WESTCLIFF UNIVERSITY AND TECH COAST ANGELS PARTNER TO OFFER STUDENTS ENTREPRENEURIAL INSIGHTS & OPPORTUNITIES
January 31, 2022
IRVINE, CALIF. – Westcliff University today announced a partnership with Tech Coast Angels (TCA) Orange County. TCA is one of the largest and most active angel investment organizations in the U.S. Since its founding in Orange County in 1997, the non-profit’s members have invested more than $255 million in more than 500 companies and have helped attract $1.7 billion in additional capital/follow-on rounds. Westcliff, which has built a reputation for preparing students with the skills and experiences needed to thrive as business leaders and entrepreneurs, has long been committed to offering hands-on community and business engagement opportunities to support student success. The partnership will infuse entrepreneurship inside and outside the classroom and create real-life learning opportunities for students—enhancing the school’s entrepreneurial culture by infusing “living case studies” into its curricula.
TCA OC’s bi-weekly pitch sessions for startups in search of investment capital will be hosted on the Westcliff campus in its state-of-the-art meeting rooms. The sessions, which will be open to Westcliff students, offer exposure to the inner workings of business planning, proposal pitches and investor strategy through the first-hand and up-close observation of these case studies. TCA will also welcome Westcliff students as potential interns as an extension of their educational training and will have an inside track to take part in Westcliff’s SMART program, which engages graduate students to help solve the real-time business challenges faced by global business leaders.
“Our partnership with Tech Coast Angels will expose students to what it takes to build a fundable business and so much more—providing them with valuable insights into the process of developing a successful business operation, whether or not they decide to start a business of their own,” says Dr Anthony Lee, president and CEO of Westcliff University. “As an organization that’s always been dedicated to fostering an entrepreneurial mindset among students—this partnership will not only enhance their educational experiences but also expose them to TCA members who bring a breadth and depth of vital entrepreneurial insights.”
This new partnership reflects the growth of the university’s Innovation Hub, launched in 2021, which houses many of Westcliff’s strategic programs, including the Westcliff Entrepreneurship Center—an alliance of initiatives that integrate the tenets of entrepreneurship into Westcliff curriculum and instruction so students can develop critical skills for success in their industries. Tech Coast Angels executives will actively promote these initiatives as well as Westcliff’s IGNITE incubator, a home for startup companies looking to grow their business, to its portfolio companies and to the entrepreneurial community at large. TCA will also be involved with current and developing entrepreneurship initiatives at Westcliff including Westcliff Alliance of Venture Entrepreneurs (WAVE), a student program that fosters the next generation of entrepreneurs, and a forthcoming high school summer entrepreneurship camp. There is also an opportunity for significant placement of WU graduates into regional businesses connected with TCA and there are plans for various collaborations including dedicated pitch competitions, events and guest lectures in future classes.
“We are delighted to hold our screenings at Westcliff University,” Lisa Walker, president of Tech Coast Angels OC said. “Being onsite with their Incubator and Innovation Hub creates opportunities for TCA to work with their students and faculty to identify potential startups for funding and support, while our analysis and due diligence process offer many learning opportunities for Westcliff student entrepreneurs”.
About Westcliff University: Westcliff University is an innovative global higher education institution with its finger on the pulse of the international business landscape and the needs of today’s employers. Founded in 1993 and based in Irvine, Calif., it offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees spanning 21 areas of study including business, education, technology, computer science and engineering – and most recently law with the acquisition of Western State College of Law. Westcliff is a California Public Benefit Corporation that affirms its dedication to operating in the best interests of its students and the surrounding community. With more than 4,000 enrolled students, its programs focus on both the hard and soft skills needed to secure quality jobs in high-growth industries; it offers community and business engagement opportunities for the hands-on experience today’s students require; it provides innovative and affordable programs live online and in classrooms across the globe.
About Tech Coast Angels: Tech Coast Angels (TCA) is one of the largest and most active angel investor networks in the nation and a leading source of funding for seed-stage and early-stage companies. The angel network consists of more than 500 members in Southern California. Every TCA member is an accredited investor, and companies in which TCA invests go through well-structured, transparent, time-efficient screening and due diligence. TCA members are founders and business leaders who have extensive knowledge in the investment process and world-class business practices, and thus are able to provide companies with more than just capital; they also contribute counsel, mentoring and access to an extensive network of investors, customers, strategic partners, and management. In December 2020, TiE named Tech Coast Angels the Most Active Angel Network in the World. Since its founding in 1997 by Luis Villalobos, TCA has invested over $255 million in more than 500 companies and has helped attract more than $1.7 billion in additional capital/follow-on rounds.
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