Faculty

Brett Cornwell is the Executive Director for Texas A&M Technology Commercialization. He leads the Licensing and IP Management and New Ventures division activities. This includes partnering with industry to commercialize the A&M System’s portfolio of technologies to spin out new companies in support of the commercialization of technologies. The services for new spin out companies include screening stage market assessments, business plan development, marketing plan development, market research studies, strategic business planning, and the development of venture pitches. He is on the adjunct graduate faculty at Texas A&M University teaching courses in technology commercialization in the Mays Business School. His courses focus on technology market screening and evaluation, venture planning and evaluation, and business planning and launch. He is also a Faculty member at the IC2 Institute at The University of Texas at Austin and is an Adjunct Lecturer in the McCombs School at the University of Texas at Austin as an instructor in the Master’s in Science and Technology Commercialization degree program. He has led a number of international technology commercialization benchmarking and training projects. 

Tommy Martindale, J.D., is Director, Technology Transfer Office, SDSU Research Foundation, where he is responsible for the protection and commercialization of technologies developed at SDSURF. He supports SDSURF by managing its portfolio of intellectual property that stems from faculty inventions, evaluating the market potential for those inventions, and commercializing SDSURF's technologies through licensing. Tommy also serves as a member of the teaching team for the NSF funded CSU Biological Sciences I-Corps Site program, which provides education to researchers in lab to market commercialization.He is a USPTO registered patent attorney and gained experience with the Corporate Legal Department at Qualcomm, Inc. and the Intellectual Property Group at Higgs, Fletcher & Mack, LLP before joining SDSURF. He is an active member of CONNECT, Licensing Executives Society, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, and the NSF National Innovation Network.

Heath Naquin, BBA, MSTC, PMP, serves Vice President for Strategic Development at Venturewell. In his role at VentureWell, he leads a variety of national and international programs in supporting and growing early stage science based startups and building the ecoystems that support them. As a part of his portfolio, he manages the I-Corps program implementation by Venturewell at a national level as well as the convening of the National Innovation Network. He is also heavily involved in investment and global programming for the organization. A nationally certified NSF I-Corps Instructor, Heath previously served as Executive Director for the Office of the Vice President of Research at The University of Texas at Austin, where among other things he formed and lead one of 7 Regional Centers for Innovation in the US, the SW I-Corps Node. Previously, he served as the Managing Director for a multi-university NSF Industry University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) the Center for Next Generation Photovoltaics. Previously, Heath managed international technology transfer and commercialization activities around the world with the IC2 Institute. Heath has been a founding member of three different start-up business initiatives across sectors. He has helped companies raise more than $30 Million in funding from private and government sources. Heath actively works on international commercialization initiatives and efforts focusing on industry collaboration, new project development and deployment along with building linkages between industry, government, academia and the venture capital community. Heath has worked in more than 40 countries on international commercialization and entrepreneurship initiatives in countries such as Colombia, Jordan, Iraq, Korea, Mexico, Portugal, Armenia, and Turkey. Mr. Naquin has extensive experience with the NSF, EPA and NIH SBIR programs as an active commercial reviewer for many years. A published author with research on country change efforts in commercialization as it relates to economic policy, he has also been a MBA faculty member at Concordia University and a guest lecturer around the world. A Key Expert for the European Investment Fund, Heath is a member of AUTM, the Angel Capital Association, ANDE and other organizations in the field. 

As Director, Venture Development, Eli Velasquez is responsible for identifying viable opportunities and driving new business to VentureWell. He has deep expertise in commercialization, angel & venture capital, and innovation strategy. His efforts in Texas led to over $20MM in funding for startups, entrepreneurship programs, and proof of concept funds.  He obtained a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Boston University and a J.D. degree with an Intellectual Property Certificate from Whittier Law School.  

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