Kathryne Carr Award

The Kathryne Carr Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence is offered in memory of the first Director of the W.L. Lyons Brown III i.Lab Incubator to the individual or individuals in the i.Lab community that best represent the criteria for entrepreneurial excellence that Kathryne Carr held dear.

The objectives of the Award are to inspire excellence and to encourage the creation of new ventures by inspiring and supporting founders to “carry on” in the spirit of Kathryne Carr.

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About Kathryne Carr

Kathryne “Kathy” Carr (1955-2015) was a vibrant life force in all she did. In the entrepreneurial world she gave generously of her spirit and experience; held a high expectation of integrity; and shared her boundless faith in those who innovate. She always offered her time and experiences, good and bad, to those in the i.Lab and University community. She was no different with her family and friends.

Throughout her life, Ms. Carr relentlessly applied her natural ability to see how the collaborative sum of talent and ideas can improve the pace of development and success of all entrepreneurs. She provided this insight with great humor and optimism underscored by pragmatism and real-world experience.


2017 Recipient - Suz Somersall of Kira Kira

In 2017, Suz Somersall received the inaugural Kathryne Carr Award of $25,000. Somersall first founded Suz Somersall Designs, producing 3D modeled jewelry that was featured in a variety of business and fashion outlets, such as: Wall Street Journal, InStyle, Real Simple, and MarieClaire.

Somersall then converted this passion for engineering and design to found KiraKira, an online community and platform designed to inspire and prepare the next generation of innovators, makers, designers, and architects. The platform teaches and enables students to create virtual and physical products using CAD software.

KiraKira was selected to participate in Intel's Education Accelerator program, and has partnered with HP, Autodesk, and True Ventures on a MakerStudio in San Francisco's Ghiradelli Square (featured in the San Francisco Chronicle). Somersall was honored as one of Fast Company's Most Creative People of 2017, and the company has been features in outlets such as Entrepreneur and INC magazine.



KiraKira, Intel, and Parsons on the importance of STEAM learning