WE'RE A PASSIONATE UNIFIED FORCE WHO HAVE SUCCESSFULLY SCALED AND EXITED COMPANIES IN HEALTHCARE
RYSE invests and creates value by supporting early-stage companies to achieve their first million in revenue - integrating exceptional founders with our established distribution partners.
Kevin Roberts, CEO in Residence
Kevin is an international business leader, founder, educator, who has been a global CEO for over 30 years. Kevin is former CEO and Chairman at Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide, one of the world’s leading creative organisations, who has helped to build some of the most recognisable global brands in the world for Visa, P&G, Toyota, Walmart, Novartis, Boston Scientific, and J&J.
He started his career with iconic London fashion house Mary Quant and, at 32, he became CEO of Pepsi-Cola Middle East and in Canada, over-taking Coke in the ‘Cola Wars’. He coaches influential business leaders on leadership, sales and marketing, and wrote Lovemarks: the Future Beyond Brands, a ground-breaking book published in 18 languages and named one of the ten Ideas of the decade in 2009. His latest best-selling book 64 Shots: Leadership in a Crazy World offers business leaders frameworks and solutions for winning in a world that has become volatile, complex, uncertain, and ambiguous (VUCA).
Kevin holds honorary professorial appointments and supports innovation at several universities globally – advising nations and global organisations across commerce, media, and sport. He is a Resident Expert for Oxford University’s Foundry Start-Up Accelerator programme. He is former director of the legendary All Blacks New Zealand Rugby Football Union, former Chairman of USA Rugby, inaugural CEO in Residence at Cambridge Judge Business School, and was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM).
Shabir Chowdhary, Managing Partner
Shabir is a entrepreneur and investor who spent several years in banking, with Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, and Schroders, and has a track record of scaling companies across multiple sectors. These ventures have raised in excess of $4.5bn in aggregate and sold to several strategic buyers.
Shabir has a track record of scaling companies and supporting company founders across multiple sectors. The majority of his career has been spent building and managing asset management companies across Europe. He was successful in developing and executing fundraising and marketing strategies that enabled collaboration with private groups and public bodies and substantial investment from a variety of highly reputable foundations, endowments, charities, pension funds, insurance companies as well as fund of funds and bank investors.
Shabir holds a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry and an MBA from Imperial College London. On leaving university, he spent several years in banking with Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, and Schroders. Asset management businesses Shabir has been involved with have raised in excess of $4.5bn in aggregate and sold to several strategic buyers.
Dr John Lee Allen, Managing Partner
John is a Surgeon-Scientist, Entrepreneur, and Investor who has driven innovation across Europe, United States, and Asia. These ventures have raised millions in seed investment, expanded into new markets, and launched from Silicon Valley's Y Combinator, DigitalHealth.London, and NHS accelerators.
John is Expert-In-Residence at Imperial College London - publishing in science, technology, and medicine. As an Neuroscience PhD student at Oxford University - with an engineering background - he developed a novel implantable medical device. As a hearing and balance specialist clinician, he took a leading role at Specsavers in their global expansion into hearing care market and was appointed a national NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Fellow & Mentor - the largest entrepreneurial programme in which to validate healthcare technologies globally.
John studied Medicine, Engineering, and Neuroscience, and continues to support innovation at Cambridge University, The Royal Society of Medicine, Extreme Tech Challenge, following roles at universities in Singapore, Japan, United States, and the World Health Organization.
Vivien de Tusch-Lec, General Partner
Vivien is a former journalist graduating from Cambridge University and INSEAD has a track record as an investor and entrepreneur with 3 exits as a start-up founder.
Vivien has a track record as an investor, entrepreneur, and has had 3 exits as a start-up founder (Infinancials, Bubele, Martialfunk). She ran the Tech, Media, Telecom unit for B2B Marketplace Gerson Lehman Group - and has been supporting the Investment Committee at RYSE. In 2018, she was a co-investor during the first investment programme with DigitalHealth.London and MedCity, in Skin Analytics and LiveSmart, and now manages a portfolio of technology investments.
Vivien loves operating in start-ups, is an advisor to Loyal VC, a former journalist, and non-exec director at Techspert.io. She holds a Master's degree from the University of Cambridge and an MBA from INSEAD.
Eric Kostegan, Impact Lead
Eric is US-based and has a track record leading impact and philanthropic healthcare ventures globally. Ventures have raised over $600m with organisations in healthcare including Mount Sinai Health System, Jefferson Health, and Mass General Brigham (Harvard).
Eric is an impact investing and venture philanthropy leader with a 25-year track record building and leading innovative healthcare programmes and ventures globally. He has raised over $600m in capital with specific expertise working with organisations in healthcare including Mount Sinai Health System, Jefferson Health, and Mass General Brigham (Harvard) Integrated Health Care System.
Eric is based between the east and west coast and is highly recognised for creating innovative, measurable, and metrics-focused programmes to engage stakeholders and foster collaboration across healthcare.
