Thomas Parkinson

Thomas Parkinson

Adjunct Instructor of Business Administration and Senior Director of Illinois Ventures

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Tom Parkinson has been a lecturer in business administration for Gies College of Business since 2017. He is also a senior director with Illinois Ventures, which invests in early-stage technology-based ventures that are affiliated with the University of Illinois System, including faculty, student, and alumni-led businesses. Prior to joining Illinois Ventures in 2016, he was a partner in a Chicago-based venture capital fund and ran a seed capital fund associated with Northwestern University. He has taught courses in entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial finance at several universities, and his students have gone on to raise more than $200 million in venture capital and other early-stage financing. Parkinson earned his BA in economics from Northwestern University in 1982 and his MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management in 1985.


Educational Background

  • MBA, Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, 1985
  • Bachelor of Arts, Economics, Northwestern University, 1982

Positions Held

  • Lecturer of Business Administration, Gies College of Business, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2017 to present
  • Senior Director, IllinoisVENTURES, 2016 to present
  • Adjunct Lecturer of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2013-2016
  • Venture Facilitator, Innovation Engine Accelerator, Ohio University, 2013
  • Director, Mersive Technologies, 2011-2017
  • National Advisor and Mentor, Pipeline, 2010-2018
  • Director, VHT, 2007 to present
  • Director, SageQuest Inc., 2005-2010
  • Director, TL Contact, 2004-2007
  • Partner, Hopewell Ventures, 2004 to present
  • Director, Vested Health, 2002-2014
  • Partner, Adena Ventures, 2002-2014
  • Partner, Woodland Venture Management, 2000 to present
  • Adjunct Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1997-2004
  • Guest Lecturer, University of the West Indies, 1993-1994
  • Guest Lecturer, Czechoslovak Management Center, 1992
  • Chief Financial Officer, Technology Innovation Center, 1990-2000
  • Executive Director, Evanston Business Investment Corporation, 1986-2000
  • Executive Director, Evanston Business Investment Corp., 1985-2000

Current Courses

  • Entrep: From Startup to Growth (MBA 553) Will explore the earlier stages of the entrepreneurial venture process. The course modules will be focused on practical ideas and techniques that entrepreneurs can use to evaluate the potential of market opportunities and make decisions about whether to pursue them in a startup company. This course will also build on concepts, outline strategies, and tactics for forming, financing, and launching the new venture. Topics to be addressed will include developing a go-to market strategy, selecting appropriate revenue and pricing strategies, preparing financial models, raising startup and initial growth financing, and preparing for and managing growth.