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February 12, 2019: Jack Gill, Ph.D.

Co-Founder, The Gill Foundation of Texas

Co-founder Jack M. Gill earned his bachelor's degree in chemistry and engineering from Lamar University in 1958. Four years later, he received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Indiana University. At 33, Gill founded his first business, which pioneered micro-processor-based scientific instruments and computers for chromatography laboratories. In 1972, Gill merged the company into Spectra Physics, a manufacturer of commercial, scientific and industrial lasers. He stayed on with Spectra for nine years as an Executive Vice President, managing a five-division group of  laser and instrument companies.

In 1981, Gill founded Vanguard Ventures, a high-tech venture capital firm in Palo Alto, California. He worked as a managing general partner of Vanguard Ventures for 20 years. Vanguard’s first five funds, totaling $155 million in capital, returned over $1 billion to investors, ranking it among the top VC returns.  

In 1998, Jack and his wife Linda established The Gill Foundation of Texas. In 2000, Gill joined the faculties of Harvard Medical school and MIT and served as Senior Advisor to the CIMIT program.  Since 2007, he has been Professor of the Practice of Entrepreneurship at Rice University. Gill has taught scientific, medical and entrepreneurship courses at 12 major universities. He is now working on converting his experience and the course materials into several books.