Michael Gruber

Interim CEO, CFO, COO, CMO

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Michael C. Gruber is an experienced advisor and company builder to high growth organizations and business units. Mr. Gruber specializes in revenue generation, strategic planning and financial advisory work, with a primary focus across Energy & Industrial, Internet, and Financial services sectors. Mr. Gruber is active in executing strategic initiatives which includes corporate transactions, capital raising, partnerships, and new market entry. Michael has worked closely with family owned companies, private-equity backed companies, as well as publicly traded companies.

Mr. Gruber has been a Founder and/or CEO of over 8 companies, across both operating and investment organizations. Co-investment partners, acquirers, and advisory companies include: Goldman Sachs, Kleiner Perkins; Sequoia Capital; New Enterprise Associates, Google Ventures, TechStars, Pritzker Group, Charter Communications, CenturyLink (originally US West), Dell Computer, Evonik, Merck, and others.

Mr. Gruber has had significant international experience, primarily in Asia where he has extensively traveled. Mr. Gruber has worked with and advised with companies in Japan, South Korea, and China.

Mr. Gruber earned an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, Mr. Gruber earned a certificate in intensive Japanese studies from Nanzan University in Nagoya, Japan.



Company Stage Focus: Startup, Early Stage, Late Stage Venture Funded, Private Equity Backed, Fortune 1000, Private, Family Owned

Advisor to $175M Healthcare Not-for-Profit

Technology joint venture deal assessment relating to strategic initiative of organization. Provided feedback to provide insight into the opportunity, guidance on structuring and negotiating the agreement, and the risks of the relationship. Directed executive to re-work partner relationship from product, deal terms, branding, and ownership dimensions.

Deal Sourcer, Multi-Billion Telecommunications Company

Led effort to search, investigate, and curate key technologies and innovations relevant to company’s business, both now and in the future. Coordinated with senior leaders to facilitate a technology showcase to executives. Inspired company to later create its own internal corporate venture fund and invest directly into some of these companies in future.

Interim Head of Sales & Marketing for $180M CRO

Developed plan for leading Japanese clinical research laboratory to enter the US market. Worked with CEO of US to build a market entry plan based on competitive investigation. Recommendation on product offerings, pricing, and marketing/branding initiatives, with company executing on many of these plans, and state of the art facility and analysis capacity in US for first time.

Capital Accelerator, Advancement of Nanomaterials Company

Worked with Board and Investors to hone business plan, and worked with CEO to raise additional private capital after company was having difficulties. Drove progess such that over $3 million was raised within 2 months.

Interim Director of Business Development, Financial Services Software Company

Joined founders of one of earliest social networks relating to financial markets. Led efforts to conceptualize, and negotiate partnerships with leading partners and to drive interest in the company from venture capital firms. Company later acquired for ~$30M, which later turned into close to $300M from subsequent acquisition.


• Co-Founder of Independence Equity, a venture capital fund
• Launched first Internet-based online banking service while at Intuit and drove marketing initiatives to attract over 1 million connected users
• Managed new business creation for online financial services company and served as senior executive through IPO, when company raised over $90 million
• Former member of Board of Directors, and Chair of Entrepreneur Network of ACG Chicago
• Founder and leader of Cornerstone Angels and its fund affiliate Cornerstone Opportunity Partners, LLC – 8 portfolio companies having been acquired or gone public


• ACG Chicago
• Intellihot Green Technologies, Inc.
• EatStreet
• Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern University
• Are You a Human
• SDBIC, Inc.
• Algal Scientific
• Factory Physics


• BA, University of Pennsylvania
• MBA, Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management
• Japanese, Nanzan University
• Adjunct Lecturer, Northwestern University
• FINRA Series 7, 63


Years Executive Experience: (15)
Years as an Interim Exec: (18)
Company Size: (<$100k-$10B)

• Financial Analysis
• Board Advisory
• Building a Management Team
• Corporate Development
• M&A – Company Sale/Fundraising
• Market Development
• Strategy
• Investment Advisory

• Advanced Materials
• Agriculture
• Alternative Energy
• Banking
• Chemicals
• Emerging Technologies
• Digital Media
• Internet
• Investment Banking/Mergers and Acquisitions
• Private Equity and Venture Capital
• SaaS and Cloud Computing