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Team

The IllinoisVENTURES team is comprised of experience investors and technology commercialization professionals that can help translate breakthrough research into investable businesses.  We are committed to helping entrepreneurs and technical founders build world-changing businesses with the potential to create new market opportunities or significantly expand existing ones. Our expertise and networks help entrepreneurs build and grow successful business.

Investment Team

Nancy

Nancy Sullivan

CEO & Managing Director

About Nancy

Nancy Sullivan serves as the CEO and Managing Director of IllinoisVENTURES, LLC. With over 15 years of experience in the commercialization and entrepreneurial sector, Nancy leads the IllinoisVENTURES, LLC investment portfolio. Ms. Sullivan oversees $70 million + in assets under management. She is responsible for overall fund operations including serving as the main point of contact for limited partner base and the investment management of leading portfolio companies.

Nancy promotes the development of new companies commercializing complex technologies by assisting the companies in obtaining venture capital funding, recruiting management talent and obtaining necessary business services. She serves on the boards of two Chicago based startups, Personify and Diagnostic Photonics.

Nancy earned her MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management and a Master's in Biotechnology, from Northwestern. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Loyola University.

Tom

Tom Parkinson

Principal

About Tom

Thomas E. Parkinson is Senior Director of IllinoisVENTURES, based in Champaign-Urbana. He has been investing in, mentoring and advising technology-based startup companies in the Chicago area, the broader Midwest and in Central Appalachia for more than 30 years. He was a partner with Woodland Venture Management, based in Chicago, where he helped raise and manage two venture capital funds that invested in high-growth companies in under-served and fly-over regions of the country. Prior to that, he was the Executive Director of a successful seed capital fund affiliated with Northwestern University and the CFO of an award-winning technology business incubator.

Mr. Parkinson has taught courses in entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial finance at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Ohio University, and most recently at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. He taught the capstone class in Kellogg’s Discover-Test-Launch sequence for student entrepreneurs for four years. His students have gone on to raise several million dollars in startup capital and launch more than a dozen new businesses in the US and around the world.

He has a BA from Northwestern and an MBA from Kellogg, with a specialization in Urban Economic Development. He is a member of the National Advisory Committee for Pipeline, a prestigious entrepreneurial fellowship program based in Kansas City.

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Kapila Viges

Sr. Associate

About Kapila

Kapila Viges serves as Senior Associate and leads the Proof of Concept Fund for IllinoisVENTURES. She has over 15 years of experience in starting and growing early stage technology companies, organizational strategy, and innovation based economic development. Kapila has directly funded, raised funds for, and managed early stage startups, incubators, accelerators, research parks and entrepreneurial support organizations.

Kapila served as Director of EnterpriseWorks Chicago at the University of Illinois, launching a new model for technology and startup incubation operations to support the commercialization of complex research and high-tech innovation. Prior to joining the University, Kapila served as Managing Director at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation on the team leading the state’s innovation and entrepreneurship strategy through the 21st Century Jobs Fund.

Kapila received her degree in Materials Science and Engineering at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and is an Executive Scholar from the Northwestern Kellogg School of Management.

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Chase Bonhag

Associate

About Chase

Chase Bonhag is an Associate at IllinoisVENTURES, LLC where he focuses on the sourcing and due diligence of new investments, the assessment of both technical and commercial strengths and weaknesses of early-stage technologies and provides investment recommendations for IllinoisVENTURES.

Chase has played an active role in the University of Illinois entrepreneurial ecosystem for the last two years, spending time as an Associate Instructor of Entrepreneurship in both the College of Business and Engineering, supporting Dr. Paul Magelli and Professor Brian Lilly.

Prior to joining IllinoisVENTURES, Chase worked on the Global Strategic Marketing team at Abbott Point of Care, supporting projects related to Abbott’s $5.8B acquisition of Alere.   Chase also spent time at a boutique healthcare consulting firm focusing on care management and was a co-founder of HireStarts.  Chase earned his MBA from the University of Illinois where he was named a Dean’s Fellow.  He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Western Michigan University.

