Paul Nichols is the Executive Director for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at the University of Texas at Dallas, where he is responsible for the Innovation & Entrepreneurship undergraduate and graduate curriculum and the numerous campus-wide programs and workshops conducted through the Blackstone LaunchPad and events such as the Big Idea Competition. He also coordinates with the UTD Office of Research and Innovation on commercialization efforts for the over $120 million of research UTD conducts annually, and with startups admitted to the UTD Venture Development Center incubator. He has been involved in startup companies and technology innovation businesses and organizations for over 25 years. Previously he was the co-Founder and CEO of a startup company in power electronics control, and he was a Co-Founder and Principal of STARTech Early Ventures, an early stage $36 million venture capital fund and accelerator where he managed the deal flow and supervised portfolio companies in the software, telecom, education, gaming, and semiconductor markets. His background includes a number of innovative efforts in a variety of industries; he spent a number of years in intellectual property litigation support, in corporate R&D and software process at Texas Instruments, and was the Internet Director and part of the petition verification team for the Perot Presidential campaign.