Thomas E. Parkinson is a Partner with Woodland Venture Management, which operates two venture capital funds investing in entrepreneurial companies in under-served regions of the United States. He is a partner and member of the investment committee of Hopewell Ventures, a $100 million, Chicago-based fund targeting the Midwestern U. S. He is also a partner and member of the investment committee for Adena Ventures, a $36 million fund based in Athens, Ohio, which invests in companies located in low income areas in central Appalachia. Adena Ventures is the nation's first and largest New Markets Venture Capital Company.
Previously, he was the Executive Director of the Evanston Business Investment Corporation ("EBIC"), an early-stage venture capital fund associated with the Northwestern University/Evanston Research Park. EBIC was one of the Chicago area's most active seed funds during the 1990's, and Mr. Parkinson was responsible for equity investments in more than 20 startup companies during his tenure there. Under his leadership, EBIC provided initial financing for Peapod, Inc. and Illinois Superconductor, Inc., both of which completed successful initial public stock offerings, and Everyday Learning Corp., which now, as a division of McGraw-Hill, generates more than $100 million in annual revenues.
In addition to his responsibilities with EBIC, he served as the Chief Financial officer for the Technology Innovation Center ("TIC") which, with more than 40,000 square feet of space available in two buildings, is one of the leading high-tech business incubation facilities in the Chicago metropolitan area. The TIC was named the "Incubator of the Year" by the National Business Incubation Association in 1997. He organized and secured $100,000 in annual grant funding to operate a Small Business Development Center to provide business planning advice and other services for entrepreneurs and small business owners in the area, and he helped to establish a ‘microloan' fund which was supported by a consortium of more than 20 commercial banks.
Mr. Parkinson teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in small business and entrepreneurial finance at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and has previously taught at Northwestern's J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica, and the Czechoslovak Management Center in Celakovice, Czechoslovakia. He received his Masters Degree in Finance from Kellogg in 1985, with a specialization in Urban Economic Development. He is currently a Director of two private companies, Chicago-based Harmonic Vision, Inc., and Vested Health, LLC, based in Charleston, WV.