Board Members

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Edward L. McMillan

Chairman

About Mr. McMillan

Edward L. McMillan was appointed to the University of Illinois Board of Trustees by Gov. Pat Quinn in March 2009. McMillan, a 1969 graduate of the Urbana-Champaign campus with a BS in Agricultural Science, has served on the UI Alumni Association board, the UI Foundation board, and is chairman of the board of managers of the UI Research Park. From 1999 to the present, McMillan has been the owner and CEO of McMillan, LLC, a transaction consulting firm which provides strategic consulting services and facilitates mergers and/or acquisitions predominantly to food and agribusiness industry sectors based in Greenville, IL.

From June 1969 to December 1987 he was with Ralston Purina, Inc. and Purina Mills, Inc. where he held various senior level management positions including marketing, strategic planning, business development, product research, and business segment management. From January 1988 to March 1996, Mr. McMillan was President and CEO of Purina Mills, Inc. From August 1996 to July 1997, Mr. McMillan presented a graduate seminar at Purdue University. From August 1997 to April 1999 Mr. McMillan was with Agri Business Group, Inc. Mr. McMillan currently serves on the boards of directors of Balchem, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCPC), Durvet, Inc., Newco Enterprises, Inc., CHB LLC., and Hintzsche, Inc. Mr. McMillan also serves as Chair of the University of Illinois Research Park, LLC and Greenville College Foundation Board.

Mike Tokarz IV Website

Michael T. Tokarz

Chairman, Illinois Emerging Technology Fund

About Mr. Tokarz

Mr. Tokarz is a senior investment professional with over 30 years of lending and investment experience.  He is currently the founder and Chairman of The Tokarz Group, a private, New York-based merchant bank, and as Chairman and Portfolio Manager of its MVC Capital Fund (NYSE:MVC).

Michael was formerly a General Partner with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. ("KKR"), one of the world's most experienced private equity firms.  During his 17-year tenure at KKR, he participated in diverse leveraged buyouts, financings, restructurings and dispositions.  Mr. Tokarz currently serves on numerous corporate boards including Walter Industries, Inc., Stonewater Control Systems, Lomonsov, Athleta, Inc. and Apertio Ltd.

Michael also serves on the Board of the University of Illinois Foundation and its Investment and Executive Committees.  Prior to his tenure at KKR, Mr. Tokarz was a commercial banker at Continental Illinois where he was renowned for innovation and buyout financings.  Mr. Tokarz rose to run the East Coast operation of Continental Illinois from New York.  He is also active on the Endowment Committee and Board of Directors of the National Wildlife Federation.  He received his undergraduate degree with High Distinction in Economics and MBA in Finance from the University of Illinois and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Brendan Fox IV Website

Brendan Fox

Vice Chairman

About Dr. Fox

Brendan Fox was President and CEO of Elanco Animal Health, a division of Eli Lilly & Company from 1990 to 2001.  Dr. Fox worked in research, regulatory affairs, marketing, and line management in both the United States and Europe, becoming executive director of Elanco's International animal Health Business in 1987.  Upon his appointment as President of Elanco in 1990, Dr. Fox became a member of Lilly's Senior Management group.

Prior to Elanco, Dr. Fox had a broad range of international experience in animal health with Burroughs Wellcome and Shell International Chemical Company, London, working in Europe, Latin America, and Africa.  Dr. Fox was an active participant for many years in Animal Health Industry Association affairs in both Europe and the United States and is a past President of COMISA, the forerunner of IFAH, the worldwide industry association for animal health.

Dr. Fox is an Advisor to the Mid-Point Food and Ag Fund which is aimed at developing start up companies bringing new technologies to the AgBio field.  He graduated from the University of Edinburgh in in Veterinary Medicine and Surgery in 1967 and is a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

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Michael Liang

Boardmember

About Dr. Liang

Michael Liang joined Baird Capital in 2006 and concentrates on Healthcare investments. Prior to joining Baird Capital, Mike was a venture investor with Advent Venture Partners and before that served in an operating role as a Director of R&D at Cortek, a spinal orthopedics company. Mike is currently a member of the board of directors of Amphora Medical, GenomeDx Biosciences, Insightra Medical, Veniti, Zurex Pharma, Integrated Diagnostics and Apervita, serving as chairman of the board for Insightra Medical and Veniti. He was previously a board member of Interlace Medical before its acquisition in 2011 and a board observer of TomoTherapy before its public offering.  Mike is a member of the advisory board for the University of Illinois Chicago’s Proof of Concept Fund, Northwestern University’s Innovation and New Ventures Office, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) Accelerator program and Chicago MATTER. Mike also is a member of Rush University Medical Center’s Associates Board.  Mike received a BS from the University of California Berkeley and a PhD in biophysical chemistry from Stanford University and conducted a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University.

