Spartan Innovations

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Nichole Maguire

Nichole Maguire serves as the Administrative Assistant for Spartan Innovations. In this position, she ensures the fluidity of day-to-day operations through scheduling/calendar management, event coordination, and marketing/communications projects.  

Vishalakshi Krishnan, Ph.D.

Vishalakshi Krishnan’s background in life sciences & healthcare spans technology commercialization, innovation management and strategy consulting. As a Senior Life Science consultant at Foresight Science and Technology she works with early stage technologies and startup companies to evaluate their commercial potential and path-to-market.

Matt Rudd

Global business leader with a record of achieving multimillion-dollar improvements in sales and profit using Lean Manufacturing to improve operational performance. Consistently deliver enterprise-spanning results by restructuring teams into a cohesive, effective whole. Extensive experience as champion of quality working tirelessly for divisional best practices. Trained in executive management, assessment, and transformation planning.

Kendell Pawelec, Ph.D.

Kendell Pawelec has a background in material sciences, metallurgy, and both mechanical and biological engineering. She has worked for the University of Cambridge, Fujifilm Manufacturing, the University of Michigan and as an industry consultant for medical devices.

Kendell is a Spartan Innovations EIR working as the CEO of FibrosIX, a SBIR funded startup developing anti-fibrotic small molecule therapeutics to both prevent and reverse fibrotic disease.

Thomas Stewart

Thomas is a professional manager and business coach, with primary expertise in organizational design, program design, and operational strategy. Over the last decade, he has provided consultation to hundreds of organizations in a wide range of industries. Tom has formerly served Downtown Lansing, Inc., the REO Town Commercial Association, the Capital Area United Way's Young Leader's Society, the Board of Directors for the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Capital Area United Way, and the Lansing Symphony Orchestra. He has a BS degree in Psychology from Michigan State University.

Michelle Tokarz, Ph.D.

Michelle has spent the last 7 years as an entrepreneur, most recently as a Principal Scientist responsible for chemical and characterization studies for Upland Nanotech a spin-off company from Michigan Tech University. Before that, she was part of an energy efficient lighting company ( BDT LightSource/ AGT) which grew annual sales to over $7.0 million, completed 4 rounds of funding and in Jan 2016 sold controlling interests to Ushio American a leading global lighting company.

Brad Fingland, Ph.D.

Brad has spent his career commercializing early technologies in the physical sciences. Before becoming Director at Spartan Innovations he was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR). As an EIR he worked with Michigan State University faculty and staff to facilitate commercialization of bio-based materials technologies discovered or developed at the university. Before his arrival at Spartan Innovations he lead the materials research and lightweighting activities in the Core Science group at Tenneco Automotive, where he worked to develop the next generation of exhaust and suspension systems.

Erik Klink

As a steely eyed missile man, Erik serves as the Salesforce Administrator for the Michigan State University Foundation and its subsidiaries, including Spartan Innovations. Erik is responsible for developing efficient processes within and around the instance of Salesforce. The data he manages is integral to the health of MSU Hatch's programming, as well as the startups served by Spartan Innovations and the University Corporate Research Park.

Gabriela M. Allum

As the New Venture Associate, Gabriela works with Spartan Innovations and the MSU Foundation. With Spartan Innovations, she is responsible for providing administrative support to the Venture Creation Team. She also assists with the Fellows program and other various Venture Creation Team needs. Her role with the MSU Foundation is to manage the Technology Innovation Center, working with high-tech startup companies to expedite company growth and provide daily oversight and management to the business incubator space.

Frank A. Urban

Frank Urban specializes in commercializing early stage therapeutics and diagnostics within the life sciences.  Prior to Spartan Innovations, Frank was a Licensing Associate in the Office of Technology Commercialization at Wayne State University.  Prior to that, he had varied business development, sales and scientific roles for a number of life science companies, to include Everist Genomics, Charles River Laboratories, MIR Preclinical Services, Molecular Imaging Products, Pfizer and Parke Davis.  He has also worked as a consultant for numerous start-up companies and managed various laborator