Below is an excerpt from The Beat, Atlanta Inno’s daily newsletter on local technology, startups and innovation. Sign up here to have this hit your inbox every afternoon.

TiE Atlanta, the local chapter of non-profit entrepreneurship organization TiE Global, announced this morning that it has launched TiE Angels, a new angel group committed to supporting startups at the seed and Series A stages.

According to the organization, TiE Angels is looking for companies that have already raised at least 50 percent of a current round targeted between $250K to $2M, with an accredited lead investor attached to the investment. Since the second half of 2017, the angel group has invested over $400K across three deals, including participation in local on-demand laundry startup 2ULaundry’s latest round.

To join the network, TiE angels requires a $500 initiation fee, annual membership dues of $149, and a pledge to invest at least $10,000 during your first 12 months.

Here’s why this is a big deal.

I’m sure you’ve seen the reports that Georgia companies raised over $1.7B in venture capital in 2017, the largest amount invested in state since the dot-com era. (Heck, we mentioned this data point yesterday).

But ‘total dollar amount’ isn’t always the best metric for diagnosing the general health of an ecosystem, partly because that number can be the result of a few mega deals, like Navicure’s $300M and GreenSky’s $200M rounds.

If you look at the stage of the investments in 2017, per PwC’s MoneyTree report, you’ll notice that, of the 80 total deals last year, only 17 were categorized as seed stage and 11 were early stage. This was down from 16 and 24, respectively, in 2016, 23 and 23 in 2015, 20 and 19 in 2014 and 24 and 16 in 2013.

So, while Georgia had a record year in total VC funding, it was the lowest year since 2012 for total seed and early stage deals, which can often be a stronger indicator for future growth of an innovation economy given that it’s more reflective of what’s in the pipeline

And this data echoes a lot of early conversations I’ve had with folks within the community that have said that, if they had to point to a particular knock against the ecosystem, it’s with the current volume of seed activity.

All of this is to say that, while we in the tech media tend to flock to stories about bigger deals and bigger funds, the announcement of a new angel group is just as exciting and advantageous for a city’s tech and startup ecosystems.

(Image via