What is TEC?

The Technology Entrepreneur Center [TEC] provides students and faculty with the skills, resources, and experiences necessary to become successful innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders who tackle grand challenges and change the world.


Photo of Terry Cole, Jr
Assistant Director of Academic Programs & Academic Advisor

    Terry bleeds Orange and Blue! His road to the College of Engineering and TEC began in 1995 as a student athlete with the Illinois football team. Since that time, Terry has worn several hats on campus. He learned the Machinist trade and spent 8 years working in the Facilities and Services Machine Shop. He also earned a bachelor’s degree in Recreation Sports and Tourism (RST) and a Master’s degree in Education Policy Organization & Leadership Studies. While attending the University as a graduate student, Terry worked with the Office of Minority Student Affairs (OMSA) as a Graduate Mentor and Academic Program Support Specialist. Terry has also spent time as a football coach in Champaign and credits that experience as fueling his passion for working with college students and helping them achieve their academic goals! Along with Advising students, Terry is passionate about Sports, Music, and spending time with his family.

    (217) 300-3049
    Photo of Howard R. Gerwin
    Associate Director of Technology Acceleration

      Howard Gerwin is the Associate Director of Technology Acceleration at TEC. He joined TEC September of 2018. Howard will be working with faculty and researchers at Illinois to identify teams and technologies that would be a good addition to the I-Corps program. Howard brings a “systems thinking” perspective to the development and commercialization of new technologies.

      Before joining TEC, Howard was the Manager of Advanced Connected Solutions at the John Deere Technology Innovation Center in Champaign, IL. At John Deere, Howard spent more than 13 years developing innovative new products for agriculture and construction. Most recently, he led the development of innovative mobile application solutions to help Deere customers get deeper insights out of their equipment. Prior to joining John Deere, Howard worked at both Ford Motor Company and Caterpillar in the area of engine and powertrain development.

      Howard graduated with a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Rice University and an MS in System Design and Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  


      (217) 300-3760
      Photo of Catharine Ingram
      Coordinator of Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship Programs

        Catharine Ingram joined the Technology Entrepreneur Center in February of 2018 as the Program Coordinator, and supports the Cozad New Venture Competition, among other programs of the TEC wheelhouse. She most enjoys the collaborative energy she finds among the students and staff of the College of Engineering.

        Catharine came to TEC with a background in events and program management. Before moving to Illinois in 2016, she was the Director of Special Events for the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, a public policy advocacy nonprofit. Prior to that, she was a Solar Designer for electrical engineering firm McCalmont Engineering, and spent seven years as a swim coach and training manager for the Santa Clara Swim Club.

        She graduated with a B.A. in Architecture and Urbanism from Smith College, and is pursuing her Master’s degree in business and communications. Catharine is active in the community, sitting on the core leadership teams of the Champaign County EMA Search and Rescue team, the Champaign County Sustainability Network (CCNet), and Oakland, CA-based Artists United. She has also travelled internationally with Grid Alternatives to install off-grid solar in areas that don’t have access to grid power. She enjoys constructive work of all kinds, and is thrilled to contribute to the great work done through the Technology Entrepreneur Center.

        (217) 300-1293
        Photo of Urvashi  Jha
        Marketing & Communications Coordinator

          Urvashi joined the Technology Entrepreneur Center in July 2018 as the Marketing & Communications Coordinator. Content writing is her forte.

          She came to TEC with a diverse background in communications ranging from business news reporting in financial newspapers, content development for portals, and media relations, to executive and corporate communications. In her last role at Wipro Technologies, a global technology firm, she supported Wipro's corporate brand story by creating and reviewing content for press releases, corporate blogs, marketing whitepapers, and the internal marketing newsletter. Prior to Wipro Technologies, she worked as a business journalist with leading financial publications in India. Coming from a media background, she enjoys writing face-to-face interview-based stories.

          She moved to Champaign-Urbana from India with her husband in 2012.

