The San Diego chapter of the Tech Coast Angels, the largest angel investment group in Southern California, as well as the United States, said today that it has established a new, memorial fund, the John G. Watson Foundation, which will support entrepreneurism in the San Diego region. The fund has been started by a $1M gift from the family of John G. Watson, who was an active angel investor with the TCA until his untimely death in 2010.
According to the Tech Coast Angels, the new foundation will use investment earnings from the Watson family, to fund specific TCA-San Diego network activities that promote entrepreneurism, beginning with the provision of cash awards to winners of the annual San Diego Quick Pitch event. The San Diego Quick Pitch was near to Watson's heart, and he was heavily involved in organizing that event in recent years. Watson had been a member of the TCA since 2008, after a career at companies including Dow Chemical, Johnson & Johnson, Wyeth Laboratories, and ICN Pharmaceuticals. He also served at Vestar Inc. and Galagen Inc., and was president of Ionian Technologies in San Diego. Watson was the victim of a widely covered homicide, which resulted in a murder conviction in November.