Neil Kane, the Director of Undergraduate Entrepreneurship at Michigan State University, is a leading authority on technology commercialization and innovation and has the battle scars to prove it. He was named a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum in 2007. His Twitter handle is @neildkane. He’s also on Google+ and LinkedIn.

 

Recent posts by this Author


Leadership is Situational, Integrity is Not

A few years ago I attended a workshop called Situational Leadership by the great Paul Hersey. He’s the guy who wrote the book on situational leadership. I was really looking forward to the workshop because another lecturer in the class was Marshall Goldsmith (his…

The 4 Questions

With Passover approaching, this refrain may be familiar to some of you. The Four Questions that get asked during the Passover reading of the haggadah are: Why is this night different from all other nights? On all other nights, we eat leavened products and…

A Firsthand Look into the Role of an Entrepreneur-in-Residence

I’ve been entrepreneur-in-residence (EIR) at two academic institutions (the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and currently, Northern Illinois University), and I had a similar role (but slightly different title) at Argonne National Laboratory. Lately people have …

Watch Out for Convertible Notes

Convertible Notes

I’ve written before about the merits of convertible equity for the startup. Recently, I heard about companies that took convertible notes as bridge loans, so I thought it useful to again highlight the potential pitfalls. As you know, a convertible note is a form…

Announcing the Rev3 Innovation Center in Suburban Chicago

Fact: Hardware startups are on the rise. Fact: Developing hardware requires software competency. Fact: DuPage County in suburban Chicagoland has over 925,000 people, several universities, several Fortune 500 headquarters, a very educated populace, a rich manufacturing base …

Prenups for Startups: How to Structure Founding Teams

One of the people in my networking group in Chicago posed this question: How do your teams structure yourselves so that people are compensated fairly and encouraged to do their best work? The ensuing online discussion inevitably turned toward how to create a working…

Report on the White House Lab-to-Market Summit

On May 20, 2013 I was honored to be one of 20 invited “experts” at the White House Lab-to-Market Inter-Agency Summit held at the White House Conference Center in Washington, D.C. The Summit was organized by the White House Office of Science and Technology…

Winning Business Plan Competitions is Not a Business Model

Is it me or are there business plan competitions on every street corner in every town these days? I am getting pounded with requests from startups that want coaching and mentoring in support of their efforts in business plan competitions. What is suddenly making…

10 Words, 20 Letters: Being Accountable

I was fortunate early in my career to get some valuable, but simple advice. I don’t remember where it came from – probably from some motivational speaker or maybe the Dale Carnegie Course, since I spent my first few years out of college immersed…

Strike While the Iron Is Hot

In late 2000, I was raising a seed-stage venture fund to commercialize innovations coming from universities and federal laboratories in the Midwestern part of the United States. During that time, I attended a function at the Union League Club in Chicago. While I was…

10 Considerations When Licensing a Technology

As you develop your business, you may discover that you either need to license technology into your company to augment your product development efforts, or create a new revenue stream by licensing technology that you’ve developed to other people. A license is a contract…

The Best Advice I Ever Got

In the days before satellite radio, smartphones, and iPods, I devoured books on tape while driving. My first job was at IBM in San Jose (where they had a large manufacturing facility). They had a library with a whole bunch of business books on…

100% of the Time It’s 90% Mental

The biggest challenge to being an entrepreneur is keeping your mental game in check. Not everyone verbalizes it, but everyone feels the anxiety, fear, and occasional shame of not knowing what you are doing. One of the best posts I’ve ever read that exposes…