          (217) 300-9657
          Photo of Lisa A. Keating
          Office Manager

            Lisa joined the Technology Entrepreneur Center as the Office Manager in April 2018. Lisa supports all programs offered by TEC including the Cozad New Venture Competition, Illinois Innovation Prize, I-Corps at Illinois, City Scholars and many more. Lisa also supports TEC academics including courses, certificate programs, and the Innovation, Leadership, and Engineering Entrepreneurship degree.

            Lisa loves the fast-paced atmosphere at TEC and enjoys working with students at all levels of their education. Lisa has worked at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology and has experience in Advancement, Human Resources, and Office Support.

            Along with a Bachelor of Arts from Illinois, Lisa has a background in sales, presentations and customer service. She enjoys keeping active outside of work by spending time with friends and family, gardening, scrapbooking, and volunteering at the Virginia Theater. Recently becoming an empty nester, Lisa hopes to travel and see more of this wonderful world.

            (217) 244-3124
            Photo of Amy Koester
            Assistant Director of Graphic Design

              Amy Koester is the Assistant Director of Graphic Design at TEC. She joined TEC in August 2015. She tackles all kinds of design projects and loves both print and digital design.

              Prior to working at TEC, Amy served as Program Coordinator for iFoundry in the College of Engineering at Illinois. Amy has a background in freelance graphic design, teaching art classes, and event planning. Back in the 1990s she worked as a graphic designer at the Illini Union. Amy has a BFA in Graphic Design from Brigham Young University.

              Outside of work, Amy is a voracious reader, participates in on-going volunteer work, and enjoys international cuisine, flower gardening, and needlework. She also loves spending time with her husband Eric and their three children.

              (217) 300-0074
              Photo of Stephanie Larson
              Associate Director of Innovation & Entrepreneurship Student Programs

                Stephanie Larson is the Associate Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Student Programs at the Technology Entrepreneur Center. She joined TEC in March 2008, and her responsibilities include leading, building, designing and implementing new and existing student programs for TEC and its mission of providing students with the skills, resources and experiences necessary to become successful innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders. The thing she enjoys most about working at TEC is the passion the students and her co-workers share about entrepreneurship and innovation. She also recently has been very involved with the new Siebel Center for Design (SC4D). She has been assisting in the development of an intern program and helping to create events, programs, curriculum, policies and objectives for the SC4D.

                Prior to working at TEC, Stephanie worked on numerous grassroots marketing and event marketing campaigns. She even spent a year of her life driving a giant 22 foot Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Mobile from coast to coast. She worked with many clients such as Kellogg's, Nike, Florida Department of Citrus, Home Depot, Kraft Foods, Cadillac and Sprint in a variety of marketing capacities. She also worked for a startup branding agency in Chicago as an Account Supervisor on the Yellowtail Wine account and a mid-size marketing firm in Chicago as a Project Manager on Motorola Mobile Device projects.

                Stephanie graduated from the University of Illinois in 1998 with a B.S. in Advertising & Communications.  

                In her spare time, Stephanie enjoys reading, exploring different culinary cuisines, travel, movies, arts and crafts and is now learning the joy of gardening. She just joined the Monticello community with her husband, Scott and their sons, Ander and Atwood.

                (217) 265-5456
                Photo of Andrew Singer
                Associate Dean for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

                  Prof. Singer received the S.B., S.M., and Ph.D. degrees, all in electrical engineering and computer science, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Since 1998, he has been on the faculty of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he is currently a Professor in the ECE department and the Coordinated Science Laboratory. During the academic year 1996, he was a Postdoctoral Research Affiliate in the Research Laboratory of Electronics at MIT. From 1996 to 1998, he was a Research Scientist at Sanders, A Lockheed Martin Company in Manchester, New Hampshire, where he designed algorithms, architectures and systems for a variety of DOD applications. His research interests include signal processing and communication systems. He was a Hughes Aircraft Masters Fellow, and was the recipient of the Harold L. Hazen Memorial Award for excellence in teaching in 1991. In 2000, he received the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, in 2001 he received the Xerox Faculty Research Award, and in 2002 was named a Willett Faculty Scholar. Dr. Singer has served as an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing and is a member of the MIT Educational Council, and of Eta Kappa Nu and Tau Beta Pi. He is a Fellow of the IEEE.

