Director of Entrepreneurship

Gerald Wilson 3 Gerald WilsonDr. Gerald Wilson, inaugural Director of Entrepreneurship at EnterpriseWorks and the University of Illinois Research Park. In this role, he is responsible for the strategic development and implementation of a vision and infrastructure to establish and accelerate a cross-campus culture of entrepreneurship that spans research institutes, colleges, and departments. His focus includes anticipating mechanisms to secure and grow entrepreneurship programs and resources to assist ecosystem members with company creation, funding, management, and growth beyond the incubation phase.

Dr. Wilson leads the staff in supporting entrepreneurship programming and business development of clients of the EnterpriseWorks incubator at the University of Illinois Research Park, which provides technology commercialization support for researchers and entrepreneurs, supports new venture creation, and catalyzes promising startup companies.

Prior to joining the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Dr. Wilson was President and CEO of Autonomic Materials, Inc. (AMI), an advanced materials company based in Champaign, IL. AMI commercialized technology developed at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science, and is a graduate of the EnterpriseWorks incubator.

As CEO, he led the development of the company’s AMP-UPTM protective coatings product lines aimed at eliminating traditional tradeoffs between high performance corrosion protection and environmental responsibility. The company’s technology platform was recognized as the Materials Performance Corrosion Innovation of the Year by NACE International (now AMPP), the Worldwide Authority on corrosion and as a Solar Impulse Efficient Solution.

For over two decades, Dr. Wilson has worked on developing new chemistries for self-healing coating, adhesive, sealant, composite, and biomedical applications. He has authored or co-authored over 70 peer-reviewed articles, conference proceedings and invited lectures in a variety of professional national and international forums and is an inventor on over 30 issued and pending patents.

Dr. Wilson is also a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Technology Entrepreneur Center in the Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a leadership coach and workshop facilitator for the Illinois Leadership Center. He earned a BA in Chemistry from Macalester College, a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering and an MBA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.