Meet the team
We love what we do and who we do it with.
We believe innovation is fueled by human spirit and creativity,
and brought to fruition through collaboration and community.
We believe developing better performing products starts with an empathic connection
with the customer and is achieved by a relentless commitment to solving real world challenges.
(Fun fact: All photos used on this website were taken by a member of our team. Yes, even the one above.)
board of directors
CAIN MCCLARY, MD is the founder and Managing Partner of KdT Ventures. Over the past 10 years, Cain has been at the forefront of the intersection between technology and science/medicine. He has invested in over 20 companies in the space including Zymergen, PathAI, Solugen, and Firefly Bioworks (Acquired by AbCam). Additionally, Cain is involved in entrepreneurship and finance advisory at both the local and national levels, including service on the endowments of both the US and Canadian Academy of Pathology and Black Mountain Presbyterian Church and the board of HATCH Asheville.
Dr. McClary received a ScB in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Brown University and his MD from Tulane University. He completed his medical training as a pathologist at Stanford University where he served as Chief Resident and joined faculty there after training, becoming the youngest faculty member in the department at the time. Currently, Cain serves on the faculty at the Tulane University School of Medicine.
DAVID GREENWOOD currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Corium International, a drug development and delivery company. He served as Executive Chairman from 2012 to 2015. In addition, Mr. Greenwood is an adviser to a number of public and private companies. Mr. Greenwood is a former Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Director of Geron Corporation, a biotechnology company in the fields of regenerative medicine and cancer. He was previously Chairman of the Board of Geron Bio-Med Limited, Chairman of the Board of TA Therapeutics, Ltd., a Board Director of ViaGen, Inc., Clone International, and Parnell Pharmaceuticals. He is currently on the President’s Task Force at Pacific Lutheran University where he also served on the Board of Regents on the Executive Committee and Chair of the Development Committee. From 1979 to 1995, Mr. Greenwood held various positions with JP Morgan & Co. Incorporated, an international banking firm. Mr. Greenwood holds a BA from Pacific Lutheran University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
CHARLES DIMMLER is the co-founder and CEO of Checkerspot. His career has focused on building and leading teams at emerging growth companies in the life sciences and biotechnology sector. He has deep expertise in general management and leading strategic transactions, with over $1 billion of completed transactions ranging from public and private financings to joint ventures, licensing and M&A. From 2008 to 2016, he served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Development at Solazyme, Inc. where he led financings and a range of other strategic transactions, including two venture capital rounds, the initial public offering, two public convertible debt issuances, and project financing for the construction of a commercial scale manufacturing facility in Brazil. In addition to his corporate development responsibilities, he served as Acting General Manager of Solazyme’s personal care business in 2009. Prior to Solazyme, Charles was the General Manager of Geron BioMed, Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Geron Corporation, where he led a team focused on developing R&D and preclinical cell therapy candidates. Charles began his career as an investment banker at Peter J. Solomon Company. Since 2008, Charles has remained active in his community as an Operations Leader with the Bay Area Mountain Rescue Unit, the mountain search and rescue team of the San Mateo County Sheriff. Charles earned his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and his BA from Columbia University.
SCOTT FRANKLIN is the scientific co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Checkerspot where he oversees the development of their advanced materials innovation technology platform. Scott has a doctorate in Biology from the University of Texas at Austin and 30 years of experience in plant molecular biology, microbiology, algal molecular genetics and recombinant protein expression. He has successfully developed novel organisms as platforms for the production of therapeutic proteins, fuels, foods and oleochemicals. This is Scott’s second start up venture, the first being Rincon Pharmaceuticals in 2004. Scott enjoys managing highly innovative teams while interfacing with corporate partners. He has successfully built technical, intellectual property and regulatory teams around industrial microbe platforms, while concurrently managing relationships and delivering on milestones with partners such as Chevron (San Ramon, CA), Unilever (Trumbull, CT), DOW Chemical (Midland, MI), Mitsui Chemical (Rye Brook, NY), AkzoNobel (Amsterdam, NL), Bunge (White Plains, NY) and Biogen Idec (Cambridge, MA), to name a few. As Vice President of Discovery and Molecular Biology at Solazyme, Scott was responsible for the successful development of the company’s tailored oils platform, engineering and improving algal strains that resulted in the delivery of thousands of metric tons of triglyceride oils for myriad partners including the United States Navy, Unilever, Bunge, Chevron, DOW, Mitsui and AkzoNobel. Scott is co-author on 52 issued patents.
Announced investors & partners
SUSTAINABILITY VISION PLAN
As a Public Benefit Corporation, Checkerspot has set the objectives summarized below:
Promote the advancement of environmental stewardship
Develop more sustainable high performance materials
Democratize materials and tools for innovative product development
Betterment of local communities
As we strive towards our objective of environmental stewardship, we will embrace innovative
approaches designed to minimize environmental impacts in the areas of energy, water,
air quality and waste using the following indicators:
kWh energy used
Scope II emissions