Joel Harris leads business development efforts for the Vitalize Venture Group platform, with the goal of helping VitalizeVC and IrishAngels portfolio companies be as successful as possible. Joel is also the co-director of the Ag Startup Engine
, which is an early-seed and ideation fund for agtech startups in Iowa. Formerly, he was the Vice President of Harrisvaccines, a novel vaccine commercialization platform, which was acquired by Merck Animal Health in November of 2015. He participates in several advisory and mentoring roles to entrepreneurs and startups in the SaaS, Agtech, Biotech, and Healthcare industries between Chicago, Illinois and Ames, Iowa. Joel holds a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Iowa and a professional certificate in public relations, marketing, and non-fiction writing from Northwestern University. Joel lives in Chicago and loves traveling with his wife and daughter as well as cooking for family and friends.