Tech Coast Angels Creates Endowment to Honor Villalobos

Luis Villalobos, co-founder of Tech Coast Angels, had been undergoing treatment for a lung infection in a Southern California hospital when he died Oct. 1 at the age of 70.

Villalobos is often credited for propagating Southern California’s angel investment community. He launched Tech Coast Angels in 1997, served as its first president and he remained active with the group, dispensing advice from his hospital bed. The organization now operates five chapters from Santa Barbara to San Diego and boasts more than 250 members.

Tech Coast spokesperson Deborah Jones told me that a celebration of Villalobos’ life will be held next Wednesday at the Orange County Wine & Food Center in Costa Mesa , Calif. However, she adds that the response to attend the memorial has been enormous “and the service is now full, so no further RSVPs can be accepted.”

As friends and colleagues prepare to memorialize Villalobos next week, they have also established an endowed fellowship fund to be awarded to a graduate MBA student at the Paul Merage School of Business at University of California, Irvine. The Luis Villalobos Endowed Fellowship in Entrepreneurship will begin accepting applications next year.

“Luis spent most of his life mentoring and training new entrepreneurs. It’s appropriate that this endowment should continue his mission to help and assist young entrepreneurs,” says Richard Sudek, president of Tech Coast Angels.

Villalobos is survived by his wife Ora-Zoe Villalobos and a sister.