Dr Laila Samady-Mustad, Investment Committee
Laila has a track record as a PhD scientist, investor, and entrepreneur across the life sciences and healthcare. Her work at University College London led to a spin out company, BioVex, which was acquired by Amgen for $1Bn.
Laila is a research scientist, strategic advisor, and entrepreneur with 20 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical, medical, and biotechnology industries in the UK, US, and France. Her expertise is in medical affairs, partnership, business development, and capital raising strategies. She is Chair of the Board of Advisors and Chief Scientific Officer at Vigilent Labs (digital health), Vice President at Covanos (med tech), Vice President at G3 Therapeutics (biotech), and has held several senior partnership roles at Boehringer Ingelheim.
Laila holds a PhD from University College London and her work led to a spin out company, BioVex, which was acquired by Amgen for $1Bn.
Dr David Holbrook, Investment Committee
David has a long track record as one of the leaders in university technology spinouts and investment. As a qualified doctor, and after senior roles at Glaxo and Roche, he headed up Imperial’s spinout incubator, the medtech investing strategy at MTI, and Seed Fund at LifeArc.
David is one of the leaders in the field of UK university technology spinouts and investment. As a qualified doctor, and after senior roles at Glaxo and Roche, he headed up Imperial’s spinout incubator, the medtech investing strategy at MTI, and Seed Fund at LifeArc (formerly Medical Research Council Technologies). He was an early advocate of the convergence of the technology and life sciences sectors, including investment in ApaTech – a bone graft company sold to Baxter for $300m. He is also a director of AIM-listed healthcare company Oxford BioDynamics and senior independent director at The Worldwide Healthcare Trust plc.
David holds degrees from the University of Oxford, King’s College London, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Chris Turner, Entrepreneur in Residence
Chris is a serial entrepreneur and founder of a digital health start-up acquired by Co-op Health. He is a qualified pharmacist and national NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Fellow and Mentor.
Chris is a serial entrepreneur and the founder of Dimec, the UK based digital healthcare start-up that was acquired by Co-op Health in 2018. Dimec, now Co-op Health, facilitates the ordering of repeat prescriptions by linking patients directly with their GP surgery. It was the very first GP and pharmacy integrated service, giving patients the choice of collecting their prescriptions from any high street pharmacy in England or having them delivered.
Chris holds a first class Master in Pharmacy degree, is an NHS qualified pharmacist, and an NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Fellow.
Bhumi Shah, Venture Analyst
Bhumi is a Cambridge University graduate with an interest in innovation, policy, and digital health. She is section council representative at the Royal Society of Medicine and Trustee of the Pelvic Radiation Disease Association.
Bhumi is an MD candidate at Cambridge University with an interest in innovation, policy, and digital healthcare start-ups with the potential to have a positive impact on healthcare globally. She is co-founder of The Medicine Access Project, Cambridge Nutritank society, and business development analyst at digital healthcare start-up SolveMed Group.
Bhumi is section council representative at the Royal Society of Medicine, Trustee of the Pelvic Radiation Disease Association, and has held innovation and research roles with Columbia University, Harvard University, Imperial College London, and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
Dr Alexander Azizi, Venture Analyst
Alexander is a Cambridge University academic doctor specialising in innovation in therapeutics and oncology.
Alexander is an academic doctor specialising in pharmacology, therapeutics, and medical oncology. He is based between the University of Cambridge and CRUK Cambridge Institute. He has won multiple academic awards including from the National Institute for Health Research, The University of Cambridge and the European Society for Medical Oncology. His current laboratory grant focuses on immunogenomics and current translational work is in collaboration with an international biopharmaceutical group focusing on cancer combination therapies.
In addition to his work in venture capital, he works as a technical consultant across Europe and Asia for a large technology incubator.
Puay Ling Lee, Venture Analyst
Puay is a Francis Crick Institute and Imperial College London based PhD scientist specialised in immunology and healthcare innovation.
Puay is a PhD candidate at Francis Crick Institute and Imperial College London. She has 10 years’ experience in clinical and academia research and has conducted a policy study relating to financing and delivery of healthcare systems. She is a founding member of the Crick Science Entrepreneur Network and sits on the Crick Partnership Networking Fund Committee.
Recognised as McKinsey Next Generation Women Leaders 2021, Puay was part of the Imperial Entrepreneur Accelerator and is in the founding team building a medical device that monitors chronic diseases. She has previously won seed funding for social enterprise projects in her community.
Dr Andreas Hadjinicolaou, Venture Analyst
Andreas is a Cambridge and Oxford universities clinician-scientist specialised in immunotherapy and early cancer diagnostics.
Andreas is a clinician-scientist, specialising in gastroenterology, with academic interests in oncology and immunology with particular focus on early cancer diagnostics and immunotherapy. His research work has led to numerous peer-reviewed publications, prizes, two patent applications, and collaborations with pharmaceutical and biotech companies. He has been a research scholar at Stanford University, held investigator roles in several clinical studies and worked with NICE-NHS Evidence, and the BSG Artificial Intelligence Task Force.
