caralynn nowinski

Photo of Caralynn Nowinski, Associate Vice President for Innovation and Economic Development

Associate Vice President for Innovation and Economic Development


As the Associate Vice President for Innovation & Economic Development at the University of Illinois, Caralynn promotes strategic relationships between the University community and external stakeholders to foster technology commercialization, talent development and retention, and overall economic impact.  She offers a unique perspective to the University’s efforts to foster innovation and stimulate the Illinois economy, drawing from her past experiences as an entrepreneur, physician and venture capitalist. 

Prior to joining the University, Caralynn was a Senior Vice President in the Chicago Office of Sikich Investment Banking, offering corporate finance and M&A advisory services to high tech clients.  Previously, she was a Principal with early-stage venture capital firms ARCH Development Partners and Midwest Venture Partners.   As a graduate student, she co-founded SanoGene Therapeutics, an early-stage biotechnology company, where, as CEO, she led the company’s spin-out from the University of Illinois and raised a strategic equity investment. 

Caralynn is a Governor-appointed member of the Illinois Innovation Council and currently serves as a member of the ChicagoNEXT Council on Innovation and Technology.  Among her honors, she was named to the Crain’s Chicago Business 2008 “Forty Under Forty” List and is a member of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs Emerging Leaders Class of 2014.  She is a frequent guest speaker on technology entrepreneurship and early stage investment.