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Our team at UCSC Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurial Development applies their in-depth understanding of startup culture and years of experience with innovation to integrate proven strategies and achieve optimal results.



Faculty Director

Manel Camps joined UCSC in 2007 after obtaining a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford and a postdoc at the University of Washington. As Professor in  Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology at UCSC, he leads a research group whose goal is to gain a better understanding of how drug resistance evolves both at the single-protein and at the genomic levels. In 2014 he was appointed Provost of Crown College. With the strong support of Crown alumni, Manel Camps oversaw the development of a robust educational program focused on experiential learning. This includes an entrepreneurship training program, developed in close collaboration with Nada Miljkovic, one of Crown’s lecturers. In July 2021, he was appointed Kapany Director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Development (CIED), where he is working with various stakeholders to promote the entrepreneurial mindset in UCSC students and to improve the diversity and volume of career development pathways available for them.

Here's a radio interview to hear Manel talk about his experience:

For more click here.

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Program Manager

Nada Miljkovic is a UCSC Crown College Continuing Lecturer who has helped developed many of the Crown I&E classes as well as co curricular programing such as the Lean Startup Bootcamp. She is CEO and co-founder of GetVirtual, a student run Project Management Internship Program, the Board Chair of United Services Agency, a non profit, and founder of the podcast  Artist on Art. She comes to teaching after a career in construction project management and getting her Master's Fine Arts in Digital Arts and New Media at UCSC in 2009.



Entrepreneur in Residence

Andrea Carafa serves as Director of the Blackstone Launchpad powered by Techstars as well as QB3 Entrepreneur in Residence and Rachel Carson College Lecturer at UCSC. He was named a World Economic Forum Global Shaper, delegate to the UN Science, Technology & Innovation Forum for the Sustainable Development Goals, and member of the Fast Company Impact Council, among others. He founded a consumer tech startup, a sustainability innovation venture and a food biotech startup, and conducted research and lectured about entrepreneurship, human-centered design, and innovation at Stanford, CERN, Bocconi, and more.



Entrepreneur in Residence

Peter Koht joins CIED after a career that focused on the digital delivery of local government services. He was the founder of a successful govtech firm that went public in 2019. Prior to that he worked on broadband, parking and permitting policy for local government. Long ago, he graduated from UCSC with a dual major in music and history. 

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Social Entrepreneur Instructor

Alexa Loken’s passion is helping people. In 2014, she started Loken Careers, her third company. Since then, she’s been inspired every day by the clients she speaks with that want to make a difference in their lives and move forward in their career path.  A serial entrepreneur and do-gooder, Alexa’s career has had many twists and turns. She worked at as a certified career coach for software engineers in both the U.S. and Europe, started a cause-based marketing firm, co-founded a recruiting firm for women in tech, and began her career while working for environmental nonprofits. 
She’s also an Entrepreneurship Professor in the business schools at CU Boulder (now virtually) and teaches Public Speaking at Cal Poly. 


Fun Facts: Alexa has two rambunctious dogs, a curious toddler, and a giggly baby at home. She absolutely adores tea and public libraries. She’s been playing piano since she turned 30, and her and her husband built a tiny house in Austin. While in college, she was on the cover of USA Today about Generation Y “creating their own brand of social consciousness.”



Entrepreneur Instructor

Yuliya Monastyrska is a UC Santa Cruz alumni, she graduated with degrees in Economics and Literature. She is a co-founder, executive board member, project manager and instructor at GetVirtual. She is currently the lecturer of the GetVirtual class (Crown 95) at UC Santa Cruz.

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Entrepreneur Instructor

Kati Greaney is originally from St. Louis, MO and came to UC Santa Cruz as an undergraduate in the Community Studies department and then returned as a graduate student in the Social Documentation program. She has always been passionate about storytelling and has a deep curiosity and passion for humanity. She has worked as a photographer and documentary filmmaker for the past decade and has been teaching at UCSC since 2017. Her work has taken her across the US, throughout Southern India, Cuba and Brazil. She is a mother of two living children and one who passed away. She is currently teaching at the college level, working as a freelance film producer, and working on building a business in honor of her son.


Entrepreneur Instructor

When I started at Apple in 2000 we were a small group of creatives. The Gel iMac had just launched and one of my first assignments was to name and market what is now the iPod. We also were tasked with developing the look and feel of our first retail stores. That included the wide graphic panels, posters, screen content, signage, even the look and feel of the receipt. An explosion of products and services launched one after the next–iTunes Store, iMac, iPod Shuffle, iPod Mini, Mac Book Pro, iPhone, iPad and iPad mini. I worked on marketing many of these and more.


I also worked on a variety of films. These included motion graphics for the retail store, short documentary films for the web, launch films for our keynote presentations, and broadcast commercials. I've also led teams that developed and implemented a wide variety of cross platform creative strategies for our website, retail stores and social network.



CIED Student Lead

Wei Ting, or Andrew Teo, is an undergraduate at UC Santa Cruz majoring in Economics and minoring in Technology Information Management. He currently serves as the CIED Lead and is an executive board member at GetVirtual. Other than meeting new people and hanging out with friends, he enjoys playing soccer and building LEGOs during his free time. 


Jeffrey Hopson

CIED Student Assistant Lead

Jeffrey Hopson is an undergraduate at UC Santa Cruz majoring in Film and Digital Media. His job entails of social media asset creation and event planning. In his free time he enjoys thrift shopping, photography, and modeling.

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Elizabeth Firestone

CIED Student Lead

Elizabeth Firestone is an undergraduate at UC Santa Cruz double majoring in Business Management Economics and Biotechnology. She was awarded the Climate Action Prize for the Santa Cruz Launchpad 2023 Startup competition and has continued to work on her start-up, FarmItUp. She is currently the captain of the UC Santa Cruz women's lacrosse club and enjoys producing music, climbing, and getting outdoors in her free time.

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Iman Yael Schaefer

CIED Student Lead

Iman Yael Schaefer is pursuing a Computer Engineering Degree at UCSC with an eye for innovation. She has experience with startups in the world of tech and business. At UCSC, her work starting with GetVirtual in 2022 as a Project Manager, and later in May 2023 becoming GetVirtual Director of Internships. In September 2023 she joined CIED, working on executing infrastructure integration goals.

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