First-Round Judge: Tom Swartwood

About Tom Swartwood

Tom Swartwood graduated from Dartmouth College; after college he worked in the coal mining industry in Kentucky before returning to New York to work with investment banker Ken Langone, a founding director of Home Depot. Swartwood earned his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center and practiced corporate law in New York before joining Swartwood, Hesse Inc. on Wall Street. 

Tom came to Des Moines in 1994 in connection with the acquisition of R.G. Dickinson & Co., a regional stock brokerage and investment banking firm where he served as president. He later earned an MBA from Drake University. He developed the entrepreneurship curriculum at Drake University where he served as an assistant professor and assistant director of the Pappajohn Entrepreneurship Center. He then served as the inaugural Entrepreneurship Fellow and an assistant professor of entrepreneurship and family business for the Iowa State University Entrepreneurship program where he developed a family business curriculum. He has led workshops and accelerators for students, artists, and entrepreneurs in the United States, Mexico, and Uganda.

He has worked with dozens of innovative entrepreneurial companies throughout North America, Europe and China. He is the founder of The Pointer Group LLC, a Des Moines-based small business advisory firm. He has served on numerous public and private company boards of directors. He is the past Chairman of the National Investment Bankers Association and he was a founding member of the Public Library of Des Moines Foundation.

He has served as a mentor at the Global Insurance Accelerator, an innovative insurance industry accelerator in Des Moines, for TechStars Iowa, and for the Mandela Washington Fellows program which supports young leaders from sub-Saharan Africa. He also served as chairman of the Board of Directors of Station 1 Records, a non-profit record. He is the former Purser for the Jon Anderson White Riverboat.


Tom Swartwood - First Round Judge for the 2023 InnoVenture Challenge