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Franklyn Prendergrast

Boardmember

About Dr. Prendergast

Franklyn G. Prendergast, M.D., Ph.D., is a consultant in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester.  He holds the academic rank of professor of biochemistry, molecular biology and pharmacology.  In addition, he is recognized with the distinction of a named professorship, the Edmond and Marion Guggenheim Professorship of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.  He served as director of Mayo Clinic Cancer Center from 1994 to 2006 and currently is director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine.

Dr. Prendergast obtained his medical degree with honors from the University of West Indies and attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, earning the M.A. degree in physiology.  After an internal medicine residency at Mayo Clinic, Dr. Prendergast obtained the Ph.D. degree in biochemistry at the University of Minnesota/Mayo Graduate School.

Dr. Prendergast is the former chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the former director for research at Mayo Clinic in Rochester from 1989-1992.  From 1989-1996, inclusive, he was a member of the Board of Governors for Mayo Clinic in Rochester.  He has served on Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees continuously between 1992-2009 also has served on Mayo Clinic’s Board of Governors, the senior governance committee responsible for governance of the entire institution.  He was recognized as a Mayo Distinguished Investigator in 1988.

Extramurally, Dr. Prendergast has served extensively for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on numerous study section review groups; as a charter member of the Board of Advisors for the Division of Research Grants, now the Center for Scientific Review; the National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council; the Board of Scientific Advisors of the National Cancer Institute.  He held a Presidential Commission for service on the National Cancer Advisory Board.  Dr. Prendergast also has served in numerous other advisory roles for the NIH and the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, and he is a member of the board of directors of the Translational Genomics Research Institute and the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI).

Dr. Prendergast currently serves on the board of directors of Eli Lilly & Co.; Proventys - a biotechnology informatics company; DemeRx – a biotechnology drug development company as well as two not-for-profit organizations.  He is a member of the board of regents of St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn.  He has received numerous honors and awards, most notably the Rhodes Scholarship honorary doctorates from Purdue University and the University of West Indies, Outstanding Graduate from the University of the West Indies, Outstanding Graduate of the College of Biological Sciences from the University of Minnesota and the Musgrave Gold Medal from the Institute of Jamaica.

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Bill Tai

Boardmember

About Mr. Tai

Bill established CRV's Silicon Valley presence and is a Partner Emeritus backing Ark.com, Maxthon, Scribd, Wish.com on CRV's behalf. He is a past Investor in more than a dozen startups that made it to public listing and on the Board of Directors for 7 of them as public companies.

He is a Board Director at BitFury, Voxer and Treasure Data where he is Chairman. Among Lead Angels in Canva, Color Genomics, SafetyCulture, Shoes of Prey, Tango.me, Tweetdeck(Twitter), Zoom.us. Backer of Further Future and MaiTai Global.  He was previously a venture capitalist at IVP; Founding CEO of iAsiaWorks (IPO 2000 via Goldman Sachs), and Founding Chairman of IPinfusion (TSE:4813).

 

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Peter Schiffer

Vice Chancellor for Research (Urbana-Champaign)

About Dr. Schiffer

Peter Schiffer is the Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  He was previously the associate vice president for research and director of strategic initiatives at Pennsylvania State University.

Schiffer earned his doctorate in physics at Stanford University in 1993 and his Bachelor of Science (with distinction) at Yale University in 1988.  He has been a professor of physics at Penn State since July 2003.  He was named the university's associate vice president for research and director of strategic initiatives in April 2007.

He has led numerous committees and task forces and has achieved numerous honors, including a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (1997) and an Alfred P.  Sloan Research Fellowship (1998). He was named a fellow of the American Physical Society (2004) and won the Faculty Scholar Medal in the Physical Sciences at Penn State (2006).  He also won the Ruth and Jowl Spira Award for Teaching Excellence at Penn State (2008).

