Director & Co-Founder, EPICentre
Wen is the Director of EPICentre where she provides leadership and management of entrepreneurship programs and facilities on campus. Prior to this, Wen served as the Venture Start Director and COO where she managed the operation and financials of EPICentre since the inception of EPICentre in 2014. Wen started her career with the University of Windsor as a Research Commercialization Associate in 2012 after obtaining her MBA from the Odette School of Business. Wen has strong entrepreneurship in her DNA. She grew up in an entrepreneurial family and has started two businesses before joining the University of Windsor. She co-founded an international gas distribution company in Malaysia and a high-pressure cylinder distribution company in the U.S. Currently, Wen is also a sessional instructor at the Odette School of Business, and a Board member at the WindsorEssex Community Foundation.
EPIC Program & Event Lead Sydney is an Honours graduate from the University of Windsor in Business Administration with a concentration in entrepreneurship & strategy. She also holds a three-year college diploma for Human Resource Management from St. Clair College. Sydney began her EPICentre journey during her final semester as an undergraduate student at the University of Windsor. She participated in the EPIC Odette Technology consulting course – an international multidisciplinary course in collaboration with Oxford Brookes University. Concurrently, Sydney also conducted a research project for the EPIC Industrial Hub, examining academic and non-academic makerspaces with reference to their health and safety policies and procedures. Sydney previously worked as a program coordinator at St. Clair College in the Genesis Entrepreneurship Centre. Currently, Sydney oversees the activities, programs and events for EPICentre as the Program & Event Lead.
Program Lead - Emerging Tech Paul is a Research Associate who works with entrepreneurs to promote growth, evolution, and inclusivity in emerging technologies. He holds an MBA as well as an Honours Bachelor of Commerce from The University of Windsor. Paul believes that putting tools, resources, and know-how into the hands of entrepreneurs, especially those in a university setting, is one of the best ways to promote innovation and economic growth; with these advantages reaching from small, student-led start-ups, all the way to major corporations. As a founder and CEO of a Windsor based analytics firm that uses machine learning, artificial intelligence, and advanced quantitative methodology to help area businesses better leverage their data, Paul has first-hand experience using these entrepreneurship principals to build a stronger, more innovative community. Paul started his adventure with the EPICentre as a member of both the Discovery and RBC EPIC Founder’s programs. Through these opportunities with the EPICentre, Paul was able to integrate his educational background with real, on the ground testing and validating of his business model. He is excited for the opportunity to share his wealth of skills and experience with future generations of entrepreneurs.
Marketing & Special Projects Coordinator
Layan Barakat is a graduate of B.A. Communication, Media and Film Studies at the University of Windsor. She also holds a two year College Diploma from St.Clair College in Converged Journalism and was part of the first graduating class out of the downtown Mediaplex. Throughout her studies and in her professional career, Layan has gained experience in advertising, print journalism, broadcast journalism, event planning and public relations. Layan has recently joined the EPICentre team at the University of Windsor as a Marketing Assistant. She will be working closely with the EPICentre team to help plan and promote exciting initiatives.
Lynda graduated in 2015 from the University of Windsor with a B.A. Psychology (Hons). She has over 30 years of university administrative experience, working 15 years at Western University and starting at the University of Windsor in 2002. Since 2002, Lynda has worked in many different faculties across campus which has provided a breadth of knowledge and experience in student and faculty concerns.
EPIC Maker’s Base Student Lead
Completed his bachelors in mechanical, Aman is currently doing his masters in mechanical in UWindsor. He has developed and fabricated his 1st 3D printer in his second year of bachelors, and was a part of SAE BAJA team as a designer. Aman has a good knowledge of Automation, electronics and basic knowledge of programming. He is currently working to make PCB Milling machine in EPIC makers base.
EPIC Maker’s Base Student Lead
Ethan is a 3rd-year B.A.Sc. Mechanical Engineering with Automotive Option undergraduate at the University of Windsor. He has a wide variety of experience including customer service, industrial production, as well as research and development fields. Using a wide array of refined mechanical, computer, and personal skills; he approaches every new problem as a learning experience with intent on making it the best he can. Having been active with Formula SAE since 1st year, he is looking towards his very own capstone with the 2020 Formula SAE group.
EPIC Strategic Researchers
Professor Myra Tawfik
Professor of Law and EPICentre Professor of IP Commercialization & Strategy
Professor Tawfik is a professor at the Faculty of Law with expertise in intellectual property law including comparative and international aspects of IP as well as IP strategy. She has founded and led a number of intellectual property clinical initiatives at the University of Windsor, starting with the Intellectual Property Legal Information Network (IPLIN) in 2004. In 2016, she was appointed EPICentre Professor of IP Commercialization & Strategy to continue her research, teaching and IP outreach activities. Professor Tawfik is also a Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI).
Dr. Francine Schlosser
Odette Professor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Dr. Schlosser has worked collaboratively to establish a multi-disciplinary entrepreneurial culture. For more than 10 years she has engaged students with the business community through multi-disciplinary venture teams and consulting projects and has established 3 successive entrepreneurship centres on campus. Previously, Dr.Schlosser held the position of Executive Director at the University of Windsor EPICentre. She holds the University of Windsor’s Golden Jubilee Professorship at the Odette School of Business, awarded for research excellence, most recently in career transition and entrepreneurial readiness. She is a member of the Board of Directors for Windsor-Essex Chamber of Commerce and Workforce Windsor Essex. She was previously Board Secretary, Canadian Council of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and is on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship. More info: http://www1.uwindsor.ca/odette/francine-schlosser
Dr. Gerry Kerr
Associate Professor, Odette School of Business
Dr. Gerry Kerr received a Ph.D. in Strategic Management from the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto, Canada. Gerry has taught full-time since 2001 when he joined the Odette School of Business, and his specialities include Strategy and Entrepreneurship. Since then, Dr. Kerr has gratefully received multiple teaching awards from undergraduate, graduate, and executive students. Dr. Kerr’s research in entrepreneurship includes the examination of resource development and performance in small firms, as well as projects focused on aspects of ethnic/immigrant and older entrepreneurs. Gerry has also served as M.B.A. Program Director and as Area Chair, Strategy & Entrepreneurship at the Odette School of Business.
EPIC University Advisors
Executive Director, Research and Innovation
With close to 20 years of experience in progressive research administration, Heather has played a leading role in the development of the University of Windsor’s research enterprise and expansion. During her tenure, the University’s research funding levels have nearly doubled and its research mandate has broadened significantly to sustain increasing support for technology transfer, research partnerships, knowledge mobilization and entrepreneurship. Heather is a founding Director of the University of Windsor’s EPICentre. Heather recently was on secondment at the Windsor Detroit Bridge Authority in the role of Director, Project Delivery where she engaged with a wide variety of stakeholders in the planning and development of the Gordie Howe International Bridge project. Previous to joining the University of Windsor, Heather worked in the local automotive manufacturing industry with a focus on the Plastics and Tool & Die sector, with a focus on financial administration and operations management.
EPICentre Co-Founder, Consultant
Nicole graduated with her Honours in Business Administration from Brock University and continued her education at Ryerson University. There, she obtained her MBA and worked in the Provost office to aid in the development of its Digital Media Zone. In 2010, she moved back to Windsor, Ontario and continued her work in her family’s engineering firm as Marketing and Human Resources Manager. Nicole has taught at Western University and Fanshawe College on the topics of HR and Marketing. She recently completed her term as a Board Member for the Windsor-Essex Economic Development Corporation and is now a member of the Board of Directors for WEtech Alliance. Currently, Nicole oversees the activities, programs and events for EPICentre and teaches at the Odette School of Business.