About Us

Matthew Mars

Dr. Matthew Mars, Assistant Professor of Agricultural Leadership and Innovation, is the Founder and Director of the Innovation Collaboratory. Dr. Mars has over a decade of experience teaching innovation and entrepreneurial leadership courses (undergraduate and graduate level) using collaborative and project-based learning approaches and designs. This experience  directly informs the flexible and interactive design of the Collaboratory. Dr. Mars maintains an active research agenda that intersects innovation and entrepreneurial leadership with community development, education, and localism. His research has been published in a diverse range of journals that include Agriculture and Human Values, Journal of Higher Education, Journal of Management Inquiry, Organizational Dynamics, and Rural Sociology. For more information, please visit his faculty webpage here.


Emre Toker

As managing director of the Collaboratory, Emre Toker is the inaugural Mentor-in-Residence of the College of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences.  He founded 3 successful life sciences companies and invested in and mentored numerous other successful startups.  Through the Innovation Collaboratory, Toker will guide practical workshops in both classroom and online settings, connect faculty and students with other mentors and experts, provide opportunities for one-on-one discussions, and facilitate connections between the UA and local and national innovation and entrepreneurship partners —including angel investor groups, industry, start-ups, Tech Launch Arizona, StartUp Tucson and venture capital firms. For more information, please visit his webpage here.


Tyler Thorp

As the research and teaching assistant for the innovation classes and curriculum, Tyler Thorp is a Ph.D. student in the Agricultural Education and Higher Education dual program. She is available as a peer mentor for students and to facilitate research and development for the innovation collaboratory to ensure the programs are constantly evolving and adapting to new technologies and insights. For more information, please visit her webpage here.