Rainforest Mentors

New Mexico Rainforest University Center provides Site Mentors to be available as an interface for any questions and to serve as a connection point for resources related to your entrepreneurial endeavors or training.

Please reach out to Matthew Salcido, at msalcido@innovations.unm.edu to further connect you to the appropriate mentor.

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Matthew Salcido

Site Mentor - UNM Main

Matthew joined UNM Rainforest Innovations as an Innovation Intern in February 2021. He was brought onto UNMRI’s staff in March 2022. Through a Partnership Intermediary Agreement (PIA), Matthew works with the Air Force Research Laboratory on various projects related to technology transfer and economic development. Additionally, he oversees IT related activities for the UNMRI office.

Matthew has a B.S. in Computer Engineering from the University of New Mexico (Albuquerque, NM).


Susan Cornelius

Site Mentor - UNM Valencia

Susan Cornelius is the Principal of Accelerate2Solutions, an innovative, small, high tech company focused on creating successful, lean start-ups. Susan has coached more than 71 companies, and created seven start-up companies, ranging from $500M to $150,000, helping them emerge as successful high tech, and life and health sciences companies. Susan brings 30 years of experience in start-ups, mergers, acquisitions, and successful, entrepreneurship in healthcare, research, enterprise software service solutions, medical devices, national defense, and high tech sensing devices for homeland security.


Mytegia Lee

Site Mentor - UNM Gallup

Ms. Lee is the Executive Director of the Southwest Native Assets Coalition (SNAC). Prior to joining SNAC she worked in the commercial banking and financing services industry providing credit analysis, financial education as well as small dollar loan origination and servicing throughout western New Mexico. Her diligence, attention to detail, commitment to customer service reflect her sincere interest in helping rural households secure optimal economic outcomes. Prior to working in the financial services industry, Ms. Lee worked as a social services liaison for the Eastern Agency of the Navajo Nation providing community members access to burial assistance, low-income home energy assistance, and other emergency funding. Ms. Lee is bi-lingual, a skilled silversmith and rancher and mother of three. Ms. Lee is from the community of Manuelito and is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation.

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John Chavez

Site Mentor - UNM Los Alamos

Mr. Chavez has served as the President of the New Mexico Angels since 2008 and has been an active angel investor since 2003. Mr. Chavez is also the Managing Director of Phase One Ventures, a start-up fund out of Santa Fe, NM, and Managing Director of New Mexico Start-Up Factory I and II. Outside of the Angels, he is the President of Tafoya and Brainerd Partners LLC, a nationwide business development-consulting firm. Prior to his work in consulting, Mr. Chavez was appointed Cabinet Secretary of the Taxation and Revenue Department by New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. During his six-year tenure as tax secretary he also served as the President of the Federation of Taxation Administrators for one year.


Stacy Sacco

Site Mentor - UNM Taos

For the past 20 years, Mr. Stacy Sacco has taught entrepreneurial studies at the UNM Anderson School of Management, and served as the Director of the UNM Small Business Institute. He currently is the President of Sacco Connections, a management consulting firm, and hosts a free, informational website, with 3,000+ links to local jobs, events and resources.