Late last year, the Orange County Business Journal released its second edition of the OC500 — a list of 500 of the most influential individuals in different areas of businesses throughout the Orange County Area.

The Portal is so happy to announce that Ray Chan, our managing director and founder, and Amir Banifatemi, our advisory board members, were chosen for the second year in a row!

Both men are the founders of K5 Ventures, a venture capitalist fund that helps to support and act as a resource for early-stage startups and companies. They provide resources not only in seed funding, but with mentorship and connections of companies to local resources.

“Ray and Amir are always eager to help young companies in any way required to aid their success. Their networks and knowledge are broad and valuable,” says Ryan Breed, CEO of PlayWerk, one of the companies they’ve worked with. “We have greatly benefited from their investment and mentorship in our company.”

Amir has been working with entrepreneurs and companies for over a decade. He’s an expert in AI, acting as the prize lead of the IBM Watson AI XPRIZE. He also helped co-found Bodymatter, a local Orange County business that develops advanced health tools. Alongside his position at K5, he is also a board member of UCI’s Beall Center for Innovation.

Ray seeks to help local businesses by bringing together the best elements of both a founder and an investor, providing mentorship and resources to the companies that he works with, as well as managing the ACE Fund and acting as a board member for Tech Coast Angels.

Both Ray and Amir are happy with the work that they’ve accomplished, but they will also continue building and positively impacting the Orange County business community. They share a larger vision in helping Orange County grow as a business-oriented space, and they are determined to achieve this vision through The Portal’s mission.

As key team members of The Portal, they link together university students with local businesses to help them gain experience while simultaneously providing businesses with resources in programming and marketing. They envision The Portal as the platform through which Orange County can grow through talent generation and retention, creating the next generation of talented developers, marketers, and entrepreneurs.

We’re so excited to be able to work with Ray, Amir, and all of the entrepreneurs and investors in Orange County. The Portal team hopes to continue being part of the effort to further build up Orange County’s resources!