Board of Directors
Dan is a Principal at Arboretum Ventures, a healthcare focused venture capital firm located in Ann Arbor, MI. In this role, Dan focuses on supporting Arboretum’s portfolio companies and leading new investments across the firm’s sectors of interest, with particular emphasis on life science tools. Since joining Arboretum in 2011, Dan has undertaken significant due diligence responsibilities to support more than a dozen of the firm’s new and follow-on investments, including Ebb Therapeutics, NeuMoDx, IntelliCyt, Rethink, Cardiac Dimensions, Strata Oncology, and SI-BONE. Dan’s portfolio company involvement has included serving on the board of directors for life science tools company IntelliCyt, until its $90 million acquisition by Sartorius in 2016.
Outside of Arboretum, Dan serves on the Oversight Committee for Wayne State University’s M-TRAC program and on the Investment Advisory Board for the Monroe-Brown Biomedical Seed Fund at the University of Michigan. Prior to joining Arboretum, Dan held finance roles at Eli Lilly & Company, supporting the company’s U.S. sales and marketing operations. Dan earned his BBA and MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Nathan has nearly 30 years of proven experience in the life sciences industry. He has held leadership roles in sales, marketing, product development and management at several companies in the genomics and life sciences industries, including Life Technologies Corporation and QIAGEN Inc. Nathan served on BIOCOM’s Renewables Advisory Board. He has also served on the Board of Directors of GeneArt, Blue Heron, SB Biofuels and the College of Science at Oregon State University.
Most recently, Wood served as president of SGI-DNA, a Synthetic Genomics Company that specializes in proprietary DNA technologies. Under his leadership, SGI-DNA grew quickly by effectively leveraging new products, software and marketing strategies. Additionally, Wood’s experience—across European and American multinational companies—spans strategic planning, financial performance measurement and global business strategy. Nathan earned a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from Oregon State University. Nathan lives in Saline, MI and enjoys time with his wife Linda and raising their three children.
Jack was recently the Chief Commercial Officer of Accuri Cytometers (acquired by Becton Dickinson in 2011). Jack is a seasoned executive with a 30 year track record for marketing and selling life science instruments & consumables at top companies. Prior to joining Accuri in 2006, Jack was CEO of Amnis Corporation, a venture backed technology start-up developing high-end imaging flow cytometers. He also served as Chief Commercial Officer for Molecular Probes, Inc. (now a part of Life Technologies), the world leader in reagents for molecular biology and cell analysis. Prior to that, Jack was the Senior VP & General Manager of the Life Sciences Group at Orchid Biosciences. Jack was also a senior executive with Amersham Pharmacia Biotech Inc., where he rose to President, Region North America and was responsible for sales, marketing, and customer support for all products sold in North America.
Linda has more than 35 years of experience working with companies across healthcare and life sciences. At present, she is a General Partner at Fletcher Spaght Ventures (FSV), a ventures capital firm with over $130M under management, as well as a General Partner at Fletcher Spaght, Inc., a Boston-based consultancy focused on growth strategies for healthcare/ lifesciences and healthcare-focused IT clients. Prior to Fletcher Spaght, she held positions as an internal consultant at the Sony Corporation of America, as a consulting Manager at Bain & Company focused largely on healthcare/health services, and in operating positions in the energy industry.
On behalf of FSV, Linda currently serves on the Boards of Directors at Juventas Therapeutics, HistoSonics, Inc., and PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals as well as Swift. She previously served on the Boards of several other companies on behalf of FSV or Tyco/Covidien Ventures.
She earned an SB in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and an SB in Humanities and Science (Physics) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and an SM in Management (Finance) from the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Mark L. Lewis
Mark has participated in the life sciences industry for over 40 years. He has held research and development, commercial, and general management roles at leading organizations including Illumina, BD Biosciences, Molecular Dynamics, Nycomed-Amersham, and Beckman Instruments. Mark serves as a member of the Dean’s Leadership Council for Biological Sciences at University of California at San Diego. He is also a co-instructor for the Professional Pathways Course for PhDs and graduate students in life sciences at UCSD.
Mark held Senior Vice President roles in Product Development, General Management, and Customer Support at Illumina, a leading supplier of systems for genetic analysis. During his time at Illumina, Mark directed the development of the HiSeq™ and MiSeq™ next-generation sequencing platforms and supporting reagents. Mark has also developed and commercialized platforms and technologies for genotyping, flow cytometry, molecular biology, PCR, high content screening, and confocal imaging. Mark earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from University of California at San Diego. Most recently, Mark stepped in as the Swift’s interim CEO from 2017-2018 to maintain momentum during the company’s leadership search. Mark will remain on the company’s board of directors.
Dan Watkins, PhD
Dan is a Managing Director and co-founder of the Mercury Fund (Houston). He has experience in founding and managing start-up companies in both the bioscience and advanced materials sectors. Prior to co-founding the Mercury Fund, Dan was the founder and Managing Partner of A3 Associates, a Houston-based venture firm focused on seed-stage investments in university and research center-based technology transfer opportunities. In this capacity, Dan co-founded DNAtrix, Nanospectra Biosciences and X-EMI. Prior to A3 Associates, Dan was a VP at Schnitzius & Vaughan, a Houston-based investment banking firm. Dan currently serves on the advisory boards of BioHouston, the Gulf Coast Regional Center for Innovation and Commercialization for the Texas Emerging Technology Fund, the Rice Alliance for Technology & Entrepreneurship, and Wayne State University’s Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics. Dan is also a co-founder of the Rice Alliance for Technology & Entrepreneurship.
Dan received his B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from Rice University and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.
Walt Young has 50 years experience in leading organizations. For the first 36 years, he held senior positions at four public companies: BF Goodrich, The Budd Company, The Henley Group and Champion Enterprises. As Chair and CEO of Champion (Fortune 500) Walt was recognized by Fortune as a “Superstar” and by the Harvard Business School as one of the 19 top business leaders of the 1990s. While at these four companies he completed 23 different turnarounds and over 75 mergers and acquisitions. Since 2003 Walt has focused on entrepreneurial start-ups, including as a lead investor and Director for Accuri Cytometers (acquired by Becton, Dickinson for $205 million in 2011). He has led and assisted over 80 entities to raise more than $100M in capital. Walt is currently on the board of six early stage companies: Swift BioSciences, Inc., CelSee Diagnostics, Inc., Eagle River Homes, Weathershield, Nanocerox, Inc, and Solulink, Inc. Walt is an Advisor for the Michigan Accelerator Fund, focused on life science startups in Michigan. From 2003 to 2018, Walt was a director at NRG Energy (NYSE:NRG, Fortune 200). Further, his non-profit boards have included Muskingum University, Oakland University and Gleaners Food Bank of Southeast Michigan.
Walt received a BA in History and Economics from Muskingum University, his MBA in Marketing and Management from Penn State University and an honorary doctorate in Public Service from Muskingum University.