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Mitra Dutta

Vice Chancellor for Research (University of Illinois at Chicago)

About Dr. Dutta

Mitra Dutta is the Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  She previously served as Distinguished Professor and the Head, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering, and Professor of Physics, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Her research has focused on electronic and optoelectronic devices as well as the physics of these materials and device structures.  Dr. Dutta had held adjunct professor positions at Rutgers University, University of Maryland, North Carolina State University, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She has authored or co-authored over 400 publications and presentations, holds 31 US and Canadian patents, has co-edited five books and is a co-author on a sixth.  She served on the Army Science and Technology Committee for Homeland Security, and co-authored the NRC Reports 1 and 2 for the Board for Army Science and Technology.

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Lesley Millar-Nicholson

Director - Office of Technology Management (Urbana-Champaign)

About Ms. Millar-Nicholson

Lesley Millar-Nicholson has served as the Director of the Office of Technology Management (OTM) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign since 2006; she originally joined the Office in 2002 as an Engineering Technology Manager. As Director, Ms. Millar-Nicholson leads a team of more than 20 professionals responsible for engaging with faculty, staff, corporations, and venture groups to commercialize the intellectual property arising from the more than $600 million in research conducted on campus. She also works with a wide range of campus, corporate, and community partners, furthering the office's mission to encourage innovation, enhance research and facilitate economic development. Prior to joining the OTM, she had an extensive career in local government in England where she worked in consulting, contract and small business management, strategic planning, and policy development.

Ms. Millar-Nicholson is a frequent speaker at technology transfer seminars and professional meetings. She is President-Elect of the Board of Governors of Certified Licensing Professionals Inc. and a member of the Board of Managers of Illinois Ventures LLC. She is a regular contributor to articles and webinars for Technology Transfer Tactics and provides ongoing advice and guidance to Enterprise Ireland on technology transfer issues for Irish Universities. She is a member of both the Licensing Executive Society and the Association of University Technology Managers. A native of Scotland, Ms. Millar-Nicholson has a B.Ed. an M.Ed and an MBA. She is also a Certified Licensing Professional (CLP).

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Wade Green

Director - Office of Technology Management (Chicago)

About Dr. Green

Wade joined the Office of Technology Management as Senior Technology Manager in January, 2012 and held the position of Assistant Director of Operations before becoming the Interim Director of OTM in February, 2015.

Wade has been a technology transfer professional since 2005 and has managed intellectual property portfolios in OTM, the Office of Technology and Intellectual Property at The University of Chicago and the Office of Technology Development at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH. Although his area of expertise is in the biological sciences, he has also managed intellectual property from fields as diverse as crop sciences, physical sciences and education.

Wade received both a B.S. and M.S. in Microbiology from Michigan State University where he specialized in viral pathogenesis. He also received a Ph.D. in Microbiology from The University of Chicago where his worked focused on bacterial pathogenesis. Wade continued his formal training as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Texas Health Science Center – Houston studying the disease mechanisms of Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax. Wade is a member of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), the Licensing Executives Society (LES), the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

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Walt Knorr

Vice President/Chief Financial Officer and Comptroller

About Mr. Knorr

Walter Knorr was appointed as Vice President/Chief Financial Officer and Comptroller for the University of Illinois in January 2007. He is the first chief financial officer for the University.

The chief financial officer is comptroller of the Board of Trustees and has management oversight and responsibility for all financial functions and oversees all revenues, costs, capital expenditures, investments and debt. The vice president/CFO also serves as treasurer of the University of Illinois Foundation and as an ex officio member of the University of Illinois Alumni Association board of directors.

Knorr served the City of Chicago from 1982 to 2002 and worked for three different mayors during that time. He worked for two years with Citigroup Capital Markets from 2002-2004 and returned to the public sector as comptroller of Cook County. His other private-sector employment included the Northern Trust Bank, where he was a vice president for public finance, and Arthur Young & Co., where he was an auditor specializing in taxation and governmental financial reporting.

As CFO for Chicago, Knorr was responsible for a $5 billion-per-year municipal budget and, as Cook County comptroller he managed a county budget of $3 billion per year.

Knorr received a bachelor of arts degree in business, with honors, in 1971 from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. He resides in Chicago and is based on the University of Illinois at Chicago campus.

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Mike Bass

Sr. Associate Vice President and Deputy Comptroller

About Mr. Bass

Mr. Bass is the executive leader of the Office of Business and Financial Services (OBFS).  He provides advice and counsel to university executive officers and, via the University Vice President/Chief Financial Officer/Comptroller, advises the Board of Trustees on business and financial matters.  As the SAVP he is responsible for establishing university business and financial policy, issuing financial reports, and ensuring the proper stewardship of university funds.

