In addition to serving in her current role as Associate Vice Chancellor for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Kansas (KU), she is president of the KU Center for Technology Commercialization and a professor of practice in the KU School of Business. Ms. Goonewardene is responsible for all university-‐wide commercialization efforts with the intellectual property, company formation, corporate outreach and foundation research relationship groups reporting to her.
Prior to KU, she held various roles at Purdue University. One of her primary focus areas was company formation and capital acquisition for start-‐up companies. While at Purdue she designed and managed Purdue’s first venture fund.
Ms. Goonewardene is an experienced entrepreneur herself, having co-‐founded and served as president and CEO of Cantilever Technologies, a venture-‐backed software company that was successfully acquired in 2004. Cantilever’s customers were Fortune 500 companies. Prior to Cantilever, she was president of the Strategic Systems Group (SSG), a boutique information technology consulting firm, and co-‐founder of Technology Solutions (TSC), a professional IT services firm which went public three years after its inception.
Ms. Goonewardene is an author and frequent speaker on entrepreneurship and innovation. She has also been appointed to leadership roles on several not-‐for-‐profit boards. As a first generation American born to Sri Lankan and Australian parents, she brings a unique global perspective to her endeavors. Goonewardene earned a B.S. degree with Honors in Management and a Masters degree in Health Communication from Purdue University and is currently a member of The Economic Club of Chicago and The Chicago Finance Exchange. She is married with three children -‐-‐ a son and twin daughters.