The Luis Villalobos Award

Award Program    Nomination Details    Winners

Honoring innovative companies funded by ACA members

The Luis Villalobos Award recognizes the most ingenious and innovative ideas recently financed by members of the Angel Capital Association. Two category winners will be selected to attend the ACA Summit and honored live and throughout the event. The award is presented to the winning CEOs during the annual awards ceremony at the 2020 ACA Summit (May 4-6, 2021). Companies in all investment sectors are invited to participate and will be considered for one of two Category Winner opportunities. The categories are:

  • Technology, Services, & Consumer: (Hardware & Software, Social Media, Web 2.0., Fintech, AgTech, etc.)
  • Life Sciences (Pharma, Med devices, HealthCare IT, Digital or Mobile Health, etc.)

This award honors Luis Villalobos, who founded the Tech Coast Angels, one of the largest and most respected angel organizations in the world, in 1997. Companies funded by Tech Coast Angels have raised more than $1 billion to date. He was a true “leading light” in the angel field, making 57 personal investments, educating numerous angels, and particularly in educating and mentoring entrepreneurs before he passed away in 2009. He was a sought-after expert and speaker about sophisticated angel investment. Luis appreciated ingenuity and entrepreneurial thinking in every aspect of life, and always looked to invest in and mentor the most innovative companies.

Award winners have a strong track record of innovation and growth.  A testament to this is the significant acquisitions of three winners in August and September of 2016.  More information about the exits of winners in 2012, 2014, and 2015 is here, along with details from the investors' views for Assurex Health, EyeVerify, and RetroSense Therapeutics.



2021 Luis Villalobos Award Program

Two winning companies are selected and invited to attend the ACA Summit.  Both companies will be honored and the award will be presented at a special ceremony on during the ACA Summit - May 4-6, 2021.    

Benefits to 2021 Winning Companies: 

  • Two registrations to the full 2021 ACA Summit (May 4-6, 2021) and any connected events
  • Introduction of the company and your innovation to the full ACA 2021 Summit audience
  • Access to a live exhibit space throughout the event to facilitate connections & meetings with the investor attendees
  • PR for the company & nominating investor/s heralding the innovation and selection as a 2021 Luis Villalobos Award Winner.

Participation Costs: 

  • There are no costs to participate in this awards program.  
  • As noted above each Finalist is provided two complementary registrations to attend the event and other benefits


Nomination Details

The award is open to companies that have received funding from an ACA member / angel group between 2017 and 2021 and that are in operation when the application is submitted.  Companies in all investment sectors are invited to participate and will be considered for one of two Category Winner opportunities. The categories are:

  • Technology, Services, & Consumer: (Hardware & Software, Social Media, Web 2.0., Fintech, AgTech, etc.)
  • Life Sciences (Pharma, Med devices, HealthCare IT, Digital or Mobile Health, etc.)

Both the ACA member / group and company complete a short nomination form and is complete when both are received to Sarah Dickey via the nomination forms below or directly

Please provide: 

1) ACA Luis Villalobos Award - Angel Nomination 

AND

2) ACA Luis Villalobos Award - Company Application

Timeline: 

  • Nominations are due by 5pm Central time on Friday, March 12, 2021
  • Winning companies will be notified by Friday, April 9, 2021
  • Companies will be honored live during the May 4-6, 2021 ACA Summit

No nominations will be accepted after March 12, 5 pm Central.


2020 Winners

Past Winners