Dan Watkins is a co-founder and Venture Partner at Mercury, where he focuses on investing in startups that utilize AI and machine learning to drive the next wave of scientific innovation in healthcare, life sciences and industrial markets. Additionally, Dan co-founded and is CEO of Mercury Data Science, an AI/ML strategy and product development studio that provides contract services to fast growing companies. As founder and initial CEO of Courier Therapeutics, Dan helped establish and grow the company resulting in a $500M exit. He is also a co-founder of the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship at Rice University, with the mission to support the creation and success of startups and the commercialization of new technologies in the Houston community and beyond. Dan received his B.S. from Rice University and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University, all in Materials Science. Outside of Mercury, Dan serves on the advisory boards of Northwestern University’s Innovation and New Ventures Office (INVO), the Rice Alliance, and the University of Illinois Proof of Concept Fund Committee.