Our Team


Ashley Jennings, Managing Director

photo of Ashley Jennings

Ashley Jennings is an award-winning entrepreneur and skilled operator with 10+ years of experience in project management, investor relations, portfolio operations, media, fundraising, sales, event management, community engagement, strategic partnerships, and curriculum creation. She currently sits on the new venture and technology commercialization team at The University of Texas at Austin, where she manages day-to-day operations and supports strategic goals of the Texas Innovation Center, helping researchers navigate their commercialization journey; taking their discoveries from the lab and classroom into the market. Read more


Kyle Lilly, Venture Associate

Kyle Lilly headshot

Kyle Lilly is an experienced professional with a talent for driving business growth and success. He has a proven track record of accomplishment in corporate planning, financial technology, and startup design thinking. Kyle currently serves as a Venture Associate for the Texas Innovation Center, where he assists with Center events, programming, and development of startups within the portfolio.

Prior to this role, Kyle served as a Business Development Representative in a fast-growing startup (Kinly Financial acquired by Greenwood), where he played a key part in developing the company into a thriving organization. At Kinly, Kyle sourced, negotiated strategic partnerships, managed, and closed numerous contracts with national brands, including Self, Freeman Capital, and Tally. He also assisted heavily in customer discovery and user-feedback of Kinly products, finding product market fit for the creation of new features. In addition to this, Kyle has a deep knowledge of CRM systems, including HubSpot software.


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. For the past three years, Rush has led the Texas Biodesign program as Instructor, teaching graduate students and clinicians across UT System needs driven innovation methodology. He was previously Chief Product Officer at Lansinoh Laboratories, a women’s health company, and 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

Texas Innovation Center Staff

Tracy Hatfield

Administrative Manager

Nicole Jones

Marketing Manager

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.

Current Innovation Fellows

Safah Javed
Economics & Finance

Spring 2022 – Spring 2023 Fellow

Utsavi Manglik

Spring 2022 Fellow

Christian McWilliams

Christian McWilliams
Environmental Science and French

Fall 2022 – Spring 2023 Fellow

Benjamin Stormer
Mechanical Engineering

Fall 2021 – Spring 2022 Fellow

Anh Vu

Ann Vu
Biology and Informatics

Fall 2022 – Spring 2023 Fellow

Past Innovation Fellows

Joanne Allen-Taylor, Fall 2020 Fellow

Destin Douglas, Summer/Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 Fellow

Caroline Garcia
Chemical Engineering

Fall 2021 – Spring 2022 Fellow

Elora Ghosh, Fall 2020 Fellow

Axel Jeconiah, Summer/Fall 2021 Fellow

Karthik Shetty, Summer 2020 Fellow

Anna Tappan, Fall 2021 Fellow

Melody Zhou, Summer/Fall 2021 Fellow