Laura Frerichs is the University of Illinois Research Park Director. She is responsible for managing incubation services at EnterpriseWorks, marketing the Research Park, and supporting the University’s economic development efforts. Laura manages programming of events and services to support entrepreneurs and businesses in the Research Park. Prior to her current role, Laura was Vice President of Business Development & Marketing at Fox Development Corporation. Laura was responsible for marketing the Research Park for the private developer of the Research Park, and successfully contributed to attracting and retaining dozens of companies during her tenure working on the Research Park. She began working in the area as a Senior Account Manager of the East Central Illinois Region for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Laura began her professional career in marketing, she worked in media strategy an investment for five years at Starcom, a division of the Leo Burnett Company in Chicago, working on national brands including Allstate and Pillsbury. Laura is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Media and served as Student Body President at the Urbana-Champaign campus. Laura Frerichs was named “Woman of the Year” by Central Illinois Business Magazine for the Forty Under Forty business awards. She is active in the community and participated in numerous organizations including on the Board of Directors of the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation. In 2011, Laura was awarded the Entrepreneur Advocacy Award at the Champaign County Innovation Celebration.
Lesley Millar has served as the Director of the Office of Technology Management (OTM) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign since 2006; she originally joined the Office in 2002 as an Engineering Technology Manager. As Director, Ms. Millar leads a team of more than 20 professionals responsible for the identification, protection, marketing and licensing of intellectual property arising from the more than $500 million in research conducted on campus. She also works with a wide range of campus, corporate, and community partners, furthering the office's mission to encourage innovation, enhance research and facilitate economic development. Prior to joining the OTM, Ms. Millar had an extensive career in government in England where she worked in consulting, contract and small business management, strategic planning, and policy development. Ms. Millar is a frequent speaker at technology transfer seminars and professional meetings. She is on the Editorial Advisory Board of Intellectual Property Marketing Advisor Publication and is a regular contributor to articles and webinars for Technology Transfer Tactics. She is a member of both the Licensing Executive Society and Association of University Technology Managers. A native of Scotland, Ms. Millar has a B.Ed. an M.Ed and an MBA. She is also a Certified Licensing Professional (CLP).
Lectures in Engineering Entrepreneurship is a class that meets each Tuesday from 5-6:15 with guest lecturers from the industry sharing concepts of entrepreneurship. This is open to the public and free to attend.