Thursday, October 8, 2009

Requiem to a Venture Angel

On October 1, 2009 this country suddenly lost one of the great supporters of venture capital--Luis Villalobos. His contribution to entrepreneurhip as the founder of the Tech Coast Angels and an investor, mentor, director and friend to countless entrepreneurs was legendary. He was without a doubt one of the smartest men and clients I ever knew. Alexander had a sword to untie the Gordian Knot--Luis had a mind and a sense of intergrity, honor, decency and yes humor honed to slice through even the most difficult "Gordian Knot" an investor or entrepreneur would ever encounter. He will be missed by all and by this poet but his deeds will live on as long as men and women dare to dream and create.

For too many of us, life is but a game of charades,
False fronts, smiles and waves in search of more accolades,
Driven to capture and hold fame’s fleeting center stage,
False scripts to appear generous, caring and sage,
When the boatman calls the short term lease and appears for one’s last ride,
Across the river to unknown eternal banks on the river’s other side,
Those memories quickly fade and the footprints quickly wash away,
Mankind must now soldier on unmoved to yet another day.
But if a man is one of a select few without charades,
No desire to set smile as grand marshal of a passing parade,
But rather the real deal of integrity, honor and intellect,
Problems and risks to with ease sort and dissect,
A rare modern day planter not of apple seeds but of entrepreneurs’ dreams,
With money to invest and advice to help find the crease, find the seam.
To against all odds help the dreams take root,
To slowly, among the halos finally mature and bear fruit.
What monument for such a man would you build,
Dreams to gold, a leader in the alchemist’s guild?
We all know statutes rust, pit and coat to mold,
Names on buildings fade and such memories do not hold.
No need to chose, for the monuments to some extent already flourish and exist,
Not only his investments but his angels on the coast, halos in the morning mist.
As long as there is an angel and dreamer willing to against the odds take the risk
We honor Luis, and his memory will remain so clear, sharp and brisk,
A poet partner trying with him to help the dreamers escape the startup brig,
A band of five in leaning into the hostile winds then known as TRIG,
Sheds a soft tear but chuckles at the image of Luis with his power point slides,
Of wit and charts a year in sharp review, devoid of humor or hint of false pride,
Now showing the Chief Gatekeeper which eternal souls made the best return,
What it takes to overcome the risks, needed passion and effort to so earn.
Go in peace our dear friend and mentor from the city of the lupine,
You will be missed, but your halo creed here will last for a very, very long time.
© October 8, 2009
Michael P. Ridley

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