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Alejandro Velez

Back to the Roots

Co-Founder

San Francisco, CA

MEMBER BADGE2012SINCE

About

Alejandro Velez is co-founder of Back to the Roots (www.bttrventures.com), a 100% sustainable urban mushroom farm that transforms coffee ground waste into the growing medium for gourmet mushrooms, mushroom kits and provides sustainable DIY products for families and kids. Velez is also founder and board chairman of the largest UC Berkeley non-profit organization, The Sage Mentorship Project Inc. (www.sagementors.org), a 1,000+ member mentoring program that creates individual, one-on-one pairings between UC Berkeley mentors and low-income Berkeley and Oakland elementary school students. Velez is a May 2009 summa cum laude graduate of UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business with a degree in business administration and a minor in education. Prior to changing career paths when he co-founded Back to the Roots on his last semester in college, Velez had worked as a summer financial investment banking analyst at various financial services institutions and a telecom company including Citigroup, UBS, Morgan Stanley, and Qualcomm. Velez was born in Medellin, Colombia and moved to the states with his mother, brother and $5K in his mother’s pocket. He learned English from scratch in a small town in Michigan and after overcoming cancer (Hodgkin’s Lymphoma) through 4 successful rounds of chemotherapy, his academic and athletic success led him to UC Berkeley’s Men’s Tennis Team. He once again had a Hodgkin’s scare at 18 but after one month of tests and biopsies he was told no cancer was present. Velez was named the 2009 Cal Alumni Association Undergradute of the Year and was awarded the Chancellor’s highest honor for a graduating senior: the 2009 Good Citizen Award for his highest commitment to the community. Velez has been named 2010 PODER Magazine’s 20 Influential Hispanics Under 40, one of BusinessWeek’s Top 25 Entrepreneurs under 25, one of BusinessWeek’s Top 25 Social Entrepreneurs in America, UCLA’s Opportunity Green Top 25 Green Company Leaders and o

MEMBER BADGE2012SINCE

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