Business Development Advisory Board

Igniting Innovation, Nurturing Diversity, Unleashing Potential.

We are delighted to present Elysian Trust’s Business Development Advisory Board. Comprising seasoned professionals in the realms of fundraising, investment capital, philanthropy, and business development, our board members bring a diverse range of experiences and perspectives to support Elysian’s efforts.

The primary mission of the Business Development Advisory Board is to guide and assist Elysian in securing the necessary resources to carry out its vision. Whether through guiding grant applications, advising on fundraising strategies, or providing access to their extensive networks, our board members are instrumental in helping us champion the neurodiverse community and the organizations that support them.

Their combined expertise bolsters Elysian’s endeavors in raising capital, forming strategic partnerships, and promoting our cause to potential funders and investors. The work of our Business Development Advisory Board is vital to our goal of transforming the lives of those with unique cognitive abilities and ensuring they reach their full potential.


Ray Aschettino – investing

With 46 years in finance, Mr. Aschettino has invaluable expertise. His insights significantly aid Elysian in assisting clients. As the founder of OTHS INC, he opens doors to investors for businesses of all sizes. His contribution to Elysian includes securing funding for marginalized entrepreneurs. In turn, he directs clients to Elysian, if their innovative projects match Elysian’s humanitarian goals.

Ray earned an MBA from the University of Dayton and a CRE certification from the Commercial Finance Institute. OTHS provides funding to small and medium-sized businesses through its network and affiliations with private equity firms and investment banks. They offer diverse capitalization options, including equity and debt instruments. Ray’s resources greatly enhance Elysian’s support for our entrepreneurs.

Jade Barker – crowdfunding

Jade, an esteemed member of Elysian’s business incubation advisory board, offers unique expertise in crowdfunding management that perfectly pairs with our work in grants and contracts for entrepreneurs. A seasoned technologist specializing in Financial Technology (FinTech) Investment Crowdfunding, Jade has deep knowledge of small business funding, tech startups, blockchain, smart contracts/documents, and compliance.

She’s been a prominent figure in Midwest FinTech since 2013. Prior to this, she served as a chemist in the pharmaceutical industry. Jade’s recent roles include being the Co-Founder of a Blockchain 501(c)(3) in 2014, working with Investment Crowdfunding Portals since 2016, developing the Smart Contract Document Stack “Geppetto” in 2017, participating as an SEC Transfer Agent in 2018, authoring a blockchain curriculum for a graduate school in 2019, becoming a FINRA Broker Dealer in 2020, and teaching as a Blockchain Instructor for a Computer Science Graduate School in Spring 2023. Jade continues to share her knowledge and insights in Elysian’s members-only discussion groups.

David Croson – business consulting

Dr. David C. Croson (ProfDC), an Associate Professor of Management at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, brings over 25 years of academic expertise to our advisory board. His teaching journey includes prestigious institutions like the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, MIT Sloan School of Management, and the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University, where he garnered multiple teaching accolades. ProfDC’s unique courses on financing entrepreneurial ventures and the economics of innovation have enriched the minds of over 3,000 MBA students.

Boasting a rich academic background, ProfDC earned his Ph.D. in Business Economics from Harvard University and was the youngest member of the Class of 1993 at Harvard Business School. He also holds two degrees from Penn State University. An active member of Elysian and the Prometheus Society, ProfDC firmly believes in nurturing ambitious, gifted founders, especially those who feel limited in traditional employment settings. He shows a special interest in mentoring minority-owned businesses in education and financial services, having helped one go public and another secure a $5 million seed round.

ProfDC advocates for a balanced blend of passion for value creation and practical execution in entrepreneurship. He aids founding teams in identifying and mitigating potential weaknesses without diluting the essence of their innovative ideas. ProfDC supports bootstrapping—launching ventures with minimal resources and focusing on rapid growth until the results are self-evident.

ProfDC’s philosophy and work sync seamlessly with Elysian’s incubator service mission, and we’re delighted to have him on our advisory board.

Monique T. LaCour – coworking space management

Monique LaCour is a dynamic entrepreneur who skillfully bridges the gap between technology and business. Holding a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Houston, Monique also shares her expertise as an Adjunct Professor of Business Management at Lonestar College. She brings this unique fusion of knowledge to her role as the curator of the STEM-focused Houston Business Lounge, a coworking space she runs that has fostered numerous entrepreneurs.

In addition to offering physical support, Monique has extended her reach online, providing vital virtual support scores of members. Since partnering with Elysian in 2018, Monique became a member in 2022 and joined our entrepreneurial incubation advisory board the same year.

Elysian offers many resources for gifted and neurodivergent entrepreneurs, we do not offer coworking spaces for our clients. Monique’s innovative approach to coworking space management aligns seamlessly with our mission to assist gifted and neurodivergent entrepreneurs.

Justin Ruschell – financing

Justin stands out in the finance sector with his innovative thinking, deviating from the conventional algorithmic approach to find groundbreaking solutions. His creative strategy secured a $5.1 million investment for a client who had been previously declined by multiple financiers. Given his problem-solving prowess, Justin became a valued addition to Elysian’s advisory board.

He is the mastermind behind Universal Business Advisors (UBA), which has facilitated over $150 million in financing for new and existing businesses. Justin’s career journey spans different industries, beginning as an emergency medical technician in the US Air Force from 2003 to 2008.

In 2008, he ventured into the finance industry as a mortgage broker with Evofi One, later shifting his focus to business startup financing. Justin co-founded Capital Funding Financial in 2010, operating it until 2013. Since then, he has dedicated his efforts to financing business operations and startups through UBA, utilizing both his financial acumen and his unique creative approach.