Name: Connie Fan
Major/College: CS, ILEE, College of Engineering
Year in School: Junior
TEC Programs: Silicon Valley Workshop, Innovation LLC
What is your affiliation with the University?
I’m a junior double majoring in Computer Science and Innovation, Leadership and Engineering (ILEE).
What is your favorite place to eat on campus?
There’s a place called Courier Café in Urbana that’s really good. It’s kind of like those old-fashioned restaurants. It’s really cute.
How did you get involved with TEC?
I lived in Innovation LLC when I was a freshman. We had to take a TEC Course and I took TE 360. The people in it were really helpful and cool and it was really interesting. This kind of led me on a path to take more classes and become more involved.
What was the most beneficial TEC Course you’ve taken?
TE 450 which is Startups: Inc, Fund, Contracts, and IP. It’s taught by Joe Barich who is this super cool high power lawyer. It was really helpful but also really scary. I think legal pitfalls are something people don’t really think about but they’re everywhere and scary.
How would you describe your experience in Innovation LLC?
There were a lot of really interesting people, many of whom I still talk to now. We had this garage downstairs where I built some of my projects. It’s definitely a really cool place and I really recommend it to people who are just coming in and not really knowing what they want to do.
What was a highlight for you at the Silicon Valley Workshop?
If I had to pick the coolest thing that I saw it would be touring the Tesla Factory. We got to see how they build the cars and all the robotics. If I had to pick a second favorite it would be touring the Bloom Energy Factory. We got to see them make little power cells. Both of those are not related to speakers but they were super cool to look at.
Is there something that surprised you on the Silicon Valley Workshop?
I was surprised by how raw people were willing to get with us. We were talking to Tom Siebel and he was very upfront and frank about family things and all the struggles that he went through. A lot of people were very open about that. I was surprised how honest people were with us and that was really awesome.
How has TEC helped you overall with your interest in entrepreneurship?
TEC has helped me form meaningful connections with like-minded entrepreneurs and helped me build necessary tools to pursue my interests.