Mentors

VelocityTX mentors are a select group of industry leaders, many of whom have experience bringing their own bioscience and healthcare companies to exit. They’ll provide support to your company through one-on-one or team mentoring and lend you valuable insight to help you make key business decisions.

Mentor Biography
Mentor

Gabriele G. Niederauer, Ph. D.

CEO & President Bluegrass Vascular Technologies
Biography

Gabriele (“Gabi”) joined Bluegrass Vascular Technologies, Inc. (BVT) in September 2014 as CEO & President to work with the BVT team and commercialize the innovative Surfacer® System. The Surfacer® Inside-Out® Access System uses an “inside-out” approach to gain central venous access and allows physicians to maintain access in an occluded vein and eliminate the need to compromise an additional vein. The Surfacer System has been on the market in Europe since 2016 with excellent performance and US approval via a de novo classification was gained in 2020. In 2016, additional funding was secured via a Series B financing and a world-wide distributor contracted.

Mentor

Bianca Rhodes

President & CEO Knight Aerospace
Biography

Bianca Rhodes’ career started in banking which led to CFO positions with Intelogic Trace, (NYSE:IT) and Kinetic Concepts Inc. (NASDQ: KNCI). Since 2017, Rhodes has served as the President and CEO of Knight Aerospace which specializes in medical and VIP modules and various palletized systems sold worldwide.

Mentor

David Huff

President & Director of Operations - MedPlast, LLC
Biography

David Huff worked in the medical and biotech industries for the last 4 decades, which resulted in the development of an electrophoresis device in conjunction wiht The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. David lead the development of the technology for Surgimedics in various capacities ending as VP of Operations. The company then merged with a division of CR Bard and Minnetech Inc. to form LifeStream International where he was VP of Manufacturing and continued that role with the sale to Jostra. In 2003 he left to join Coastal Life Technologies in San Antonio to head the manufacturing development. in 2017, MedPlast LLC aquired Coasta in a stock purchase agreement where David stayed on as President & Director of Operations of the San Antonio plant until his retirement in 2019.

Mentor

José Ignacio Sordo Galarza, MS

Founder & Managing Director - CIOEureka!
Biography

Ignacio has ample experience working at the intersection of technology and business functions. He is a recognized highly influential individual within the business transformation and technology space and has received numerous awards.  His is the former Global P&G’s Commercial Digital Transformation Officer.

His background in Fortune 100 firms, digital start-ups, and incubators with significant contributions to develop, direct, and support digital solutions across geographical regions.
The two books he has authored: ’The Uncomfortable CEO’ and ’Leading with Strategic Thinking’, offer expertise as a credible authority on gaining practical insights to cope with digital adoption challenges.

He is a Computer Science Engineer from Tec de Monterrey and has a Masters in AI from Fundación A. Rosenblueth.

Mentor

Kurt Klitzke

Biologic Licensing, Development & Consulting
Biography

Kurt Klitzke is currently a biologic material developer and consultant. He was previously the founder/CSO/CTO at Airmed Biologics, Inc and co-founder CSO at Triad Life Sciences. He has 29 years of experience in instrumentation design, tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, cellular therapies, biologic facility design, allograft/xenograft biologic product development. He has also assigned patents to BioDLogics/Integra, Triad Life Sciences and Sparta Bio Pharma. In 2011 Kurt was recognized by MN Business Magazine, Leaders in Healthcare Awards for “Outstanding Achievement/Innovation in Biopharmaceuticals”.

Mentor

Dr. Corey Levenson

San Antonio Military Medical Innovation (SAMMI), Director San Antonio Economic Development Corporation (SAEDC)
Biography

Dr. Levenson has extensive scientific and business management experience in the life sciences working for start-ups as well as international pharmaceutical companies. Since moving to San Antonio in 1996, Corey has held leadership positions at ILEX Oncology, OncoVista, ViroXis, Santalis Pharmaceuticals, GenCure and the San Antonio Economic Development Corporation.

As San Antonio Military Medical Innovation Director, he’s responsible for fostering collaborations between military medical units and local entrepreneurs, research institutions, universities, and private industry with the goal of commercializing products that serve the needs of military medicine.

Mentor

José M. Padilla

Attorney-at-Law, Padilla Law
Biography

With 20 years of experience as a corporate lawyer, José M. Padilla represents investors, startups and healthcare businesses on formation, equity financings, acquisitions, commercial contracts, and healthcare regulatory advice.

He previously served as General Counsel for a physician-owned healthcare system and at a national healthcare company focusing on post-acute care. He also currently teaches health law at NYU.

He graduated with honors from Harvard College, and University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Mentor

Keith Peeples

Business Unit Leader, Extremities for DePuy Synthes, a J&J Company and Chief Executive Officer at BioMedical Enterprises, Inc.
Biography

Mr. Peeples has 40 years’ experience in sales, marketing, and leadership in the healthcare industry. Mr. Peeples has been the Business Unit Leader, Extremities for DePuy Synthes, a J&J Company and Chief Executive Officer at BioMedical Enterprises, Inc. since May 2009. Prior to joining BioMedical Enterprises, he was Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Advanced Bio-Surfaces, Inc., an orthopedic company which manufactures an interpositional knee implant system. From 1999 to 2006, Mr. Peeples was Vice President of Sales at The ASC Network, which offers a supply solution to physician-owned or procedure-based centers. From 1995-1998, Mr. Peeples was the Director of Sales for North and South America at Medtronic/InStent, a provider of self-expanding nitinol stents for gastroenterology, urology, radiology and peripheral vascular procedures. Mr. Peeples also worked as the Western Regional Sales Manager and as an independent sales representative with Pentax Precision Instrument Corp., a provider of flexible endoscopes, from 1981 to 1995.

Mentor

Lauren Cornell

CEO/Co-Founder of Novothelium, Staff Research Biologist at US Army Institute of Surgical Research
Biography

Lauren Cornell attended Texas A&M University receiving her Bachelor of Science in Genetics in 2009. During her Senior year, she joined a research team in the Zoology department at the University of Oxford, where she continued to work until starting her Master’s in Biomedical Engineering through the joint program at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA) and the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) in 2010. During her time as a student she worked at Southwest Research Institute, and after receiving her degree, transitioned to a position at the United States Army Institute of Surgical Research (USAISR), Sensory Trauma Department, where she currently researches sensory therapeutics for wounded warriors.

 

In 2015, while working at USAISR, she co-founded her nationally and internationally awarded company NovoThelium, which is focused on improving women’s health care, with a specific focus on improving nipple reconstruction post mastectomy. In 2016, she was accepted into the Translational Science Doctor of Philosophy program, a joint program with UT Austin, UTSA, and UTHSCSA, and further carried on her research in sensory trauma under the principles of translational science, while continuing to develop her startup. She graduated with her doctorate in 2019.

Mentor

Heather Hanson

President of BioMed SA and Founder of Corvax Solutions
Biography

Heather Hanson has worked in the medical device industry for over 20 years. An entrepreneur herself, she understands the challenges start-ups face. She leverages her management experience and mechanical engineering background to help companies conduct research and commercialize medical innovations.