+ Our Team

Investment Team

Nancy

Nancy Sullivan

CEO & Managing Director

About Nancy

Nancy Sullivan serves as the CEO and Managing Director of IllinoisVENTURES, LLC. With over 15 years of experience in the commercialization and entrepreneurial sector, Nancy leads the IllinoisVENTURES, LLC investment portfolio. Ms. Sullivan oversees $70 million + in assets under management. She is responsible for overall fund operations including serving as the main point of contact for limited partner base and the investment management of leading portfolio companies.

Nancy promotes the development of new companies commercializing complex technologies by assisting the companies in obtaining venture capital funding, recruiting management talent and obtaining necessary business services. She serves on the boards of two Chicago based startups, Personify and Diagnostic Photonics.

Nancy earned her MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management and a Master's in Biotechnology, from Northwestern. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Loyola University.

Tom

Tom Parkinson

Principal

About Tom

Thomas E. Parkinson is Senior Director of IllinoisVENTURES, based in Champaign-Urbana. He has been investing in, mentoring and advising technology-based startup companies in the Chicago area, the broader Midwest and in Central Appalachia for more than 30 years. He was a partner with Woodland Venture Management, based in Chicago, where he helped raise and manage two venture capital funds that invested in high-growth companies in under-served and fly-over regions of the country. Prior to that, he was the Executive Director of a successful seed capital fund affiliated with Northwestern University and the CFO of an award-winning technology business incubator.

Mr. Parkinson has taught courses in entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial finance at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Ohio University, and most recently at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. He taught the capstone class in Kellogg’s Discover-Test-Launch sequence for student entrepreneurs for four years. His students have gone on to raise several million dollars in startup capital and launch more than a dozen new businesses in the US and around the world.

He has a BA from Northwestern and an MBA from Kellogg, with a specialization in Urban Economic Development. He is a member of the National Advisory Committee for Pipeline, a prestigious entrepreneurial fellowship program based in Kansas City.

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Kapila Viges

Sr. Associate

About Kapila

Kapila Viges serves as Senior Associate and leads the Proof of Concept Fund for IllinoisVENTURES. She has over 15 years of experience in starting and growing early stage technology companies, organizational strategy, and innovation based economic development. Kapila has directly funded, raised funds for, and managed early stage startups, incubators, accelerators, research parks and entrepreneurial support organizations.

Kapila served as Director of EnterpriseWorks Chicago at the University of Illinois, launching a new model for technology and startup incubation operations to support the commercialization of complex research and high-tech innovation. Prior to joining the University, Kapila served as Managing Director at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation on the team leading the state’s innovation and entrepreneurship strategy through the 21st Century Jobs Fund.

Kapila received her degree in Materials Science and Engineering at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and is an Executive Scholar from the Northwestern Kellogg School of Management.

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Chase Bonhag

Associate

About Chase

Chase Bonhag is an Associate at IllinoisVENTURES, LLC where he focuses on the sourcing and due diligence of new investments, the assessment of both technical and commercial strengths and weaknesses of early-stage technologies and provides investment recommendations for IllinoisVENTURES.

Chase has played an active role in the University of Illinois entrepreneurial ecosystem for the last two years, spending time as an Associate Instructor of Entrepreneurship in both the College of Business and Engineering, supporting Dr. Paul Magelli and Professor Brian Lilly.

Prior to joining IllinoisVENTURES, Chase worked on the Global Strategic Marketing team at Abbott Point of Care, supporting projects related to Abbott’s $5.8B acquisition of Alere.   Chase also spent time at a boutique healthcare consulting firm focusing on care management and was a co-founder of HireStarts.  Chase earned his MBA from the University of Illinois where he was named a Dean’s Fellow.  He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Western Michigan University.

+ Board Members

Board Members

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Edward L. McMillan

Chairman

About Mr. McMillan

Edward L. McMillan was appointed to the University of Illinois Board of Trustees by Gov. Pat Quinn in March 2009. McMillan, a 1969 graduate of the Urbana-Champaign campus with a BS in Agricultural Science, has served on the UI Alumni Association board, the UI Foundation board, and is chairman of the board of managers of the UI Research Park. From 1999 to the present, McMillan has been the owner and CEO of McMillan, LLC, a transaction consulting firm which provides strategic consulting services and facilitates mergers and/or acquisitions predominantly to food and agribusiness industry sectors based in Greenville, IL.

