Algenesis Honored with 2021 Luis Villalobos Award for Innovative Technology from the Angel Capital Association

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Company’s high performance, fully biodegradable, plant-based material combats the environmental impact of global plastic pollution

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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.

About Tech Coast Angels:
Tech Coast Angels (TCA) is one of the largest and most active angel investor networks in the nation, and a leading source of funding for seed-stage and early-stage companies. The angel network is comprised of four chapters, consisting of over 450 members in Southern California. Every TCA member is an accredited investor, and companies in which TCA invest go through well-structured, transparent, time-efficient screening and due diligence. TCA members are founders and business leaders who have extensive knowledge in the investment process and world-class business practices, and thus are able to provide companies with more than just capital: they also contribute counsel, mentoring and access to an extensive network of investors, customers, strategic partners and management. In December 2020, TiE named Tech Coast Angels the Most Active Angel Network in the World.

Since its founding in 1997 by Luis Villalobos, TCA has invested over $255 million in more than 460 companies and has helped attract more than $1.7 billion in additional capital/follow-on rounds.

Media Contact:
Kimber Smith Fidler
for Tech Coast Angels
+1 775 298 5260

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