2010 Spirit of the Entrepreneur Award Winner Named Chairman of the Tech Coast Angels
Mike Napoli Named New Chairman of Tech Coast Angels; Explains Enhanced Process for Entrepreneurs
IRVINE, Calif., February 28, 2011 – Tech Coast Angels (TCA) today announced that Mike Napoli has moved into the position of Chairman of its Board of Directors. Napoli has been a member of TCA since 2000, has previously served on the TCA Los Angeles Network Executive Committee for seven years, started the Inland Empire TCA Network in 2007 and served as its president for three years, and was chairman of two TCA Fast Pitch Competitions. Napoli heads a growing and thriving network which recently announced total investments in 2010 of over $6 million, as well as several exciting exits that have attracted new membership in the organization.
“While TCA is a great organization for investors,” said Napoli, “we make it that way by being focused on the entrepreneurs. Our goal is to make TCA the most inviting and attractive place for entrepreneurs to bring their game-changing ideas and plans for support. TCA provides not only investment capital, but also in-depth mentoring and assistance that can make the difference between success and failure for a new startup.”
Napoli further explained that TCA has made a number of changes recently designed to further streamline the application and screening process for new companies seeking funding. “In the past we screened companies regionally, but we now immediately bring them before industry specific panels made up of domain experts that can quickly and clearly grasp the potential of their new venture. There are six industry panels made up of members from all of the TCA regional Networks. This procedure, combined with more efficient application processing and other changes, speeds up the process, and gets companies in front of investors more quickly. Entrepreneurs are responding. We had over one hundred more applications in 2010 than we had in 2009.”
The industry panels are clean technology/industrial, consumer products and services, digital media, hardware and software technologies, and life sciences and healthcare. Napoli is currently the founder and chairman of the Absolute Return Group, an advisor to institutional investors and money managers. He was previously the president and chief investment officer of Wilshire Associate’s Funds Management Division and Hedge Funds Group. He is currently involved with numerous business organizations including The Alliance for the Commercialization of Technology (ACT) and the Coachella Valley Angel Network. Napoli is also the Executive Director of Performing Arts LIVE.
Outgoing TCA Chairman, Richard Sudek, stated, “We’re delighted to have Mike in this position. He brings exceptional experience and commitment to TCA. We expect a great and dynamic year.”