Mel Elias is a Venture Partner at Crosscut Ventures, an early stage fund focused on investments in internet, mobile, software and gaming companies. Mel is also a General Partner at DS Strategic Partners who have made multiple investments in the homeland security and intelligence sectors.
Previously Mel served as President & CEO of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf from 2008 to 2013 during which time The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf expanded into a worldwide brand and business with almost 1000 stores in 30 different countries. In 2013, Mel was instrumental in orchestrating the sale of the company to a consortium of private equity groups.
Mel’s prior retail experience before moving to the US includes being in charge of the development and operations for Tower Records and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf franchise in Malaysia.
Mel completed his Law studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He was admitted to the Bar of both the Middle Temple in England and the High Court of the Republic of Singapore where he practiced as an advocate and solicitor for a number of years.