Company’s high performance, fully biodegradable, plant-based material combats the environmental impact of global plastic pollution
IRVINE, Calif. – May 18, 2021 – Tech Coast Angels (TCA) announced today that the Angel Capital Association has awarded the 2021 Luis Villalobos Award for Technology, Services and Consumer category to Algenesis. Named in memory of TCA founder and pioneering angel investor Luis Villalobos, this highest honor from the ACA recognizes the two most innovative and ingenious start-up companies of the year. The Life Sciences category was awarded to Genomenon.
Algenesis has created the world’s first high-performance, renewable, fully biodegradable polyurethane material made from algae and plants. The company’s first use for marketing its technology into product is footwear.
The footwear industry manufactures over 20 billion shoes each year, many of which go into landfills and oceans where the plastics used will last for centuries. Algenesis CEO and co-founder Dr. Steven Mayfield was at an island in the Maldives on his way to a speaking engagement and went to a beach littered and spoiled by discarded flip flops. Dr. Mayfield, an accomplished scientist and biotechnology entrepreneur, knew he could put together a team that could reduce plastics pollution in the ocean and on the planet, and the concept for Algenesis was born. The company’s patented technology is formulated into Soleic, which can be licensed by footwear manufacturers to create shoe soles and flip flops, and in addition to its own direct sales, Algenesis has already signed an agreement with a major retail shoe brand.
“Algenesis is on a mission to reduce plastic pollution by developing sustainable and biodegradable polyurethane products, and we are thrilled and honored to receive the 2021 Luis Villalobos Technology award from ACA in recognition of both our technology and our mission,” said Dr. Steven Mayfield, co-founder and CEO of Algenesis. “We have developed renewable plant-based polyurethanes that meet high performance specifications for footwear, and that are 100% biodegradable using home composting. At Algenesis, we believe that great technology does not change the world, that great products do, and we need investors that share our mission and bring deep expertise to help us deliver these products to market. With our three angel investing groups, we believe we have found investors with deep technical expertise that share our passion for reducing plastic pollution on this planet.”
Dan Rosen, Ph.D., nominating angel, deal lead, and TCA-San Diego member, said, “I’m a research scientist, and I’ve also been an angel investor for a very long time. We always look for the rare gem of a company that is going to be a great business. When you can find one of them that can also solve a world problem like plastics in the ocean, it just feels right.”
The first financing was provided through syndication effort from Dr. Rosen with members at Tech Coast Angels, Alliance of Angels, SWAN Ventures, and Oregon Sports Angels all participating, meeting the funding round’s goal in less than a month.
“I knew Luis quite well; he believed innovative new technology could change the world. I can’t think of a company that is more suited to make a positive impact on one of the world’s biggest problems than Algenesis,” concluded Dr. Rosen.