Outliers - Liza Velarde
Hi, my name is Liza Velarde, and I am the first Mexican woman to win a Cartier Woman’s Initiative Awards. . I won this award together with my team for co-founding Delee, a technologically innovative enterprise in the detection, control, and treatment of cancer. I have been CEO of Delee for the past eight years. I am 27 years old and I don’t believe that age, gender, or nationality are obstacles to reaching great heights with a company that is already changing the world.
When I began studying a degree in Global Business at Tecnológico de Monterrey, I joined the International Business Association and participated in dance lessons. Being involved in different activities apart from my academic studies was a challenge since, as a scholarship holder, I had to keep up a good grade average.
While at university, my professional life changed 180 degrees: in the 5th semester of my degree, through an Elevator Pitch to the CEO of Heineken, I managed to obtain $50,000 USD from Heineken and the FEMSA Group to start the company, which, back then, was barely a university project with my group.
Since then, we have joined forces as a team to gradually develop the company and the automatic device we produce, which isolates and analyzes circulating tumor cells in blood samples from cancer patients.
My dream had begun and was a lesson for my parents who had always insisted that I study medicine or engineering, since by studying international business I was able to combine both of these fields in a single company.
I am enormously grateful to them and my sister, who is my right hand at Delee , and my partners, particularly now that the technology we worked so hard to develop is actually working on patients! I am very excited about this progress and the next step is to finance the project, talk to investors and launch it in the global market.
It’s not going to be easy, but I want to show our potential and that Mexico has talent, because it does.
Given this ideology, it is also important for me, together with other entrepreneurial women, to act as a mentor so that more people can become aware of the innumerable opportunities that are out there and the importance of proving what we can do.
I am an Outlier because my story begin at Tec and end up changing the world