The Luis Villalobos Award

Thank you for those who have nominated for our 2020 ACA Luis Villalobos Award. We look forwrad to announcing the results soon!

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 12-14, 2020). 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.



2020 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 at the ACA Summit - May 12-14 in Denver.  Summit registration for the awardees are covered by the award organizers.  

Benefits to 2020 Winning Companies: 

  • One ticket to the 2020 ACA Summit in Denver (May 12-14, 2020) and up to two night hotel stay and $500 in travel costs
  • Chance to speak briefly about your company during the awards ceremony to the plenary audience
  • Access to a shared exhibit table throughout the event to facilitate connections with the 800+ angel attendees
  • PR about their selection as a 2020 Luis Villalobos Award Winner.

Participation Costs: 

  • There are no costs to participate in this awards program.  
  • As noted above each Finalist is provided a comp 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 2016 and 2020 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

Timeline: 

  • Nominations are due by 5pm Central time on Friday, March 6
  • Winning companies will be announced by Tuesday, March 31
  • Companies will be honored live during the May 12-14 2020 ACA Summit

No nominations will be accepted after February 28, 5 pm Central.


2019 Winner

Past Winners