Velasquez is responsible for managing intellectual property and technology transfer for each of the universities within the TTU System. His main focus is to bring university discoveries from the laboratory to the market and working to develop a more robust high tech economy in West Texas.
“I am pleased to lead the Texas Tech University System’s efforts of transferring its research to the marketplace, and building an innovation-based region,” Velasquez said. “Enabled with great research, supportive leadership and a collaborative team, I am eager to contribute to the next set of successes across the system and West Texas.”
Previously, Velasquez served as director of Innovate El Paso, a non-profit organization that managed the El Paso RCIC and helped applicants access $9.5 million from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund. Furthermore, he co-founded 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.
Velasquez obtained a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Boston University. Initially an engineer with Boeing and later an IP manager, he obtained his law degree with an Intellectual Property Certificate from Whittier Law School in Costa Mesa, Calif.
“We have had significant growth in university technologies in the last couple of years, and with that comes the opportunity to convert those technologies into commercial products, regional economic growth and revenue for the Texas Tech University System,” said Jodey Arrington, vice chancellor for research and commercialization. “The next phase of success in this area will require a leader like Eli who understands the dynamics of developing an innovation economy in West Texas including the creation of investor networks and startup companies.”
Chancellor Kent Hance said this position helps component institutions of the TTU System reach its research goals.
“The Office of Research & Commercialization plays a crucial role in maximizing the Texas Tech University System’s research enterprise and Texas Tech University’s efforts to become one of the nation’s truly great research universities,” Hance said. “Eli’s impressive career accomplishments make him an outstanding addition, and we look forward to exciting opportunities with him on our team in the future.”