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Multiple Winners at the 2012 Innovation Showcase

June 1, 2012 1:18 PM

June 1, 2012

Multiple Winners at the 2012 Innovation Showcase

innovation_showcase_winner_lomesh.jpgRohnert Park, CA - NonProfitEasy (NPE) won the 2012 North Bay iHub Business Plan competition today. Close to 200 business people, regional officials, other iHub representatives, and community partners cast their votes via a live text system in the final round of "Innovation Idol" as iHub Director Michael Newell termed it. Presentations by the four finalists included Purevin, Shoestring, and Sonoma Hot Cones. Winner NPE is a technology solution that helps organizations develop and manage relationships with volunteers, donors, members, etc. within one simple, cost-effective and integrated application. 

"NPE's advantage is that it's an affordable and powerful cloud-based technology platform that enables small to medium sized nonprofits to efficiently manage and scale their operations to better serve their communities. That creates a positive impact for everyone," stated founder Lomesh Shah.

innovation_showcase_bill_steve_jim.jpgThey were not the only winner, however, at the Innovation Showcase. Steve Weiss, Chairman Emeritus and co-founder of the North Bay Angels received the Beta Gamma Sigma Medallion for Entrepreneurship, an international award that recognizes outstanding individuals who combine innovative business achievement with service to humanity.

"Steve has been an incredible mentor and supporter of mine and the University's, as well as for many in the room and even more around the region," shared Silver, who introduced Weiss. Jim Viehland, executive director of Beta Gamma Sigma, the national honor society for accredited business schools around the world, presented the award. 

Weiss, who noted he was humbled to be nominated, said, "The message I'd like to leave you is that although this award has been given to a single individual, entrepreneurship and innovation are a team sport. The fact that you are here means you are all part of this team; we don't win by ourselves. It's great to see the support of everyone here for entrepreneurship in the region. It has been central to our economic success and I know it will continue to be the future for our community and this country."

innovation_showcase_jim.jpgHe built a successful career ranging from working as a design engineer in the aerospace industry, to helping young entrepreneurial companies with health care investing and partnering assistance, to becoming chairman of the North Bay Angels which has invested over $40 million in more than 50 companies.

The Innovation Showcase started with an expo that highlighted regional success stories that included companies like Indigenous Designs, Pocket Radar, Inc., Skip to Renew,, VinPerfect, and X2nSat. Entrepreneur and NFL veteran James Kovach spoke about the journey from ideation to commercialization and what lies ahead for the North Bay.

"The up-and-comers, the successful companies, and the entrepreneurs that participated in today's showcase are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of our innovation ecosystem in the North Bay," concluded Silver. "As a partnership, the School of Business and Economics, the iHub and Sonoma County BEST are in the business of building businesses. Today's event is the culmination of a lot of work with visible success, but this is just the beginning." 

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For more information, please contact:
Annemarie Brown, 707-664-2221, 

About Sonoma State University School of Business and Economic

Sonoma State University School of Business and Economics' vision is to be the educational nucleus of a thriving North Bay economy. Its mission is to create extraordinary learning experiences for our students and to advance best business practices in the North Bay and beyond. With undergraduate, graduate, and executive programs serving over 1500 students each year and concentrations in Accounting, Finance, Management, Marketing, Wine Business, and Economics, the School offers the most in-demand degree on the Sonoma State campus. The School of Business and Economics is accredited by AACSB (the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), making it one of 15% of all business schools in the world to meet these standards of excellence. For more information, visit

About the North Bay iHub

North Bay iHub's purpose is to creating jobs, stimulate local economic development, enhance learning opportunities at local colleges and universities, and advance the sciences of sustainability, ecological-friendliness and social welfare. It offers co-working space that allows the individual entrepreneur, freelancer or commuter to get out of their home office or local coffee establishment and into a professional workplace with no up-front expenses; ongoing events like its "Business Essentials" series and North Bay Investor Summit that develop the entrepreneurial landscape in the region; and a  business incubator specializing in sustainable resources and socially-relevant technologies. Its function is to assist technology entrepreneurs and start-up companies in achieving success by providing an affordable physical infrastructure, an intellectual and entrepreneurial environment, a supportive service network and one-on-one mentoring. For more information, visit 

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1801 East Cotati Avenue, Rohnert Park, CA, 94928 • 707-664-2377 10973