Celebrating ACA Member Investments – Three Finalists for Luis Villalobos Award

By: Sarah Dickey, ACA Membership Director

I recently had the great experience to work with the judges for the Luis Villalobos Award and see many wonderful companies that ACA members are supporting. Three finalist companies were selected from the nominations, with the winner to be announced on March 27th at the 2014 ACA Summit in Washington, DC, during a special awards ceremony. The Luis Villalobos Award recognizes the most ingenious and innovative idea recently financed by an ACA member.

This year’s finalists are 7AC Technologies (Boston), EyeVerify (Kansas City), and Localytics (Boston). Each was nominated by an ACA member that has invested in the company. The award is named in memory of Luis Villalobos, who was known for actively investing in and mentoring ingenious, creative, and innovative startups.

All three of the finalists have shown great execution on innovation and have won a number of awards already. They are great examples of strong ideas and entrepreneurs, with the financial and mentoring support of angel investors. Here’s a little more on each of this year’s finalists:

7AC Technologies is introducing a revolutionary liquid desiccant air conditioning (LDAC) technology that significantly improves energy efficiency and precision in climate control. Utilizing its proprietary technology, 7AC partners with OEMs to provide HVAC solutions that meet the growing market demand for greater energy efficiency and superior latent cooling.

The company was nominated by Clean Energy Venture Group (CEVG). Carl Nelson of CEVG wrote in the nomination, “7AC took the idea of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory from untested theory to a large scale commercial product. 7AC’s breakthrough promises to reduce annual operating costs at commercial buildings by hundreds of thousands of dollars per year while substantially reducing their use of carbon based fuels. It is a remarkable clean energy and angel financing success story.”

EyeVerify, is the exclusive provider of Eyeprint Verification, a highly accurate biometric for mobile devices. Eyeprint Verification delivers a password free mobile experience and security at a glance. This patented solution uses existing cameras on smart devices to image and pattern-match the blood vessels in the whites of the eye.

In his nomination Rick Vaughn of Mid-America Angels wrote, “The EyeVerify biometric cannot be duplicated nor is it affected by health variables. Unlike traditional biometric security devices, EyeVerify’s application has the ability to work with the cameras and software in existing mobile devices without the addition of new hardware. EyeVerify’s technology drastically increases consumers’ identity protection without disrupting their current behaviors. This ingenious method of creating a technology that can be easily implemented by both companies and consumers has gained attention and acceptance from a global perspective.”

Localytics is the leading marketing and analytics platform for mobile and web apps. Localytics works with some of the world's most well-known brands, like ESPN, eBay, Salesforce, Microsoft and The New York Times, helping them create great experiences for their customers and maximizing profitability, engagement, lifetime value and loyalty.

Localytics was nominated by Hub Angels Investment Group and Launchpad Venture Group. Wrote Hub Angels’ David Verrill, “Luis would have loved Localytics. They have created a very innovative and unique analytics solution in an extremely high growth market - mobile apps. The management team includes the original founders who have grown tremendously in their roles. In November 2013 Localytics was named one of the Boston Globes ‘Top Places to Work’ and has won numerous other awards.”

I look forward to joining with hundreds of angel investors to honor these companies as leading representatives of the impact of angels during the 2014 ACA Summit.