What is TEC?

TEC helps students and faculty develop an entrepreneurial mindset to improve the world.


Photo of Terry Cole, Jr
Assistant Director of Academic Programs & Academic Advisor

    Terry bleeds Orange and Blue! His road to the College of Engineering and TEC began in 1995 as a student athlete with the Illinois football team. Since that time, Terry has worn several hats on campus. He learned the Machinist trade and spent 8 years working in the Facilities and Services Machine Shop. He also earned a bachelor’s degree in Recreation Sports and Tourism (RST) and a Master’s degree in Education Policy Organization & Leadership Studies. While attending the University as a graduate student, Terry worked with the Office of Minority Student Affairs (OMSA) as a Graduate Mentor and Academic Program Support Specialist. Terry has also spent time as a football coach in Champaign and credits that experience as fueling his passion for working with college students and helping them achieve their academic goals! Along with Advising students, Terry is passionate about Sports, Music, and spending time with his family.

    (217) 300-3049
    Photo of Tara L. Flesner
    Office Manager
      (217) 300-9168
      Photo of Catharine Ingram
      Coordinator of Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship Programs

        Catharine Ingram joined the Technology Entrepreneur Center in February of 2018 as the Program Coordinator, and supports the Cozad New Venture Competition, among other programs of the TEC wheelhouse. She most enjoys the collaborative energy she finds among the students and staff of the College of Engineering.

        Catharine came to TEC with a background in events and program management. Before moving to Illinois in 2016, she was the Director of Special Events for the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, a public policy advocacy nonprofit. Prior to that, she was a Solar Designer for electrical engineering firm McCalmont Engineering, and spent seven years as a swim coach and training manager for the Santa Clara Swim Club.

        She graduated with a B.A. in Architecture and Urbanism from Smith College, and is pursuing her Master’s degree in business and communications. Catharine is active in the community, sitting on the core leadership teams of the Champaign County EMA Search and Rescue team, the Champaign County Sustainability Network (CCNet), and Oakland, CA-based Artists United. She has also travelled internationally with Grid Alternatives to install off-grid solar in areas that don’t have access to grid power. She enjoys constructive work of all kinds, and is thrilled to contribute to the great work done through the Technology Entrepreneur Center.

        (217) 300-1293
        Photo of Urvashi  Jha
        Marketing & Communications Coordinator

          Urvashi joined the Technology Entrepreneur Center in July 2018 as the Marketing & Communications Coordinator. Content writing is her forte.

          She came to TEC with a diverse background in communications ranging from business news reporting in financial newspapers, content development for portals, and media relations, to executive and corporate communications. In her last role at Wipro Technologies, a global technology firm, she supported Wipro's corporate brand story by creating and reviewing content for press releases, corporate blogs, marketing whitepapers, and the internal marketing newsletter. Prior to Wipro Technologies, she worked as a business journalist with leading financial publications in India. Coming from a media background, she enjoys writing face-to-face interview-based stories.

          She moved to Champaign-Urbana from India with her husband in 2012.

          (217) 300-9657
          Photo of Amy Koester
          Assistant Director of Graphic Design

            Amy Koester is the Assistant Director of Graphic Design at TEC. She joined TEC in August 2015. She tackles all kinds of design projects and loves both print and digital design.

            Prior to working at TEC, Amy served as Program Coordinator for iFoundry in the College of Engineering at Illinois. Amy has a background in freelance graphic design, teaching art classes, and event planning. Back in the 1990s she worked as a graphic designer at the Illini Union. Amy has a BFA in Graphic Design from Brigham Young University.

            Outside of work, Amy is a voracious reader, participates in on-going volunteer work, and enjoys international cuisine, flower gardening, and needlework. She also loves spending time with her husband Eric and their three children.

            (217) 300-0074
            Photo of Stephanie Larson
            Associate Director of Innovation & Entrepreneurship Student Programs

              Stephanie Larson is the Associate Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Student Programs at the Technology Entrepreneur Center. She joined TEC in March 2008, and her responsibilities include leading, building, designing, and implementing new and existing student programs for TEC and its mission of providing students with the skills, resources, and experiences necessary to become successful innovators, entrepreneurs, and leaders. The thing she enjoys most about working at TEC is the passion the students and her co-workers share about entrepreneurship and innovation.

              Prior to working at TEC, Stephanie worked on numerous grassroots marketing and event marketing campaigns. She even spent a year of her life driving a giant 22 foot Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Mobile from coast to coast. She worked with many clients such as Kellogg's, Nike, Florida Department of Citrus, Home Depot, Kraft Foods, Cadillac and Sprint in a variety of marketing capacities. She also worked for a startup branding agency in Chicago as an Account Supervisor on the Yellowtail Wine account and a mid-size marketing firm in Chicago as a Project Manager on Motorola Mobile Device projects.

              Stephanie graduated from the University of Illinois in 1998 with a B.S. in Advertising & Communications.  

              In her spare time, Stephanie enjoys reading, exploring different culinary cuisines, travel, movies, arts and crafts, and is also learning the joy of gardening. In 2015, she joined the Monticello community with her husband, Scott and their sons, Ander and Atwood and their most recent addition to their family, Freya.


