About Us

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.
Founded in 2016, Checkerspot is a high-performance materials company that designs materials at a molecular level. We do this by optimizing microbes to biomanufacture unique structural oils discovered in nature, but not previously accessible commercially. Our first materials are next generation polyurethanes and textile coatings/finishes designed to improve the performance of consumer products. Our Mission is to expand the palette of molecular building blocks for high performance and sustainable materials. Our Vision is one of empowerment: to deliver unique, inspiring technologies and materials into the creative hands of fabricators and designers, the makers that conceive the next generation of high-performance products.
Our 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 toward 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
  • Water usage
  • Waste generated
Meet Our Investors & Partners
Board Of Directors
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. From 2008 to 2016, Charles 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.
DAVID GREENWOOD currently serves on the Board of CohBar, Inc. a biopharma company and on the Board of Dark Horse Consulting, a cell and gene therapy consulting firm. Until its sale, he served as Chairman of the Board 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.
JIM KIM is a founding member and General Partner at Builders VC, where he enjoys partnering with entrepreneurs, working on transformative ideas, contrarian approaches in companies, and fixing antiquated industries, needed for modern society. Prior to Builders, Jim founded Formation 8 and served as its Managing Partner. He currently serves on the boards of Bowers & Wilkins (EVA Automation), Bolt Threads, Fieldwire, Bowery Valuation, and Notable Labs. Jim also formerly served as a General Partner at Khosla Ventures and a Senior Partner at CMEA Capital. Jim began his career by founding GE’s Venture Capital effort and leading investments in China High Speed Transmission, and ComScore. Jim received undergraduate degrees in Computer Science & Electrical Engineering and Political Science from MIT, where he also founded a venture-backed Internet infrastructure start-up with fellow Course 6 students. He also holds a Masters Degree in Quantitative Data Analysis from Columbia University and an MBA from Columbia Business School. Jim enjoys kung-fu, tai chi, making wine (DJK Lei & Kukui), and fishing, and he hopes to see the U.S. Soccer team win a World Cup in his lifetime.
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.
JULIA MOORE is a Partner at Breakout Ventures, an early stage venture fund backing companies at the intersections of technology, biology and chemistry. Julia and her two partners previously built and continue to run Breakout Labs, a seed-stage fund within Peter Thiel’s foundation. Julia has spent her career as an investor and operator, taking multiple companies from founding through IPO or M&A. Earlier in her career she was a venture investor with Kearny Venture Partners, a research analyst at Thomas Weisel Partners, the head of business development and strategy at TriVascular (NASDAQ: TRIV; Acquired by Endologix) and built an institute at Stanford. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia, with degrees in Finance (McIntire School of Commerce) and Bioethics. Julia is also a Kauffman Fellow.