Contact: Surya Jayaweera FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Local Angel honored for Contributions to Inland Empires Entrepreneurial Economy

Claremont, CA November 11, 2010: Tech Coast Angels, the largest angel investing group in the US, is proud to announce that Mike Napoli, the founder of TCAs Inland Empire Network, was honored last night in the “Supporter of Entrepreneurship award category at the Spirit of the Entrepreneur awards ceremony hosted by CSUSB and the Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship (IECE).
John Tillquist, President of TCAs Inland Empire Network, notes: “The Spirit Awards is the foremost awards ceremony celebrating entrepreneurship in Southern California. It is the ‘Grammy Awards for business owners and supporters; being selected as an award category winner is truly a tremendous honor.
Mike Stull, the Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at CSUSB and organizer of the Spirit Awards, stated at last nights event: “This ceremony is all about honoring the role models for the community, the local heroes who can inspire our students, the next generation of business owners and entrepreneurs.
Surya Jayaweera, Chairman of the TCAs Seedtrack IE explains: “This is what TCA IE is all about: helping to launch enterprises in the community, which in turn benefits the entire community. Venture capital investments in Southern California in Q3 totaled to $464.18M Of this, the most active investor was TCA, with 7 deals closed in the 3rd quarter alone! Mike was and continues to be instrumental in helping to promote the investment of some of these funds into the Inland Empire and surrounding communities.
Mike Napoli recalls: “I started my efforts to bring the angel investment community to the Inland Empire 4 years ago, in September 2006. TCA wanted to expand to the region because of its economic potential and the opportunities that are available to entrepreneurs. I networked for almost a year with anyone who would listen, focusing on economic development officials in the region and the universities and organizations that provide services to entrepreneurs. Our first screening session was at CGU in September 2007. 
Napoli continues: “I believe in the Inland Empire and the value proposition it has for entrepreneurs and am proud to be part of its growth.
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