IRVINE, CALIF., October 7, 2009 — With great sadness, the members and friends of Tech Coast Angels (TCA) mourn the passing of their mentor, friend and founder, Luis Villalobos. According to TCA Orange County President, Richard Sudek, Mr. Villalobos died suddenly of a lung infection on October 1, 2009 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Orange, Calif. He is survived by his wife, Ora-Zoe Villalobos of Newport Beach, Calif. He was born on November 5, 1938.
According to Sudek, “In the world of angel investors, Luis was a national leader. In 2007, he was presented with the prestigious Hans Severiens Award by the Angel Capital Association, the top award an angel investor can receive. And, of course, in 1997 he founded TCA which has become the largest angel investment network in the U.S. However, even more important, Luis gave tirelessly of his time and knowledge to entrepreneurs and fellow investors, showing his deep commitment to encouraging and supporting the growth of angel groups and startup ventures. In 2001, he single-handedly created the Fast Pitch concept where entrepreneurs pitch their companies in 60 seconds. This annual event is extremely popular and is replicated by other TCA chapters and angel organizations. This event attracts over 300 attendees and is TCA’s most recognizable event in the community. He’ll be sorely missed by us all and our thoughts are with his family.”
In his business career, Mr. Villalobos was the founder and CEO of two high-technology firms, Harvil, which he sold to Hughes Aircraft Company, and Conographic, sold to Gradco Systems. He invested in 57 early-stage ventures including several IPOs such as Gadzoox Networks and PetSmart. He personally mentored at least a dozen company CEOs, and served on the Board of Directors of over a dozen firms such as Big Stage, YouMail, Vigilistics, EmailDirect and others. He was also on the Board of the UCI Graduate School of Management and the Angel Capital Association.
Mr. Villalobos received his undergraduate degree in mathematics from MIT and MBA from the Harvard Business School. He held 12 U.S. and international patents as lead inventor.
About Tech Coast Angels
Tech Coast Angels, www.techcoastangels.com, is the largest angel investor group in the U.S. Its members provide funding and guidance to more early-stage, high-growth companies in Southern California than any other investment group. TCA members invest in companies in a wide range of industries, including the life sciences, biotech, IT, services, retail, Internet, financial, software, media, consumer products and tech startups. TCA members give companies more than just capital; they also provide counsel, mentoring and access to an extensive network of potential investors, customers, strategic partners and management talent. TCA has more than 250 members, including its venture capital affiliates, in five networks in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Westlake/Santa Barbara and the Inland Empire. More information on Tech Coast Angels can be found at www.techcoastangels.com or twitter.com/techcoastangels.