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Idea Machines

Oct 13, 2019

In this episode I talk to Eli Velasquez about creating startup ecosystems, commercializing research, especially when it's not necessarily venture-backable, and how the US government thinks about startups.

Eli is the head of Venture Development at VentureWell - a non profit organization that funds and trains faculty and student innovators to create businesses. VentureWell helps run I-corps, which talked to Errol Arkilic about in Episode 15. Currently, Eli runs all over the world helping create fertile ground of startup ecosystems and in the past he's worked with intellectual property both in industry at Boeing and Academia at Texas Tech. Basically he's working on meta-meta innovation: creating new ways to make places where it's easier for people to create new things.

Major Takeaways

  1. Too much government aid can turn companies into zombies because their customer becomes the grant-giver instead of money-paying customers.
  2. At the end of the day ecosystems happen because people's mindsets change
  3. On average bringing a technology to market on average takes more than five years.