Neil Kane

Interim CEO, COO

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Neil Kane, a leading authority on technology commercialization and innovation, is the president and founder of Illinois Partners Executive Services, LLC. Most recently he was the CEO of Advanced Diamond Technologies, Inc., a company he co-founded in 2003 by licensing technology from Argonne National Laboratory (U.S. Dept. of Energy). Mr. Kane is the former co-Executive Director of the Illinois Technology Enterprise Center at Argonne and was Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Research Park at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and at Northern Illinois University. In these roles he was founding CEO of several startup companies based on university or federal laboratory research in areas such as nanotechnology, advanced materials, software, renewable energy and printed electronics. He has closed multiple rounds of venture capital from investors worldwide and has secured numerous SBIR/STTR and other government contracts and awards.

Earlier he was Regional Business Development Manager for Microsoft Corporation. In this role he identified, negotiated and closed a $25 million equity investment. At IBM he was the liaison to Andersen Consulting (later Accenture) and helped create the strategic business alliance that became the model for the IT industry. In this capacity he earned membership into IBM’s Golden Circle and received a President’s Award. He was a member of the 100% Club several times. He began his career as a manufacturing engineer in IBM’s San Jose, California facility where he designed robotic tooling for the automated manufacturing of disk drives.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (high honors) and a Masters of Business Administration from The University of Chicago. He attended graduate school at the Australian Graduate School of Management at The University of New South Wales in Sydney and did further graduate study in Japan on a scholarship from the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO). He was named a 2007 Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum and twice attended their annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. In 2007 he received recognition from the National Science Foundation for Outstanding Entrepreneurship and in 2009 was named a “Mover & Shaker” by Frost & Sullivan. In 2010 and 2012 Mr. Kane was an invited witness on the subject of technology transfer for the U.S. House of Representative’s Subcommittee on Research & Science Education. In 2011 he was asked by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn to serve on the Illinois Innovation Council. Also in 2011 he became a mentor for the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps. He is a contributor to on topics related to technology commercialization and entrepreneurial leadership.


Company Stage Focus: Startup, Early Stage, Late Stage Venture Funded, Private

Interim CEO, startup medical diagnostics company

Formed company, negotiated rights to intellectual property, secured angel and venture capital financing, formed board of directors and secured government grants.

CEO, advanced materials company

Co-founder of company, raised $12 million in venture capital, negotiated rights to intellectual property, built team, formed board of directors, secured over $9 million in non-dilutive federal financing. Runner-up Wall St. Journal Innovation Excellence Award, winner of three R&D 100 Awards, named a “Mover and Shaker” by Frost & Sullivan, named a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum.

Entrepreneur-in-Residence for public university and federal laboratory (3 assignments)

Provided counsel to licensing office, mentored faculty and students on technology commercialization and entrepreneurship, participated in funding recommendations, interim CEO on four spinoff companies, negotiated IP rights, strategic alliances and set up corporate structure.

CEO, puzzle/game/toy company

Joined inventor of novel Rubik’s Cube-like product. Raised capital, formed company, negotiated IP rights, created sales/marketing plan, secured international distribution, penetrated major retail accounts and stabilized company.

Interim CEO

Founding CEO of innovative power electronics company spun out of major research university. Secured initial capital and began initial market forays and technical risk reduction. Later company went on to raise over $150 million and was purchased by a public company.


•CEO and co-founder of world’s leading thin-film synthetic diamond company. Negotiated patents from U.S. Dept. of Energy, raised $20 million in public and private funding, hired entire team, and brought products to market in several industries. Runner-up in Wall St. Journal’s Technology Innovation Award Competition, won multiple awards and industry recognition.
•At IBM was architect of first complementary partnership between a computer vendor and independent consulting firm.
•Joined Microsoft in 1997 to “beat Netscape” as Internet Channel Account Executive.
•Founding CEO of power electronics/photovoltaic company that raised over $100 million in venture capital and ultimately was acquired.
•Co-executive director of entrepreneurship center at Argonne National Laboratory.


•Advanced Diamond Technologies, Inc.
•Moving Parts LLC
•GlucoSentient Inc.
•SmartSpark Energy Systems, Inc.
•FBIX, Inc. (Food and Beverage Information Exchange)


•MBA from The University of Chicago
•B.S. Mechanical Engineering from The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
•Study abroad at the Australian Graduate School of Management, Sydney, Australia
•Certificate in Management from the International Institute of Studies and Training, Fujinomiya, Japan
•Assistant instructor, The Dale Carnegie Course in Effective Speaking and Human Relations

Years Executive Experience: (15)
# of Interim Roles: (12)
# of Board Roles: (4)
Company Size: ($100k-$1B)

• Board Advisory
• Corporate Negotiation
• Building a Management Team
• Joint Ventures
• Corporate Development
• Cycles/Response
• Operations: Cost
• Business Development
• Direct Sales
• Sales Management
• Partner Programs
• Fundraising
• Company Sale
• B2B
• B2C
• E-Commerce
• Product Marketing
• Advancing & Emerging Technologies
• Staff Augmentation
• Guerilla Marketing
• Team Development
• Technology Development
• Market Development
• Social Media
• Technology Transfer
• Technology Licensing
• Startup Issues (all types)

• Advanced materials
• Manufacturing
• Higher education
• Research
• Information Technology
• Sensors/Electronics
• Software
• Toys/games/puzzles