In 2015, Dr. Gillis passed away from cancer—and his wife, Elizabeth, continued to pursue his passion, alongside Dr. Richard Mathies and Dr. and Mrs. John Mendelsohn. Convergence Ventures was initially funded by the Gillis and Mendelsohn families to support the development of science through investment in Texas-based companies that advance this vision.
With the passing of Dr. Mendelsohn in 2019 as a result of glioblastoma, Convergence Ventures renewed its efforts and sharpened its focus to support CPRIT-funded companies in Texas. This work continues Dr. Mendelsohn’s legacy of discovery, technology and collaboration aimed at creating a biotech and life science hub that will serve Texas for generations to come.
Gillis + Mendelsohn
Dr. S. Malcolm Gillis served as president of Rice University from 1993-2004. Dr. John Mendelsohn was president of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center from 1996-2011. Pioneers in research and leadership, the two collaborated on many projects for the betterment of Houston and Texas, such as launching the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, the Houston Technology Center, BioHouston and the Nano Health Alliance. Their ultimate achievement was CPRIT: the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, which was originally Dr. Mendelsohn’s brainchild.
The Convergence Legacy
In 2014 Dr. S. Malcolm Gillis presented a lecture at the Royal Institution entitled “Convergences in Technologies: Nano, Bio and Info.” In it, Dr. Gillis called for the formation of venture capital funds to support future growth and development of biotechnology and life sciences. Dr. Gillis’ vision planted the seed for Convergence Ventures.
Convergence Ventures is a Houston-based venture capital firm, focused on strengthening the Texas economy through entrepreneurship and scientific discovery.
We invest in strong, local startups during the Lone Star State’s new phase of innovation, economic development, and population influx; while partnering with businesses in other growth geographies that have strong potential to enhance the Texas economy.
Our investment focus centers on digital, biological, and material technologies; particularly including those that enable and enhance the healthcare and life science industries. We support entrepreneurship by investing in transformational technologies enabling the work of scientists and doctors to treat and cure disease, and advance the future of human health. Our investments make a better world.