Eli Velasquez is the Director of Venture Development within the Office of Research Commercialization at Texas Tech University. He supports all entrepreneurial, commercialization, and innovation initiatives within the University, and provides support, as necessary, across all campuses, which include Angelo State University, Texas Tech Health Sciences Centers, and the TTUHSC Paul L. Foster School of Medicine in El Paso.
In this role, he also serves as the Director of the Greater West Texas Regional Center of Innovation and Commercialization (RCIC), Director of the Texas Tech New Ventures Accelerator, Managing Director of the SBIR/STTR Center, and Executive Director of the Lubbock Angel Network. During his first two-years at Texas Tech, the initiatives he developed and executed generated more than a $6M return in grant awards, follow-on funding, and sponsorships.
Prior to that, Mr. Velasquez served as Executive Director of Innovate El Paso, a non- profit organization that managed the El Paso RCIC. Through his tenure at Innovate El Paso as the Project Portfolio Director and, subsequently, Executive Director, he helped six organizations access $9.5M from the Emerging Technology Fund, developed 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 as the youngest of Boeing's Responsible Engineers on the Delta Family of Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles. In his last two years at Boeing, he worked as an Intellectual Property Consultant with 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 in Costa Mesa, CA. He is married and has two children, enjoys running half-marathons, reading, and good Mexican food.