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Longtime Leader of Seattle’s Alliance of Angels, Yi-Jian Ngo, Resigns



Yi-Jian Ngo, a prominent figure in the Seattle startup community and long-time leader of the Alliance of Angels (AoA), has announced his departure from the angel investor group to focus more on his family. In his place, Maren Nelson, a board member at AoA, has stepped in as the interim executive director. The AoA was founded in 1998 as part of the Technology Alliance and became an independent nonprofit organization in 2012. Ngo joined AoA in 2011, bringing with him years of experience from companies like AT&T and Microsoft. Under his leadership, the group has seen substantial growth, expanding its membership from 60 to 180 individuals and increasing annual investments in startups to $4-to-$6 million.

The AoA is known for its rigorous review process of over 150 deals each year, with individual investment decisions made by its members in emerging tech startups in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. To date, AoA investors have contributed over $125 million to more than 250 startups, resulting in over 40 successful exits, including well-known companies like DocuSign and Elemental Technologies. The group is currently in the process of raising its third annual “Innovation Fund,” a structured investment vehicle introduced in 2022. The initial fund raised $1.3 million, followed by $1.9 million for the second fund, highlighting the continued success and interest in AoA’s investment opportunities.

Ngo’s departure marks a significant transition for AoA, as he has been instrumental in shaping the group’s growth and success over the years. His dedication to supporting startups and fostering a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region has left a lasting impact on the Seattle startup community. As he steps back to focus on his family, Ngo leaves behind a legacy of leadership and innovation that will continue to guide AoA in its mission to support and invest in the next generation of tech entrepreneurs.

With Maren Nelson taking on the role of interim executive director, AoA is poised to continue its momentum and build upon the foundation laid by Ngo. Nelson’s experience and expertise in the startup ecosystem make her well-suited to lead the group through this transition period. As AoA looks to the future, it remains committed to identifying and supporting promising startups, providing them with the resources and funding they need to grow and succeed in the competitive tech industry.

The AoA’s commitment to investing in innovation and entrepreneurship has made it a key player in the Seattle startup scene. By connecting investors with promising startups and providing them with the support they need to thrive, the group has helped fuel the growth of the region’s tech sector. As AoA continues to expand its reach and impact, it remains a valuable resource for entrepreneurs seeking funding and mentorship to turn their ideas into successful companies. With Ngo’s legacy guiding its path, AoA is well-positioned to continue its mission of supporting and investing in the vibrant startup community in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

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