Leadership Team

John Carlisle

John Carlisle, Director Chain Reaction Innovations

John Carlisle is a physicist and entrepreneur with a strong passion for translating fundamental discoveries into disruptive products.

As director of Chain Reaction Innovations, John’s focus is on supporting the next generation of innovators to move hardware-based energy technologies into applications with high societal and economic impact. CRI enables the innovator and their innovation to leverage the extensive resources within Argonne National Laboratory for two years. The long term vision is to more effectively translate high-risk technologies into the market while also enabling a new generation of entrepreneurs to create new businesses that will keep the US at the forefront of energy innovation.

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Diana Morgan, Operations Lead

 

 

John Aikens, Collaborations Lead

John is responsible for developing external business partnerships and collaborations on behalf of Chain Reaction Innovations.

He has over 25 years of experience in small business and has worked at all organizational levels including leading research and operational teams as well as holding founder, CEO and CTO positions. As a serial entrepreneur, John has been involved with creating four new ventures and counting including Lybradyn, Proterro, Mesodynamics, and JL Biosciences and has raised over $15 million dollars in angel and seed capital. He is an experienced executive working in the biotechnology, fine chemicals, materials science and sustainable energy industries. John has lead teams that have successfully secured non-dilutive funding including SBIR and STTR grants which lead to the commercialization of products serving the biotechnology research, fine chemical production and chemical defense markets.

For the last decade, John has provided consulting and advisory services to the venture capital community focused on technology and business diligence. In addition he has worked with startup businesses related to technology development and commercialization of technologies. John is an active inventor and has been responsible for discoveries leading to over 20 patents. He is also serves as an advisor and mentor having worked with entrepreneurs from Universities including Princeton, Northwestern, the University of California, Davis and the University of Illinois as well as Department of Energy programs including Argonne’s Chain Reaction Innovations, Lawrence Berkeley’s Cyclotron Road, and NREL’s Energy I-Corps and R2M Accelerator Programs. John is an advocate for sustainability and alternative energy having served on the La Grange Park Sustainability Commission.

John holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California, Irvine with postdoctoral studies in Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign.

Adria Wilson, Entrepreneurial Program Lead

 Shigeta Applewhite

Shigeta Applewhite, Administrative Support

Shigeta Applewhite is the Administrative Assistant to the Chain Reaction Innovations and Argonne Design Works.

She serves as the administrative backbone to CRI by partnering with the Directors and Innovators to manage meeting schedules, conference attendance and travel, plan events. Shigeta’s diverse skill set was gained across a range of industries, including oil and gas, investment management, law, health care and education. She also independently owned and operated a licensed, in-home daycare for several years. Currently she is completing her BA in Organizational Leadership at Lewis University.

 

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  • Argonne selects innovators from across nation to grow startups

    Entrepreneurs from Illinois, California, New York, Texas and Missouri have won spots in an elite national program at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory to grow startup technologies. On April 18, John Carlisle announced the second cohort of Chain Reaction Innovations (CRI) following an extensive … Read More

  • Science entrepreneurship competition with up to $420,000 award opens Sept. 5

    Building an energy or materials science technology is difficult. Chain Reaction Innovations (CRI) can help you do that by providing business planning and technical mentorship, up to $200,000 in a fellowship grant, and up to $220,000 to spend on research work at Argonne National Laboratory. Read More

  • Clean Energy Trust Challenge Accepting Applications Until Jan. 17

    The Clean Energy Trust (CET) Challenge is one of the nation’s largest fundraising events for energy tech startups. This is the eight year of the program and the third consecutive year that CET has committed to invest $1,000,000 in cleantech startups in the Midwest. The … Read More

  • World-Class Mentoring

    A key component of the Chain Reaction Innovations (CRI) program is business mentorship. In addition to the world-class scientific and technical support that CRI will provide innovators, participants will also get assistance in developing business strategies, conducting market research, and finding long-term financing and potential … Read More

  • Chain Reaction Innovation's First-Ever Cohort Features Diverse Set of Innovators and Ideas

    Applicants for CRI came from 22 states. About 50% of applicants were with startups; the rest were students, professors, postdocs or members of industry. The four recipients represent Colorado, Indiana, North Dakota and Ohio. Read More