Dedicated Mentor Susan Cornelius Announces her Retirement

Susan Cornelius, a dedicated mentor and advisor for entrepreneurs and startups, has announced her retirement.

There are many important people that make up our innovation ecosystem here in New Mexico including students, established entrepreneurs, research scientists and investors; there’s a range of people that add value and diversity. One such important member is Susan Cornelius, Principal of  Accelerate2Solutions.

Susan’s passion for advancing entrepreneurs and organizations on the path to success can be seen from her time as a dedicated mentor, providing support to over 600 startup entrepreneurs and innovators and advising over 80 emerging startups. Drawing from her 30 years of experience in the startup realm, her depth of knowledge has helped others on the path in developing their startup.

2023 Hackathon judges

2023 Hackathon Judges: Stacy Sacco, Justin Muskopf, and Susan Cornelius

Susan first collaborated with UNM Rainforest Innovations in 2015 where she served as a judge for a Rainforest Pitch Competition. Starting in 2017, she became an I-corps program mentor (now dubbed the Rainforest Accelerator program), became a University Center mentor starting in 2019, and has coached multiple New Mexico startups on the Business Model Canvas and Pitch Deck through her University Center office hours and bootcamps.

We are grateful for the time Susan has spent supporting many of UNM Rainforest Innovations’ programs,” said Lisa Kuuttila, CEO & Chief Economic Development Officer of UNM Rainforest Innovations. “Susan was a dedicated mentor to her students and her expertise proved to be invaluable to many of our programs. Her impact will be remembered by all those she worked with.

I had the pleasure of working with Susan Cornelius, and I can attest that she was an exceptional mentor. Her approachable and kind demeanor made it easy to seek guidance and support. She has a wealth of knowledge in the industry and a keen eye for spotting innovation and growth opportunities. I am grateful for her guidance and support and will always remember her as a champion of innovation and approachability.” – Mostafa Peysokhan, PhD, Opto-Mechanical Engineer at Keysight Technologies.

Susan prioritized the students she mentored as entrepreneurs first and as students second. Her method involved inspiring, motivating, and connecting with us, while concurrently providing honest, constructive feedback. She acknowledged our achievements when our ideas were sound and offered guidance on refining them when necessary. This amalgamation of support and constructive criticism transformed us into exceptional entrepreneurs. As I transitioned from a student entrepreneur to an entrepreneur no longer shielded by the “student” title, I felt well-equipped for the realities of establishing a business beyond the boundaries of the university, thanks to Susan’s mentorship… It is with immense gratitude that I acknowledge Susan’s pivotal role in shaping not only our entrepreneurial ventures but also our character and determination as we strive to make a meaningful impact in our respective fields.” – Kyle Guin, Co-Founder, VastVision Technologies.