From June 1969 to December 1987 he was with Ralston Purina, Inc. and Purina Mills, Inc. where he held various senior level management positions including marketing, strategic planning, business development, product research, and business segment management. From January 1988 to March 1996, Mr. McMillan was President and CEO of Purina Mills, Inc. From August 1996 to July 1997, Mr. McMillan presented a graduate seminar at Purdue University. From August 1997 to April 1999 Mr. McMillan was with Agri Business Group, Inc. Mr. McMillan currently serves on the boards of directors of Balchem, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCPC), Durvet, Inc., Newco Enterprises, Inc., CHB LLC., and Hintzsche, Inc. Mr. McMillan also serves as Chair of the University of Illinois Research Park, LLC and Greenville College Foundation Board.

Mike Tokarz IV Website

Michael T. Tokarz

Chairman, Illinois Emerging Technology Fund

About Mr. Tokarz

Mr. Tokarz is a senior investment professional with over 30 years of lending and investment experience.  He is currently the founder and Chairman of The Tokarz Group, a private, New York-based merchant bank, and as Chairman and Portfolio Manager of its MVC Capital Fund (NYSE:MVC).

Michael was formerly a General Partner with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. ("KKR"), one of the world's most experienced private equity firms.  During his 17-year tenure at KKR, he participated in diverse leveraged buyouts, financings, restructurings and dispositions.  Mr. Tokarz currently serves on numerous corporate boards including Walter Industries, Inc., Stonewater Control Systems, Lomonsov, Athleta, Inc. and Apertio Ltd.

Michael also serves on the Board of the University of Illinois Foundation and its Investment and Executive Committees.  Prior to his tenure at KKR, Mr. Tokarz was a commercial banker at Continental Illinois where he was renowned for innovation and buyout financings.  Mr. Tokarz rose to run the East Coast operation of Continental Illinois from New York.  He is also active on the Endowment Committee and Board of Directors of the National Wildlife Federation.  He received his undergraduate degree with High Distinction in Economics and MBA in Finance from the University of Illinois and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Brendan Fox IV Website

Brendan Fox

Vice Chairman

About Dr. Fox

Brendan Fox was President and CEO of Elanco Animal Health, a division of Eli Lilly & Company from 1990 to 2001.  Dr. Fox worked in research, regulatory affairs, marketing, and line management in both the United States and Europe, becoming executive director of Elanco's International animal Health Business in 1987.  Upon his appointment as President of Elanco in 1990, Dr. Fox became a member of Lilly's Senior Management group.

Prior to Elanco, Dr. Fox had a broad range of international experience in animal health with Burroughs Wellcome and Shell International Chemical Company, London, working in Europe, Latin America, and Africa.  Dr. Fox was an active participant for many years in Animal Health Industry Association affairs in both Europe and the United States and is a past President of COMISA, the forerunner of IFAH, the worldwide industry association for animal health.

Dr. Fox is an Advisor to the Mid-Point Food and Ag Fund which is aimed at developing start up companies bringing new technologies to the AgBio field.  He graduated from the University of Edinburgh in in Veterinary Medicine and Surgery in 1967 and is a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

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Michael Liang

Boardmember

About Dr. Liang

Michael Liang joined Baird Capital in 2006 and concentrates on Healthcare investments. Prior to joining Baird Capital, Mike was a venture investor with Advent Venture Partners and before that served in an operating role as a Director of R&D at Cortek, a spinal orthopedics company. Mike is currently a member of the board of directors of Amphora Medical, GenomeDx Biosciences, Insightra Medical, Veniti, Zurex Pharma, Integrated Diagnostics and Apervita, serving as chairman of the board for Insightra Medical and Veniti. He was previously a board member of Interlace Medical before its acquisition in 2011 and a board observer of TomoTherapy before its public offering.  Mike is a member of the advisory board for the University of Illinois Chicago’s Proof of Concept Fund, Northwestern University’s Innovation and New Ventures Office, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) Accelerator program and Chicago MATTER. Mike also is a member of Rush University Medical Center’s Associates Board.  Mike received a BS from the University of California Berkeley and a PhD in biophysical chemistry from Stanford University and conducted a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University.