                  In 2005, Prof. Singer was appointed as the Director of the Technology Entrepreneur Center (TEC) in the College of Engineering. He also co-founded Intersymbol Communications, Inc., a venture-funded fabless semiconductor IC company, based in Champaign Illinois. A developer of signal processing enhanced chips for ultra-high speed optical communications systems, Intersymbol was acquired by Finisar Corporation (NASD:FNSR) in 2007. Prof. Singer serves on the board of directors of a number of technology companies and as an expert witness for electronics, communications, and circuit-related technologies.

                  Prof. Singer became the inaugural Associate Dean for Innovation and Entrepreneurship for the College of Engineering in June 2018. His office oversees the Technology Entrepreneur Center.

                  Prof. Singer enjoys many forms of outdoor sports, including competing in triathlons and marathons. He has competed at all distances from sprint and olympic distance triathlons to ultra-marathons and the Ironman triathlon.

                  An electronic copy of his CV is available.

                  (217) 244-9263
                  Photo of Jed L. Taylor
                  Executive Director

                    Jed Taylor is the Executive Director of TEC. In addition to his work at TEC he also works with startup companies as an entrepreneur-in-residence at Enterprise Works in the Research Park. Before joining TEC, Jed was the first employee and the Director of Sales at Pattern Insight--a startup out of the Computer Science Department.

                    Jed has a B.S. in Computer Science from Utah State University, an M.S. in Computer Science and an MBA from the University of Illinois.

                    (217) 244-4035


                    Photo of Nuriel Gosien Canlas
                    Video Intern

                      Nuriel is currently a Senior majoring in Statistics. Aside from analyzing and working with datasets, his passion for filmmaking has led him to create memories and stories in his free time. Moreover, the entrepreneurship environment through TEC has pushed him to expand not only his brand but also others' businesses. He aims to continue his pursuit of his very own online business and creating a brand, community, and movement to help others.

                      Photo of Camille Garcia
                      Photography Intern

                        Camille is a sophomore at the University of Illinois on track to graduate in the Spring of 2019 from the College of Media. Her interests include innovation and entrepreneurship and she pursues these interests by majoring in Advertising with a double-minor in Public Relations and Business. On campus, Camille is an active member of Illinois Enactus, CUBE Consulting Junior Enterprise, and the Student Fee Advisory Committee/Tuition Policy Advisory Committee. Aside from Camille’s passion for photography and entrepreneurship, she is an avid Netflix binge-watcher and foodie!

                        Photo of Kelsey  Handschuh
                        Marketing and Event Intern

                          Kelsey is currently a Sophomore majoring in Marketing and Business Management with a Concentration in Entrepreneurship. Aside from this, her greatest passions include exploration into new areas, entrepreneurship, and creative problem solving. On campus, Kelsey is a director of TEDxUIUC, the Treasurer of Illini Student Musicals, and a Discovery Team Member of Founders.

                          Photo of Kyra Lavalais
                          Marketing and Event Intern

                            Kyra Lavalais is a junior in the College of Business studying Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing, and pursing a minor in the Hoeft Technology & Management Program. Creativity, technology, and entrepreneurship are Kyra’s greatest passions. Mentorship and community service are also a huge part of her life. Kyra is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Gamma Chapter. She is also the Vice President of CORE (Creating Opportunities, Recognizing Excellence), a mentorship organization aimed to support freshman and transfer students throughout their college careers. Kyra enjoys brainstorming solutions to everyday problems, reading about absolutely anything, and listening to music. 

                            Technology Entrepreneur Center

                            Engineering at Illinois

                            351 Coordinated Science Lab, MC-228
                            1308 W. Main Street
                            Urbana, IL 61801

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