Board of Directors
David C. Olson, PhD — President and Chief Executive Officer
David is a serial entrepreneur who has co-founded 6 biotech start-ups, managed other early-stage businesses, and authored business plans backed by more than $50M private and $2M public funding. He specializes in commercializing life science technologies and has more than 15 years experience in company building, life science research and product development, intellectual property management, business development and venture financing. Most recently he was a founding member and senior executive of Accuri Cytometers (acquired by Becton Dickinson in 2011), which developed a successful product line of flow cytometers (life science research tools). David was responsible for creating Accuri’s product vision and played a central role in all aspects of corporate strategy, including financing and business development.
David received his doctorate in Molecular Biology from Princeton University, completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco, and is currently Adjunct Faculty at the University of Michigan Medical School.
Vladimir Makarov, PhD — Chief Scientific Officer
Vladimir has a track record of developing novel research and diagnostic methods and tools. His experience spans more than 30 years in cutting edge molecular biology and life science research, with broad expertise in different fields of science including physics, molecular biology, genomics, and molecular diagnostics. Vladimir has authored more than 30 issued and pending patents and 60 scientific publications. He has co-founded 2 biotech start-ups, leading to development and commercialization of more than 10 different products in the research tools and diagnostics space. Prior to Swift, Vladimir served as Chief Scientific Officer of Rubicon Genomics, and was the key inventor of Rubicon products. Vladimir was responsible for creating Rubicon’s product vision, research and development, and intellectual property management.
Vladimir received his PhD in Physics and Mathematics from St. Petersburg University and has held senior scientist positions at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) and the Institute of Molecular Biology (Moscow).
Jack Ball — DirectorJack 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.
Dan Watkins, PhD — DirectorDan 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.
Walter Young — DirectorWalt has more than 40 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 in 2011). He has led and assisted over 40 entities to raise more than $45M in capital. In addition to Swift, Walt is currently on the board of GuidePoint Systems, Weathershield and nanocerox.—all based in Michigan. He is also Chair of Eagle River Homes, a director at NRG Energy (NYSE:NRG, Fortune 300) and ZETA Communities LLC, and a Trustee for Muskingum University.
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.