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Franklyn Prendergrast

Boardmember

About Dr. Prendergast

Franklyn G. Prendergast, M.D., Ph.D., is a consultant in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester.  He holds the academic rank of professor of biochemistry, molecular biology and pharmacology.  In addition, he is recognized with the distinction of a named professorship, the Edmond and Marion Guggenheim Professorship of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.  He served as director of Mayo Clinic Cancer Center from 1994 to 2006 and currently is director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine.

Dr. Prendergast obtained his medical degree with honors from the University of West Indies and attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, earning the M.A. degree in physiology.  After an internal medicine residency at Mayo Clinic, Dr. Prendergast obtained the Ph.D. degree in biochemistry at the University of Minnesota/Mayo Graduate School.

Dr. Prendergast is the former chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the former director for research at Mayo Clinic in Rochester from 1989-1992.  From 1989-1996, inclusive, he was a member of the Board of Governors for Mayo Clinic in Rochester.  He has served on Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees continuously between 1992-2009 also has served on Mayo Clinic’s Board of Governors, the senior governance committee responsible for governance of the entire institution.  He was recognized as a Mayo Distinguished Investigator in 1988.

Extramurally, Dr. Prendergast has served extensively for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on numerous study section review groups; as a charter member of the Board of Advisors for the Division of Research Grants, now the Center for Scientific Review; the National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council; the Board of Scientific Advisors of the National Cancer Institute.  He held a Presidential Commission for service on the National Cancer Advisory Board.  Dr. Prendergast also has served in numerous other advisory roles for the NIH and the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, and he is a member of the board of directors of the Translational Genomics Research Institute and the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI).

Dr. Prendergast currently serves on the board of directors of Eli Lilly & Co.; Proventys - a biotechnology informatics company; DemeRx – a biotechnology drug development company as well as two not-for-profit organizations.  He is a member of the board of regents of St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn.  He has received numerous honors and awards, most notably the Rhodes Scholarship honorary doctorates from Purdue University and the University of West Indies, Outstanding Graduate from the University of the West Indies, Outstanding Graduate of the College of Biological Sciences from the University of Minnesota and the Musgrave Gold Medal from the Institute of Jamaica.

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Bill Tai

Boardmember

About Mr. Tai

Bill established CRV's Silicon Valley presence and is a Partner Emeritus backing Ark.com, Maxthon, Scribd, Wish.com on CRV's behalf. He is a past Investor in more than a dozen startups that made it to public listing and on the Board of Directors for 7 of them as public companies.

He is a Board Director at BitFury, Voxer and Treasure Data where he is Chairman. Among Lead Angels in Canva, Color Genomics, SafetyCulture, Shoes of Prey, Tango.me, Tweetdeck(Twitter), Zoom.us. Backer of Further Future and MaiTai Global.  He was previously a venture capitalist at IVP; Founding CEO of iAsiaWorks (IPO 2000 via Goldman Sachs), and Founding Chairman of IPinfusion (TSE:4813).

 

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Peter Schiffer

Vice Chancellor for Research (Urbana-Champaign)

About Dr. Schiffer

Peter Schiffer is the Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  He was previously the associate vice president for research and director of strategic initiatives at Pennsylvania State University.

Schiffer earned his doctorate in physics at Stanford University in 1993 and his Bachelor of Science (with distinction) at Yale University in 1988.  He has been a professor of physics at Penn State since July 2003.  He was named the university's associate vice president for research and director of strategic initiatives in April 2007.

He has led numerous committees and task forces and has achieved numerous honors, including a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (1997) and an Alfred P.  Sloan Research Fellowship (1998). He was named a fellow of the American Physical Society (2004) and won the Faculty Scholar Medal in the Physical Sciences at Penn State (2006).  He also won the Ruth and Jowl Spira Award for Teaching Excellence at Penn State (2008).

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Mitra Dutta

Vice Chancellor for Research (University of Illinois at Chicago)

About Dr. Dutta

Mitra Dutta is the Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  She previously served as Distinguished Professor and the Head, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering, and Professor of Physics, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Her research has focused on electronic and optoelectronic devices as well as the physics of these materials and device structures.  Dr. Dutta had held adjunct professor positions at Rutgers University, University of Maryland, North Carolina State University, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She has authored or co-authored over 400 publications and presentations, holds 31 US and Canadian patents, has co-edited five books and is a co-author on a sixth.  She served on the Army Science and Technology Committee for Homeland Security, and co-authored the NRC Reports 1 and 2 for the Board for Army Science and Technology.

