TEC Alumni Series: The David Albrecht Adventure

TEC News Stories


3/20/2012 11:32:00 AM

Story Highlights

By: Lyndsey Taylor

Since graduation, Illinois alumnus David Albrecht has dabbled in consulting, working for Microsoft, and several startups. Currently Albrecht is devoting his electrical and computer engineering skills to Wishery.

Wishery “adds customer relationship tools to Gmail (Google Apps) to help your team become much more efficient and effective at delivering buzz-worthy sales, service and support via email,” according to its website. 

“That (Wishery) is absolutely the center of my attention right now,” Albrecht said.

Albrecht said Wishery is roughly 10 to 12 hour work days for him, Monday through Saturday.

“There's not much time left over,” he said. Although Albrecht doesn't have a ton of free time, he said he has many friends from Illinois in the Bay area.

Wishery was accepted into the AngelPad program and was incorporated in spring of 2011.

From AngelPad, he received pertinent training on pitching ideas, which has made the process of working a startup much easier, he said.

The process of building the technology for Wishery has been “rewarding” and is enjoying the work, despite the long hours.

“I feel like I'm doing my best work. I'm at one hundred percent now.”

Prior to immersing himself into the working world, Albrecht took several TEC classes, including a venture finance class taught by Sanjiv Chopra.

“It was a really intense class, but amazingly useful,” he said. “It made me conversant on how to raise money. I use the lingo almost every day in my job out here from that class.”

Albrecht also took classes taught by Dr. Brian Lilly and Rhiannon Clifton.

After graduating with a master's in electrical and computer engineering in 2009, Albrecht worked freelance for many different types of companies including Prefiat LLC and PureHome.com, to name a few and also lived in Seattle while working for Microsoft before deciding to pursue startup ideas.

“Starting a company is incredibly easy compared to graduate school and ECE at Illinois,” he said.

Although fiscal challenges can arise for startups, “if you went to a decent school and have a good idea, it’s not too hard to get funding,” he said.

Albrecht said he has gotten his ideas by taking a look at what is already out in the world that needs to be improved or wrong.

“What can I do to make the world a better place for other people and if that's through having a business then so be it...do things that matter.”

Although Albrecht has made the move to the West Coast, he said he would like to eventually bring “innovative culture” back to the Midwest.

“I would like to eventually incubate something back in Illinois or Chicago. There are so many smart people in Chicago.”

When he isn't working, Albrecht likes to salsa dance, write letters to friends, go running, and play with social media.

“I'm a bit of a Twitter socializer,” he said.

Media Contacts

Brad Petersen

Director of Communications
1066 ECE Building
(217) 244-6376
bradp@illinois.edu

Meg Dickinson

Communications Specialist
1068 ECE Building
(217) 300-6664
megd@illinois.edu