Susan R. Cornelius (she/her) is a leading tech entrepreneur and mentor in the Southwest region and we are excited to present her accomplishments as one of our 2024 Women In Tech Awards Honorees! 

Drawing on over thirty years of achievements as a startup entrepreneur and ecosystem leader in the Southwest, Susan has mentored 620 startup entrepreneurs and innovators; advised 89 emerging high tech, bio-tech, and bio pharma startups, helping them capture opportunities and capitalize their technologies; served a major role in 10 high tech startups, two of which were her own; and coached them to create equity worth over $1.5B.  

Susan started her entrepreneurial career in the New Mexico tech industry before moving to California and establishing success there. She then returned home with new skills and a network of investors to New Mexico. Along the way, she lifted up others, including many women.  

“I have always been the first woman in every position I have held and reached over to bring the next woman with me,” says Susan. “I am passionate about excellence, energizing others, and bringing them with me. I am a woman in technology.” 

Passionate about cultivating future leaders, Susan has been a critical force in New Mexico’s workforce development. Serving as Lead Mentor for the UNM Lobo Rainforest Innovations tech transfer program, she has mentored over 200 students and professors, connecting them to programs that have successfully marketed and launched a breadth of technologies. Susan also served 27 years as a Member, Board Member, and Madrina(TM) of two chapters of MANA, A National Latina Organization. During this time, she has mentored over 200 Hermanitas(TM) to attend college and study STEM careers. 

Susan describes her pathway to leadership began in her childhood:  

“My family said, that as a child, I lined up our horses and dogs, and pretended that I was teaching them. I certainly trained them. That was the beginning,” Susan describes. “I am a woman and a mentor in tech. That is what I do for a living. I have mentored children, college students, and women in tech, my entire career. I have created models for successful startups at the University of New Mexico Lobo Rainforest Innovations. In each and every case, I have been told by the student entrepreneurs, that I treated them as entrepreneurs first and students second; that I listened, offered options, and pushed when necessary; and that they achieved results that they did not know were inside them.” 

Susan has been awarded with many achievements over the course of her career, including, but definitely not limited to:  

  • Recognized by the UNM Lobo Rainforest Innovations and described as “important to the innovation ecosystem” for accomplishments mentoring students and professors in science and tech.  
  • Recognized 2021, as a Woman of Influence by Albuquerque Business First.  
  • Elected Chair of MIT Enterprise Forum San Diego for contributions to increased membership. 
  • Recognized for contributions to the advancement of Latinas via a State of California Declaration by Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante.  
  • Nominated and awarded, by a startup, Learning Framework, for contributions to the staffing of and work environment to Athena, San Diego.  
  • Awarded Best Practices in Organizational Development by the American Society for Training and Development.  
  • Awarded Best Practices by the American Productivity and Quality Association for the opening of the UCSD Medical Center La Jolla.  
  • Awarded Best Practices in Nursing by the National Executive Nursing Council.  
  • Recognized by Governor Bill Richardson for contributions to the development of High Tech High in San Diego and invited to contribute to the development of the UNM High Tech High.  
  • Recognized by the Viejas Band of the Kumeyaay verbally and with a bonus for quick resolution of union contract negotiations with the AFL/CIO for information services and food service workers. 

We are so excited to have Susan R. Cornelius as one of our 16th Annual New Mexico Women In Tech Awards Honorees! Her contributions to the tech ecosystem in New Mexico are invaluable.  

Don’t forget to register for the Women In Tech Awards Luncheon, happening March 13th at Hotel Albuquerque, and for Wit, Wine, Wisdom, and intimate gathering featuring our 16th Annual Women In Tech Awardees, happening in May!