Award-Winning, Angel-Funded Startup Develops Fast, Reliable Way to Diagnose Concussions

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Angel Capital Association names Oculogica Luis Villalobos award winner; honors Boston angel David Verrill; expands education, research initiatives

"Angel investors are supporting startups coast to coast that are doing remarkable work, creating jobs and literally solving world problems." - Marianne Hudson, executive director, Angel Capital Association

Today, the Angel Capital Association (ACA), the world's largest professional organization for accredited angel investors, honored med-tech startup Oculogica with the Luis Villalobos Award at the 2018 ACA Summit. The award recognizes ingenuity, creativity and innovation in a new business.

Oculogica, a medical technology business launched almost entirely with funding from angel investors, is pioneering EyeBOX, an eye-tracking technology that detects concussions and other brain injuries invisible to existing scanning methods.

“The Oculogica team has combined medical and computer science to develop an innovative solution to a serious problem,” says Matias Healy, Golden Seeds, one of the angel groups that invested in Oculogica. Currently, there is no objective assessment tool for concussions.

Founded in 2013 by neurosurgeon Uzma Samadani, M.D., Ph.D., Oculogica has one patent and eight patent families pending. Its technology has been undergoing validation at the U.S. Olympic Training Center since 2015 and with the U.S. Department of Defense since 2016. Two clinical trials are underway.

“ACA is pleased to recognize Oculogica and bring attention to this remarkable business,” says Marianne Hudson, ACA executive director, ACA. “But, its story isn’t unique. Angel investors are supporting startups coast to coast that are doing remarkable work, creating jobs and literally solving world problems like concussions.”

Other award nominees were Catalyst OrthoScience, CNote and PhotoniCare.

Boston’s David Verrill Honored for Leadership Angel Investing
ACA honored Boston angel investor David Verrill, founder and managing director, Hub Angels Investment Group, with the ACA Hans Severiens Award. The award, named after Hans Severiens, founder of the Band of Angels, recognizes outstanding individual achievement in advancing angel investing. Hub Angels Investment Group is one of the oldest angel groups in the Boston area.

“David has been a pioneer of the fund model of angel investing and has been an integral part of making Boston one of the most sophisticated and active angel markets in the United States,” says Christopher Mirabile, ACA public policy chair.

Verrill, a former ACA chair, has advanced public policy to support angel investing, working closely with state governments, regulators and Congress. “Angels have quietly grown into a $25 billion industry, yet politicians weren’t aware of the critical role angels play in the innovation ecosystem and directly on the economy. I feel a great sense of pride in helping to build ACA’s capability in public policy.”

Angel Capital Association Expands Education and Research Initiatives
ACA announced two new initiatives at its Summit, one an expansion of the educational programs that help to foster success among angel members and the startups they support, and a research platform that ensures data gathered on behalf of ACA is also owned by and exclusive to ACA members. Educational programs are designed for new and experienced angels, and are detailed here.

The two orgs will work together on the Angel Funders Report, which is being launched at the Summit and released later this Spring

ACA’s budding research platform has been developed in partnership with Hockeystick, a private financial market data network that provides insight to private companies. The two organizations will work together on the Angel Funders Report, which is being launched at the Summit and released later this spring.

"Building a data platform for the angel community is one of the strategic priorities of the ACA. We realize the vast untapped potential of data to help people be better early-stage investors,” says Hudson. “Hockeystick has years of experience collecting data about angels, meets our most critical needs, including ensuring that our members will own their own data. This partnership brings together ACA’s vast knowledge of angels with Hockeystick’s leading edge technology, and we are excited this week to release our first collaboration, the Angel Funders Report, with deep insight to how and where angels invest.”

About the Angel Capital Association (ACA)
ACA is the professional association of angel investors across North America and offers education, best practices, public policy advocacy, and significant benefits and resources to its membership of more than 13,000 accredited investors, who invest individually or through its 250 angel groups, accredited platforms, and family offices. Visit: http://www.angelcapitalassociation.org or at @ACAAngelCapital; #ACAAngelSummit

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Mary Ellen Amodeo
Amodeo Associates
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