Founding principal and CEO of Paulin•Neal.


Dr. William L. Paulin is founding principal and CEO of Paulin•Neal, an international business-development firm specializing in the innovation, incubation, governance, strategic management, globalization and marketing of high-tech and entrepreneurial firms. Currently he is Entrepreneur in Residence in the world renown Center for Innovation Foundation at the University of North Dakota and Professor of Entrepreneurial Practice in the School of Entrepreneurship.

Dr. Paulin has served on the boards of directors, advisors and/or program developers of 42 companies, 9 universities and 4 government institutions in the United States and Europe. With more than 40 years executive and consulting experience, Dr. Paulin has held senior leadership positions in both Fortune 500 firms and smaller turnarounds and start-ups. He has deep experience in several high-tech industry clusters including aviation & aerospace, telecom & wireless, electronics & power, advanced materials, machine tools, optics, medical and software. Considered an international business development specialist, Dr. Paulin has participated in the successful global launch and growth of many USA and European based firms, as well as the design of economic development programs for university and government institutions. While focused primarily on market exploration and adaptation, new business development and strategic growth, Dr. Paulin is experienced in most aspects of international business building such as cross-cultural business practices; team, organization and IP building; funding and merger/acquisition.

Paulin•Neal is a network of successful, action oriented senior executives. Paulin•Neal works with clients in real-time to maximize the performance and value of their organizations. We act as either “trusted advisors” to client CEO’s and Boards, or as “interim executives” with client teams, providing critical external management experience, expertise and results. Paulin•Neal is hired as much for its proven operational skills and ability to work at all levels of the organization, as it is for its broad management experience, consultive and executive mentoring skills. Dr. Paulin’s innovative Participative Action Research© process approach to business development has gained global attention with multi-national companies, universities and various governments.

Complementing the practical business development focus, Dr. Paulin has served as a professor or instructor of business administration at four universities in the United States and two in Europe, co-founding several significant Entrepreneur programs on two continents including the Entrepreneurship Program at the University of Southern California, the New Venture Initiative Program in the Jacobs School of Engineering, University of California, San Diego as well as Finland’s Bio PD, Global Software, Tekes Navigator and Born Global Programs.

In May 2006, Dr. Paulin was awarded the prestigious Honorary Doctor’s Degree (Dr. Tech. HC) by Finland’s Oulun Yliopisto for his “body of work” and contributions to academe, government and, in particular, business firm development, growth and global success.

Today at the University of North Dakota, Dr. Paulin is helping build one of the USA’s first Schools of Entrepreneurship – a multi-disciplinary, experiential and global “Venture Lab” approach to innovation, incubation, entrepreneurship and business development that links students, professors and business folks in real business projects. We are, for example, designing an intra-state airline for North Dakota, together with the Aviation School and business and government organizations there.

Prior to entering the business world, Dr. Paulin was a practicing engineer in the aerospace industry (Boeing) and holds a BSME degree (with aviation minor) from the University of California at Berkeley (Tau Beta Pi), an MBA in Finance and a Ph.D. (magna cum laude) in strategic management and entrepreneurship from the University of Washington in Seattle. Dr. Paulin is a private pilot, lives in Prescott, Arizona with his wife Sandy (a retired Fortune 100 aerospace executive). Bill and Sandy have two sons: Chris, a University of Colorado graduate engineer and US Marine Corps F-18 fighter pilot, and Tim, a Wall Street investment banker and past starting wide receiver and finance graduate of Columbia University.