Neil Sheridan, Facilitator of the VLW
Neil Sheridan is CEO and founder of SVPI, LLC. SVPI assists corporations, small and medium-sized businesses and large non-profit clients with performance and sustainable profitability through service innovation and commercialization strategies. With over 20 years of management consulting and development experience, Neil has taught thousands of participants on organizational strategy and development. He has worked with hundreds of companies on marketing, financial management, team recruitment, selling and funding issues. Neil is an expert facilitator who has helped create successful organizational development or turnaround strategies by fostering effective communications and consensus among leaders, board members and professionals.
Neil chairs the Entrepreneurship Task Force for the Small Business Association of Michigan, which works on advocating for pro-growth policies helping small businesses. He serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Windsor in Canada and as a guest lecturer at other universities.
Neil has extensive leadership experience as an executive, board member and consultant for banking, securities, insurance, energy, higher education, healthcare, manufacturing, government and not-for-profit organizations. He has also served as an interim chief executive in profit and non-profit settings.
Neil serves as a reviewer for the National Science Foundation on Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants, including on electronics, photonics, IT, energy, materials and life sciences ventures. He also assists with other national and regional business growth initiatives. In 2013, the United States Secretary of Commerce appointed him to the District Export Council for Michigan. Neil's work as a senior consultant, executive coach, keynote speaker and university lecturer has taken place in the United States, the Netherlands, China, the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, France and Canada. Neil holds US and EU dual citizenship and is conversationally fluent in German.
He earned an MBA in Finance at New York University, a Master of Science degree in Information Technology at Kettering, and a Bachelor degree in International Affairs at Drew University. He is a doctoral researcher with the Institute of Innovation and Governance Studies at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. Neil actively supports causes for education, technology entrepreneurship, workforce development and economic improvement. He has served on numerous industry, governmental and academic boards.
Prof. dr. Aard Groen, Dean UGCE
Aard Groen holds a double position: he is a professor of Innovative Entrepreneurship at the University of Twente, and leads since 2001 NIKOS, the Netherlands Institute for Knowledge Intensive Entrepreneurship. He is also since 2012 professor of Entrepreneurship and Valorisation at the University of Groningen, and is dean of entrepreneurship at the University of Groningen Centre of Entrepreneurship. Groen leads the development of Venturelab International, started as Venturelab Twente and now also as Venturelab North (VLN) in Groningen, where VLN is focusing on a.o. energy and health businesses.
Groen teaches on innovation, entrepreneurship, marketing and business development, and researches processes of entrepreneurship in several settings. In Venturelabs we not only support entrepreneurial processes, but also develop new forms of research of entrepreneurial processes by means of a systematic quality/monitor system. Other settings are social-economic deprived areas for social entrepreneurship as well in rural areas in North-Eastern Netherlands, in cities in such as Groningen and Enschede, and international in a.o. India & Columbia. Finally, also in existing firms we do engaged research on corporate entrepreneurship, for example for process industries in North-Eastern Netherlands, but also in several international settings, such as Russia, China, India, and Mexico.
Aard Groen has published several chapters in books and in journals such as Journal of Management, Journal of Product Innovation Management, Technovation, and Technological Forecasting and Social Change.
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