Fellows Directory

Michael Slawson


Mike has extensive and successful experience conceiving of, launching, funding, and building startup enterprises commercializing new technologies. First as a large company "intrapreneur," then as a venture capital investor, and most recently as a co-founder and CEO of two university spin-outs, Mike has driven the process of new business creation and development from all sides. He has crafted business strategies, secured intellectual property, raised equity capital, built management teams, led technology development efforts, landed strategic partners, and overseen successful exits.

Mike was most recently CEO and co-founder of Lumense, which develops chemical sensors using a proprietary optical waveguide technology originally conceived at Georgia Tech.

Prior to Lumense, Mike was an investor and General Partner at Alliance Technology Ventures for over 12 years. He led ATV's investment and portfolio management activities in information technology, specializing in semiconductor and communications technology. Mike served on the boards of Nitronex, OmniGuide Communications, SyChip, Xytrans, Ziptronix, Mindlever (sold to Centra Software), RF Solutions (sold to Anadigics), Verifiber (sold to Bandwidth9) and XtremeSpectrum (sold to Motorola). He was a board observer at Pathfire, SecureWorks, and Novera (sold to Mercator Software).

Prior to ATV, Mike served his fellowship working in early-stage technology investing at ARCH Venture Partners. While there, he was involved in the launch of Bandwidth Solutions (now Xtera Communications) where he wrote the initial business plan and co-authored a patent. Mike began his venture career as an investment professional at the North Carolina Technological Development Authority.

Prior to venture capital, Mike spent eight years in electrical engineering and project management positions at Hewlett-Packard, Siemens, and Alcatel. At Alcatel, Mike co-authored two patents in photonics and fiber optic systems.

Education, Personal, and Fellowship

Mike holds an MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he was awarded a North Carolina Business Foundation Fellowship and a Washington Campus Fellowship. He has an MSEE from North Carolina State University and a BSEE, magna cum laude, from Vanderbilt University, where he was awarded a James B. Geddes Scholarship. Mike served on the board of the Atlanta Venture Forum and is regularly a judge at Venture Capital Investment Competition events.

Mike served his fellowship under mentor Steve Lazarus at ARCH Venture Partners in Chicago, IL as a member of Fellows Class 2. He was also a mentor for Jeff Leavitt, KFP Class 8.