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Lesley Millar-Nicholson

Director - Office of Technology Management (Urbana-Champaign)

About Ms. Millar-Nicholson

Lesley Millar-Nicholson has served as the Director of the Office of Technology Management (OTM) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign since 2006; she originally joined the Office in 2002 as an Engineering Technology Manager. As Director, Ms. Millar-Nicholson leads a team of more than 20 professionals responsible for engaging with faculty, staff, corporations, and venture groups to commercialize the intellectual property arising from the more than $600 million in research conducted on campus. She also works with a wide range of campus, corporate, and community partners, furthering the office's mission to encourage innovation, enhance research and facilitate economic development. Prior to joining the OTM, she had an extensive career in local government in England where she worked in consulting, contract and small business management, strategic planning, and policy development.

Ms. Millar-Nicholson is a frequent speaker at technology transfer seminars and professional meetings. She is President-Elect of the Board of Governors of Certified Licensing Professionals Inc. and a member of the Board of Managers of Illinois Ventures LLC. She is a regular contributor to articles and webinars for Technology Transfer Tactics and provides ongoing advice and guidance to Enterprise Ireland on technology transfer issues for Irish Universities. She is a member of both the Licensing Executive Society and the Association of University Technology Managers. A native of Scotland, Ms. Millar-Nicholson has a B.Ed. an M.Ed and an MBA. She is also a Certified Licensing Professional (CLP).

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Wade Green

Director - Office of Technology Management (Chicago)

About Dr. Green

Wade joined the Office of Technology Management as Senior Technology Manager in January, 2012 and held the position of Assistant Director of Operations before becoming the Interim Director of OTM in February, 2015.

Wade has been a technology transfer professional since 2005 and has managed intellectual property portfolios in OTM, the Office of Technology and Intellectual Property at The University of Chicago and the Office of Technology Development at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH. Although his area of expertise is in the biological sciences, he has also managed intellectual property from fields as diverse as crop sciences, physical sciences and education.

Wade received both a B.S. and M.S. in Microbiology from Michigan State University where he specialized in viral pathogenesis. He also received a Ph.D. in Microbiology from The University of Chicago where his worked focused on bacterial pathogenesis. Wade continued his formal training as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Texas Health Science Center – Houston studying the disease mechanisms of Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax. Wade is a member of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), the Licensing Executives Society (LES), the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

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Walt Knorr

Vice President/Chief Financial Officer and Comptroller

About Mr. Knorr

Walter Knorr was appointed as Vice President/Chief Financial Officer and Comptroller for the University of Illinois in January 2007. He is the first chief financial officer for the University.

The chief financial officer is comptroller of the Board of Trustees and has management oversight and responsibility for all financial functions and oversees all revenues, costs, capital expenditures, investments and debt. The vice president/CFO also serves as treasurer of the University of Illinois Foundation and as an ex officio member of the University of Illinois Alumni Association board of directors.

Knorr served the City of Chicago from 1982 to 2002 and worked for three different mayors during that time. He worked for two years with Citigroup Capital Markets from 2002-2004 and returned to the public sector as comptroller of Cook County. His other private-sector employment included the Northern Trust Bank, where he was a vice president for public finance, and Arthur Young & Co., where he was an auditor specializing in taxation and governmental financial reporting.

As CFO for Chicago, Knorr was responsible for a $5 billion-per-year municipal budget and, as Cook County comptroller he managed a county budget of $3 billion per year.

Knorr received a bachelor of arts degree in business, with honors, in 1971 from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. He resides in Chicago and is based on the University of Illinois at Chicago campus.

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Mike Bass

Sr. Associate Vice President and Deputy Comptroller

About Mr. Bass

Mr. Bass is the executive leader of the Office of Business and Financial Services (OBFS).  He provides advice and counsel to university executive officers and, via the University Vice President/Chief Financial Officer/Comptroller, advises the Board of Trustees on business and financial matters.  As the SAVP he is responsible for establishing university business and financial policy, issuing financial reports, and ensuring the proper stewardship of university funds.