Investor Connect Podcast

In this episode, Hall welcomes Andrea Belz, Division Director at the National Science Foundation.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense...". The NSF is vital because they support basic research and people to create knowledge that transforms the future. This type of support is a primary driver of the U.S. economy, enhances the nation's security, and advances knowledge to sustain global leadership.

With an annual budget of $8.5 billion (FY 2021), the NSF is the funding source for approximately 27 percent of the total federal budget for basic research conducted at U.S. colleges and universities. In many fields such as mathematics, computer science, and the social sciences, NSF is the major source of federal backing.

Andrea joined the National Science Foundation (NSF) in May 2019. Previously, she served as Vice Dean for Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the University of Southern California (USC) Viterbi School of Engineering, as well as Entrepreneur-in-Residence (Technology) of Industrial and Systems Engineering. She was previously a Visiting Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the California Institute of Technology. From 2014 to 2019, Andrea was the Founding Director of Innovation Node-Los Angeles, a regional hub for the NSF I-Corps program. She has worked with many university startups and investors, most recently representing a major angel investing group on the board of a Caltech spinoff laser manufacturer until its acquisition in 2018. 

For nearly 20 years, Andrea has advised universities, corporations, and other organizations on commercialization opportunities as managing member of the Belz Consulting Group. Her recent research has focused on technology ventures, from startups through publicly funded launch programs to private funding. Andrea has authored or co-authored dozens of refereed articles, peer-reviewed conference presentations, and proceedings on technical topics and innovation, and she authored a book on product development. Belz earned her bachelor's degree at the University of Maryland at College Park and doctoral degree at the California Institute of Technology, both in physics; she earned her master's degree in finance at Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business.

Andrea discusses the state of startup investing, the biggest change she expects to see in the next 12 months, and some of the challenges entrepreneurs and investors face.

You can visit the National Science Foundation at, via LinkedIn at, and via Twitter at  

Andrea can be contacted via email at, and via LinkedIn at  

Music courtesy of Bensound

Direct download: Andrea_Belz_of_National_Science_Foundation.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CST