Collaboratory for Women Innovators
UF Innovate | The Hub IMB #13/Suite 169
747 SW 2nd Avenue,
Gainesville, FL 32601
Join our Mailing List

Collaboratory Staff

Kathy Sohar, Ph.D.

Director, Collaboratory for Women Innovators


Dr. Sohar is Director of the Collaboratory for Women Innovators.

She is the former Assistant Director for UF Innovate | The Hub, a 100,000 sq ft. technology incubator. Her experience spans both the public and private sectors, including a strong technology focus, economic development, technology commercialization, grant administration, and educational outreach.

A seasoned executive with over 25 years of experience in the telecommunications field, Dr. Sohar was an early employee in two technology start-up companies (both acquired), managed a 20+ land-grant university emerging technology collaborative, and has served as an evaluator and best practices technical trainer for statewide educational technology grants.

Dr. Sohar is a co-founder of Empowering Women in Technology Startups (Ewits) a 10-week experiential program designed to educate, inspire and empower women to pursue leadership roles in technology-based companies. She also the immediate past Chair for the AUTM Women’s Inventor Committee (WIC), whose mission is to increase women’s participation in the commercialization process. In addition to her work with AUTM, she has participated in other large-scale team projects including research for the State of Florida Department of Health and Florida Department of Education and has taught at the university level. She is also a mentor for Gainesville Girls Rock Camp, a week-long camp that teaches girls 8-17 empowerment through music. Kathy holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut and earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in Mass Communication at the University of Florida. She has won several awards for her work on innovation projects and is a frequent guest speaker on innovation, entrepreneurship, and gender /diversity.

Veronica Buezo Talavera

Program Coordinator, Collaboratory for Women Innovators

Veronica is the Program Coordinator for the Collaboratory for Women Innovators.

During her career, which spans for more than ten years, she has gained extensive experience in the production of various marketing and public relations materials, large-scale event planning, marketing campaigns, and research. She is a former Corporate Social Responsibility Coordinator for a supermarket chain and a Public Relations Executive for a full-service, global creative boutique that specializes in marketing and communications strategies, among other roles in her field of expertise, in Honduras. 

Veronica currently serves as member of the Marketing and Communications committee of Alachua County Emerging Leaders (ACEL), a young professionals’ group that encourages the development of young leaders and helps them engage in community life. She has also volunteered as a Kitchen and Administration Assistant for the North Central Florida chapter of Ronald McDonald House Charities, and as a Marketing Coordinator and High School Teacher/Youth Counselor of the Foundation of Salesians Cooperators of Honduras, an organization dedicated to the promotion and education of youth at risk. 

Veronica obtained her bachelor’s degree in Communication and Advertising from the Central American Technological University (UNITEC) in Honduras, a specialization in Public Relations and Organizational Communication at the Journalism and Advertising University (CUPP) in Mexico and her master’s degree in Marketing Management in UNITEC.


Mark S. Long

Director of Incubation Services, UF Innovate

Mark Long is the Director of Incubation Services at UF Innovate, the commercialization arm of the University of Florida. Long has responsibility for over 140,000 square feet of business incubation. Coworking and acceleration space. As the former President of Long Performance Advisors, LLC, a global consulting company focused on accelerating efforts in incubation, technology transfer, sales and marketing, and small business formation/management and economic development, Long worked on 96+ incubation and research park projects.

Long is a former member of the Board of Directors of the International Business Innovation Association and is a 2014 recipient of the InBIA President’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in Business Incubation. He has extensive experience with numerous startup companies around the globe, as a mentor, advisor, and board member. Long was also a Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business, and a 2010/2012 winner of the IU Trustees Teaching Award.  Mark is the former President and CEO of the IU Research and Technology Corporation (IURTC), and also CEO of the IU Emerging Technologies Center (IUETC), a life sciences incubator. Long also served 2 years as President and CEO of the Midwest Proton Radiotherapy Institute, a cancer treatment facility.

Mark was the former Director of Technical Operations at Washington University in St. Louis, where he was responsible for technology transfer and business development activities in biomedical sciences, including marketing inventions, promoting licensure of discoveries, evaluating patentability, and promoting University/Industry collaborations. He served as Vice-President of Sales and Marketing at Sigma Diagnostics, a medical diagnostics division of Sigma-Aldrich Corporation. Long has more than thirty years of experience in clinical diagnostics in sales, marketing, and technical services, holding additional positions at Coulter Corporation and Baxter Diagnostics. Long started his career working in hospital laboratories as a medical technologist and as an assistant to the coroner.

Long has an A.S. degree in Medical Laboratory Technology from Indian River Community College, Ft. Pierce, Florida (2007 Distinguished Alumni Award Winner); B.S. degree in Biology from Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida; and an M.S. degree in Molecular Biology from Florida State University.  He attended both Florida Atlantic University and Indiana University for work on his Ed.D.