              (217) 265-5456
              Photo of Christopher  Murphy
              Program Director, Sustainability and Innovation LLCs
                Photo of Andrew Singer
                Associate Dean for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

                  Prof. Singer received the S.B., S.M., and Ph.D. degrees, all in electrical engineering and computer science, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Since 1998, he has been on the faculty of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he is currently a Professor in the ECE department and the Coordinated Science Laboratory. During the academic year 1996, he was a Postdoctoral Research Affiliate in the Research Laboratory of Electronics at MIT. From 1996 to 1998, he was a Research Scientist at Sanders, A Lockheed Martin Company in Manchester, New Hampshire, where he designed algorithms, architectures and systems for a variety of DOD applications. His research interests include signal processing and communication systems. He was a Hughes Aircraft Masters Fellow, and was the recipient of the Harold L. Hazen Memorial Award for excellence in teaching in 1991. In 2000, he received the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, in 2001 he received the Xerox Faculty Research Award, and in 2002 was named a Willett Faculty Scholar. Dr. Singer has served as an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing and is a member of the MIT Educational Council, and of Eta Kappa Nu and Tau Beta Pi. He is a Fellow of the IEEE.

                  In 2005, Prof. Singer was appointed as the Director of the Technology Entrepreneur Center (TEC) in the College of Engineering. He also co-founded Intersymbol Communications, Inc., a venture-funded fabless semiconductor IC company, based in Champaign Illinois. A developer of signal processing enhanced chips for ultra-high speed optical communications systems, Intersymbol was acquired by Finisar Corporation (NASD:FNSR) in 2007. Prof. Singer serves on the board of directors of a number of technology companies and as an expert witness for electronics, communications, and circuit-related technologies.

                  Prof. Singer became the inaugural Associate Dean for Innovation and Entrepreneurship for the College of Engineering in June 2018. His office oversees the Technology Entrepreneur Center.

                  Prof. Singer enjoys many forms of outdoor sports, including competing in triathlons and marathons. He has competed at all distances from sprint and olympic distance triathlons to ultra-marathons and the Ironman triathlon.

                  An electronic copy of his CV is available.

                  (217) 244-9263
                  Photo of Jed L. Taylor
                  Executive Director

                    Jed Taylor is the Executive Director of TEC. In addition to his work at TEC he also works with startup companies as an entrepreneur-in-residence at Enterprise Works in the Research Park. Before joining TEC, Jed was the first employee and the Director of Sales at Pattern Insight--a startup out of the Computer Science Department.

                    Jed has a B.S. in Computer Science from Utah State University, an M.S. in Computer Science and an MBA from the University of Illinois.

                    (217) 244-4035


                    Photo of Hiba  Ahmed
                    Photography Intern

                      Hiba is a Sophomore studying Marketing and Information Systems. On campus, some of her involvements are Enactus, Business Council, Illinois Business Consulting. Hiba is also involved in some nonprofit spaces, as she is passionate about bridging the gap between business and activism through social entrepreneurship and community engagement.

                      Photo of Nick Boivin
                      Video Intern

                        Starting now, every video you see from us, Nick had a part to play in making it: from picking up the camera to grabbing footage, and editing everything together in one pretty bow. Nick has worked with many local businesses in Champaign, such as producing Leland’s Barbershop first video for social media, which has accumulated over 11,000 views. Nick is currently a sophomore making videos with IlliniThon, a 12 hour long dance marathon, raising money for the kids at St. John’s Children's Hospital. Overall, Nick's favorite videos are the ones where he has never met the person behind the box of light, and the video leaves him with an impactful feeling. Also dog videos...specifically the ones of his dog, Sherlock.  

                        Photo of Rashi  Dembi
                        Marketing & Events Intern
                          Photo of Chaitanya  Gulati
                          Illinois Startup List Intern

                            Chaitanya Gulati is a sophomore in Systems Engineering & Design. He is a pragmatic idealist that aims to create a society that is driven by passion. He is really passionate about sustainable and clean energy systems and is currently developing a startup in the energy sector. On campus, he's involved with Founders and Engineering Student Alumni Ambassadors (ESAA). He loves to meet new people and listening to music.


                            Photo of Kelsey  Handschuh
                            Marketing & Events Intern

                              Kelsey is currently a Sophomore majoring in Marketing and Business Management with a Concentration in Entrepreneurship. Aside from this, her greatest passions include exploration into new areas, entrepreneurship, and creative problem solving. On campus, Kelsey is a director of TEDxUIUC, the Treasurer of Illini Student Musicals, and a Discovery Team Member of Founders.

                              Photo of Tanmay  Kanth
                              Marketing & Events Intern
                                Photo of Maysara Mitchell
                                Marketing & Events Intern, Innovation LLC
                                  Photo of Adam  Tlustochowski
                                  Marketing & Events Intern, Innovation LLC

                                    Adam is a Junior in Aerospace Engineering who joined TEC in August 2018. He helps organize orientation and events for students in the Innovation Living Learning Community. He often runs workshops on CAD and 3D printing which are two of his passions.

                                    Technology Entrepreneur Center

                                    The Grainger College of Engineering

                                    351 Coordinated Science Lab, MC-228
                                    1308 W. Main Street
                                    Urbana, IL 61801

                                    Social Media

                                    Get Social With Us!