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John Tilquest

Retired Investor

John Tillquist holds masters and doctorate degrees in information & computer science from the University of California-Irvine, has over two dozen publications, and has spoken nationally and internationally about entrepreneurship, technology, organizational strategy, and economic development.  He has presented talks at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, the London School of Economics, and for The Economist magazine.  For eleven years John ran six southern California centers for workforce training, entrepreneurship and business development, including oversight of the TriTech Small Business Development Center.  TriTech focuses on high-growth, early-stage businesses and helps southern California entrepreneurs raise nearly $100 million in new capital and revenue growth annually.  John has been an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Naval Surface Warfare Center-Corona Division and at Chapman University.  He is also an occasional faculty at California State University - San Bernardino’s Entrepreneurship graduate program. 


John spent over ten years as a corporate director and senior software engineer at AT&T, GTE, and Ameritech.  He was CEO and founding president for two software start-up businesses in California and in Canada.  John has been an active angel investor since 2003 and is a past President and a current member of the Board of Governors of the Tech Coast Angels. 


The Tech Coast Angles is one of the largest and most active angel investment organizations in the U.S., with over 300 members in 5 regional networks.  Members have diverse industry backgrounds, many are entrepreneurs with start-up experience, and collectively have invested in over 300 companies a total nearing $200 million.  Tech Coast Angel portfolio companies have gone on to attract over $1.6 billion in additional investment capital.


John has served on the boards of the CSU-SB Technology Transfer Office, the Council on Economic Development Advisors, the Workforce Advisory Board, and the Alliance for the Commercialization of Technologies.  He has been a mentor and judge for business plan competitions for the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, CSUSB Entrepreneurship, the Keck Graduate Institute of Claremont, and the Peter F. Drucker Graduate School.