United States Of America
Eli Velasquez, Director of Venture Development at VentureWell, has been appointed as Senator at the Grand Assembly of the World Business Angels Investment Forum. Senator Velasquez will represent United States of America in the Global Startup Committee of the Grand Assembly.
Eli Velasquez is the Director of Venture Development at VentureWell. In this role, he oversees the development of new and ongoing early stage innovator programs, and leads the global investors program on behalf of the U.S. State Department. He also serves as a faculty member and advisor to the Venture Capital Institute, LLC, the world’s oldest venture training organization. Prior, he was the Associate Vice Chancellor for the Office of Technology Commercialization for the Texas Tech University System. He is an NSF I-Corps Nationally Certified Instructor and co-founder and Executive Director of the Lubbock Angel Network, the 4th most active angel investor network in Texas in 2017. He has deep expertise in commercialization, angel & venture capital, and innovation strategy. His efforts in Texas led to over $20M in funding for startups, entrepreneurship programs, and proof of concept funds. During his first two-years at Texas Tech, he also served as Director of the Greater West Texas Regional Center of Innovation and Commercialization (RCIC) where he implemented a myriad of innovation initiatives, including a technology accelerator and an SBIR/STTR Center. He also raised three innovation funds totaling $2M under management focused on funding acceleration, university startups, and industry-university partnerships. His efforts significantly advanced the entrepreneurial ecosystem in West Texas. The initiatives generated more than a $6M return in grant awards, follow-on funding, and sponsorships in two years. Prior to that, Mr. Velasquez served as Executive Director of Innovate El Paso. Through his tenure, he helped six organizations access $9.5M from the state of Texas Emerging Technology Fund. He also managed the Camino Real Angel group conducting deal screening, due diligence and portfolio management. He went on to co-found El Paso’s first technology business incubator, recruited El Paso’s first full-fledged patent firm, and launched one of only three applied entrepreneurship programs for women in Texas. Upon returning to his native El Paso in 2005, he was the Technical Director for the Bi-National Sustainability Laboratory, an organization that promoted the commercialization of technology-based projects on the U.S.-Mexico border. He was responsible for developing commercialization and incubation programs, along with intellectual property awareness and protection strategies. Before that, Mr. Velasquez worked for The Boeing Company in southern California, initially within Boeing’s Integrated Defense Systems (IDS) group where he was assigned to the Delta Family of Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles. In his last two years at Boeing, he worked as an Intellectual Property Consultant within Boeing’s Intellectual Property Business (IPB) unit. He obtained a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Boston University and his J.D. degree with an Intellectual Property Certificate from Whittier Law School.