Speaker Profile

Weston Waldo, MBA

Weston Waldo, MBA

Austin Technology Incubator @ UT Austin
Director, NSF I-Corps Southwest Region Hub

Weston Waldo, MBA started his entrepreneurial career as an Associate at Benchmark Private Equity Group in Houston, TX. As the right-hand associate to the CEO, Weston performed due diligence on project deal flow ranging from $10M – $50M in valuation. In addition, Weston assisted in the firm’s financial capital raises from large banks such as Deutsche Bank, Barclays, and Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.

After Weston’s experience in private equity, he went on to work in collaboration with Texas Tech University (TTU) as an Entrepreneurial Lead to commercialize an NSF CAREER funded project through the NSF National I-CorpsTM program (team 373). The result of the NSF I-Corps team was the creation of a startup company, executing exclusive licensing agreements of the University owned patents, NSF STTR and private capital funding, revenue generating, and ultimately an exit. Weston later went on to start two additional companies in the life sciences and renewable energy verticals.

Weston was hired by TTU as the Founding Program Director leading initiatives such as NSF I-Corps in the Southwest Node and a Site, Texas GLEAMM Spark Fund, EDA Seed Hub Fuel Ag-Tech Fund, Presidents’ Innovation Fund, and Prototype Fund. Total efforts resulted in $34.6M+ of federal/private funding, 40 NSF National I-Corps teams, 2 acquisitions, and 18 new small businesses into the West Texas economy.

Provided by a generous gift from the Walton Family Foundation, Weston was recruited by the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville (UAF) to be the Founding Venture Development Program Manager. Weston’s role at UAF was to lead early-stage startup venture development for all intellectual property housed in the university’s portfolio and statewide within the State’s NSF EPSCoR program. In addition, he also led UAF’s venture fund called the Chancellor’s Commercialization and GAP Funds that were combined a total of $7M to disburse and fund teams an additional $100,000 upon successful completion of the NSF National I-Corps program. Since joining the UAF, Arkansas has become the #1 EPSCoR designated State for NSF National I-Corps team production and the results of those efforts have been 47 NSF/NASA National I-Corps teams, the inaugural Arkansas HBCU and NASA National I-Corps teams, 24 new companies, $6.75M follow-on capital, and 82 new jobs. In addition, Weston also served as a faculty member teaching innovation and entrepreneurship at UAF’s Walton College of Business.

As of December 2022, Weston currently serves as the Director and Program Manager at the University of Texas at Austin’s Austin Technology Incubator and newly funded $15M NSF I-Corps Southwest Region Hubs program. In addition, he serves as an NSF Regional and National I-Corps core instructor for the Southwest and Great Lakes Hubs, and Southwest and South I-Corps Nodes. Weston has led and assisted in 61 Regional I-Corps and 9 National I-Corps cohorts, trained over 1,107 teams, and has endorsed over 157 teams to gain acceptance in NSF/NASA/DOE/NIH National I-Corps programs. Weston has also served as a board member for various startup companies in the Pre-Seed, Seed, and Series-A growth stages. Weston is an Entrepreneur in Residence for multiple major R1 and R2 domestic and international universities and an advisor for two venture capital funds. Lastly, Weston also frequently advises in NSF $200M America’s Seed Fund SBIR/STTR Phase I and II programs and actively serves as a business plan competition judge.