Our Team


Van Truskett, Executive Director

photo of Van Trusket

Van N. Truskett has a track record of innovation, leadership and attainment of business results in nanoimprint lithography addressing its introduction and use in the semiconductor, hard disk drive and emerging market (bio, solar, LED, display) applications. She has over 14 years of technical, operations and strategic leadership experience related to semiconductor equipment manufacturing and inkjet printhead R&D and product release. Her work has taken jetting technology from scholarship to practice in the U.S. and Asia, enabling a novel path for lower production costs for the semiconductor industry. Van played a critical role in a team that raised $150M in venture capital and developed a startup, Molecular Imprints, into a successful enterprise that was acquired by Canon in 2014 to form Canon Nanotechnologies. Read more

Ashley Jennings, Managing Director

photo of Ashley Jennings

Ashley Jennings is an award-winning producer, 2X startup founder and diversity in tech evangelist. She serves as Program Director of Innovation and Technology Commercialization and Managing Director of the Texas Innovation Center, where she helps oversee university-wide commercialization efforts for faculty and students in translational research. Prior to this role, Ashley was part of the McCombs School of Business team, driving innovative programming for students across the Forty Acres and cultivating a network of college stakeholders in the startup and VC space. Through her work in the startup ecosystem, she’s been deemed a top “connector of people and organizations in Austin,” focused on real change around systematic problems for women in the workforce and gender inequality. Read more


Rush Bartlett

Rush Bartlett is a serial entrepreneur who has previously started multiple healthcare technology companies, two have been acquired, one failed, and one is growing with 20 plus employees. He is currently Chief Product Officer at Lansinoh Laboratories, a women’s health company, and also serves as the associate director for corporate education at Stanford’s Byers Center for Biodesign. He was a recipient of the Outstanding Young Texas Ex Award in 2019 and Silicon Valley Business Journal’s 40 under 40 in 2017. Read more

Founding Director

Bob Metcalfe

Robert M. Metcalfe will soon complete his 10th year as Professor of Innovation in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. Metcalfe is the Founding Director of the Innovation Center, launched in 2011. He is also UT Austin’s Murchison Fellow of Free Enterprise and Professor of Entrepreneurship in UT Austin’s McCombs School of Business. He serves as Principal Investigator of TexasGEO, which aims to solve energy with Texas startups. GEO is funded by the DOE to encourage startups to advance technologies delivering cheap, safe, clean, abundant, ubiquitous, deep, closed-loop, baseload geothermal energy. Prior to his roles in higher education, Metcalfe was an Internet pioneer beginning 1970 at MIT, Harvard, Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, Stanford, and 3Com. He invented Ethernet at Xerox Parc on May 22, 1973. Read more

Innovation Fellows

The Texas Innovation Center Fellows program gives undergraduate, graduate and MBA students an immersive introduction to technology commercialization, providing hands-on experience to translate research into viable opportunities for the market.

Joanne Allen-Taylor
Mechanical Engineering, Junior

Fall 2020 Fellow

Destin Douglas
MBA, Second Year

Summer/Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 Fellow

Elora Ghosh
Mechanical Engineering, Senior

Fall 2020 Fellow

Karthik Shetty
Business, Sophomore
Texas A&M

Summer 2020 Fellow