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Technology Investor Meets with Professors, Students

SOCORRO, N.M. October 15, 2009 – John Chavez, president of the New Mexico Angels investment firm, will host an interactive discussion with students and researchers about marketing new technologies in New Mexico at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 16, in MSEC 103.

Chavez’ presentation is the second installment of the Verge Fund Speaker Series, organized by the New Mexico Tech management department and sponsored by the Albuquerque-based Verge venture-capital fund. He will meet informally with professors and researchers from 10 to 11 a.m. to offer advice on commercializing new technology. At 11 a.m., Chavez will begin his formal presentation, which is part of a management class.

The series features New Mexico’s leaders in venture capital and technology investment firms. Each interactive lecture is open to any and all interested.

Department chairman Dr. Peter Anselmo said Chavez is interested in New Mexico Tech, its unique approach to management education and Tech research and development of new technologies.

“We’re glad he’s willing to come down again and expand what are becoming regular visits to our campus to learn about our cutting edge research,” Anselmo said.

New Mexico Angels was formed in 1999 to invest in New Mexico-based high growth potential early stage and seed companies. Angels is not a venture fund, but serves as an intermediary between its members and potential investment opportunities. Members make direct investments through New Mexico Angels, which negotiates a business arrangement with an entrepreneur.

The Angels’ mission – summarized as “investing in innovation” – is to provide opportunities where its members can obtain outstanding financial returns by investing in early-stage companies in New Mexico and accelerating them to market leadership.

In addition to his position with New Mexico Angels, Chavez is the president of Tafoya and Brainerd Partners LLC, a nationwide business development consulting firm. He is also the vice president of business development at Financial Management Systems, a Chicago-based financial services firm.

Chavez has been an active angel investor since 2003. Prior to creating Tafoya and Brainerd Partners LLC, he was appointed by New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson as the cabinet secretary of the Taxation and Revenue Department. Chavez served as Cabinet Secretary for six years and as the President of the Federation of Taxation Administrators for one year.

Mr. Chavez is a Member of the Board of Directors of the Squash Blossom Classic – an organization that organizes a yearly adventure sport event in McKinley County.

Subsequent speakers are Tom Stephenson of the Verge Fund (Oct. 30); Gavin Christensen of VSpring (Nov. 6); and Belinda Padilla of Los Alamos National Lab’s transfer program (Nov. 13).

The speakers who represent venture capital firms will be available for discussion with researchers and faculty who are interested in learning more about commercialization of novel research.

“We have put together a great lineup of speakers,” Anselmo said. “These experts will give useful presentations for anyone on campus who has an interest in seeing their research taken to the next level.”

– NMT –