund" of about $100,000, slices of which can go to any investment opportunity that gets approved by a majority of the group's members. "Any members who like a particular company can invest additional sums at their discretion," Lucash explains. Lucash has long provided legal services to the startup community; he's currently a special counsel at McCarter & English in Boston. The co-founder of SideCar Angels is Jeff Stoler, a senior partner at the same firm. (Stoler is a member of LaunchPad Venture Group, and Lucash was a co-founder of the group, but is no longer an active member.)

As for which sectors the group will focus on, "the one thing I don't see us doing is biotech or pharma, because it takes so much money," says Lucash, "but we'd definitely look at Mass Medical Angels healthcare deals, or consumer deals," he says.

Lucash says the group has 10 members and is "actively recruiting" others. SideCar held its first meeting in September, and closed on the ezCater investment a few days later.

"Meetings for the rest of this year will be ad hoc as deals present themselves," he says. "Thereafter, we're targeting a combination of 6 meetings per year to start, with ad-hoc or online [meetings] when we're presented with an attractive deal that requires very quick turnaround."

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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