Georgia Tech announced that Atlanta business leader and venture capitalist Rahul Saxena has been named associate director of the CREATE-X (Launch). CREATE-X was established five years ago as a faculty-led, student-focused initiative to instill entrepreneurial confidence in Georgia Tech students, enabling them to launch real startups. Saxena will be responsible for Startup Launch, the final phase of CREATE-X, where students receive mentorship and $40,000 in grants and services to take their startups to market.  

Saxena brings his experience in both operations and investing in startups which will provide a unique perspective to students hoping to start their own company. Saxena holds almost 20 years of experience in a variety of roles, from development engineer to CEO, and 10 years of experience as a venture capitalist. Saxena has helped build and guide multiple startup companies to successful exits as a CEO or a board member. Saxena’s experience as an early-stage venture capitalist will enable him to help students understand what early-stage startups need in order to become successful.

“We are thrilled to have gotten someone of Rahul’s caliber to lead CREATE-X Launch. Rahul is a GT alum, and has the perfect mix of investor, entrepreneur, operator, and academic experience that we were looking for” said Raghupathy Sivakumar, founding director of CREATE-X and Wayne J. Holman Chair Professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.  “He is going to be an invaluable asset for our student founders as they set out to launch the next biggest startups from Georgia Tech!”

Saxena, a mechanical engineering Georgia Tech alumnus, earned his European Master’s degree in Fluid Mechanics from the Von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics, and his MBA from Emory University. Rahul’s expertise started with researching mechanical heart valves where he developed innovative protocols and published several papers during his undergraduate work. His focus with biotechnology ramped-up with a Silicon Valley startup with hands-on mechatronic design of automation genetics research equipment.

“I am thrilled and honored to join the CREATE-X team and leverage my experience for an already exceptional pool of students that are building and launching real startups,” said Saxena. “CREATE-X offers an amazing platform for students to take their ideas to market, and the results so far have been impressive. I look forward to working with these talented startup teams and in helping scale the entrepreneurial culture at Georgia Tech.”