Andreas holds degrees from the Universities of Cambridge (BA, MD) and Oxford (MA, PhD) with distinctions and multiple prestigious awards for academic excellence.
Meenakshi Jhala, Venture Analyst
Meenakshi is a clinical scientist specialised in Neuroscience, Psychology, and Psychiatry, and sits on the Editorial Board of British Medical Journal (BMJ) Innovations.
Meenakshi is an award-winning MD candidate, with a BSc in Neuroscience, Psychology, and Psychiatry. She has a keen interest in digital health and sits on the Editorial Board of British Medical Journal (BMJ) Innovations as the Editorial Fellow.
She has extensive experience working with healthcare technology start-ups, consultancy firms, the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and equality organisations such as Women Speakers in Healthcare. Meenakshi is a relationship building individual who loves to meet new people and learn about their life experiences.
Aakriti Shah, Venture Analyst
Aakriti is an award-winning MD candidate, with a BSc in Biomedical Engineering. She has a keen interest in femtech, digital health and improving global health inequalities.
Aakriti is an award-winning MD candidate, with a BSc in Biomedical Engineering. She has a keen interest in femtech, digital health and improving global health inequalities. She has a vast range of experiences including working with top consulting firms, health-tech start-ups and leading the Imperial Coding for Medics society. She has conducted projects with Médecins Sans Frontières and NHS trusts to improve equality and delivery of healthcare in under-represented populations.
Anjalee Chattersingh, Venture Analyst
Anjalee is a final-year MD candidate with an interest in digital and planetary health. She is a biomedical sciences graduate and received an MSc in cardiovascular research from King's College London.
Anjalee is a final-year final-year MD candidate with an interest in digital and planetary health. She is a biomedical sciences graduate and received an MSc in cardiovascular research from King's College London. She has experience working in the pharmaceutical industry and clinical trials.
Alae Ismail, Venture Fellow
Alae is an entrepreneur-centric, driving innovation through venture building and investment. She has experience launching an e-commerce startup supporting African development, building entrepreneurial ecosystems across Europe and scaling ventures at Imperial Enterprise Lab.
Alae is an entrepreneur-centric, driving innovation through venture building and investment. She has experience launching an e-commerce startup supporting African development, building entrepreneurial ecosystems across Europe and scaling ventures at Imperial Enterprise Lab. Her vision is to think big, and change lives by creating impact, building connections and trust.
Board & Advisors
Dr Annalisa Jenkins, Chair
Annalisa is a healthcare leader building teams from scientific research through clinical development, regulatory approval, and into healthcare systems globally. She is a board member at the Milken Institute, Genomics England, and member of the Science Advisory Board at the FDA.
Annalisa is a healthcare thought leader with a 25-year track record in building teams from scientific research through clinical development, regulatory approval, and into healthcare systems globally. She served as CEO of Dimension Therapeutics, a gene therapy company that was acquired by Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc., is Chair of the Court at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Trustee of the British Heart Foundation, Advisory Board member at MedCity, FasterCures, a Center of the Milken Institute, Genomics England, and member of the Science Advisory Board at the FDA.
Annalisa holds a degree in Medicine, specialised in Cardiovascular Medicine, served as a Medical Officer in the British Royal Navy, and prior leadership roles have included the head of global research and development at Merck Serono.
Fergus Hay, Board Advisor
Fergus is a technology and media leader with a track record in commercial transformation, product innovation and growth. He sat on the annual fundraising committee of the British Heart Foundation and is a regular commentator on global tech news for Sky News, NBC Euronews, and BBC World News.
Fergus is a technology and media leader with a track record in commercial transformation, product innovation and growth, with experience in North America, Asia, and Europe. He is the CEO and founder of marketing advisory firm Elysian Fields specialising in venture backed tech companies, is Non-Exec Chairman of digital healthcare company Vida Care, and sat on the annual fundraising committee of the biggest funder of UK cardiovascular research (British Heart Foundation). Previously he was CEO of marketing agency Leagas Delaney climbing the ranks for growth to #3 in the UK, and held various executive roles at Ogilvy & Mather in North America and Asia.
Fergus holds a combined MBA from LSE, HEC Paris, NYU Stern and is a regular commentator on global tech news for Sky News, NBC Euronews, and BBC World News.
Chris Sawyer, Venture Advisor
Chris is Digital Health Innovation Lead at Innovate UK - the UK's innovation agency has invested over £1.5 billion in innovation, helped more than 5,000 innovative companies, added £7.5 billion to the UK economy.
Chris is Digital Health Innovation Lead at Innovate UK - the UK's innovation agency has invested over £1.5 billion in innovation, helped more than 5,000 innovative companies, added £7.5 billion to the UK economy, and created 35,000 extra new jobs. He has over 30 years’ experience in the healthcare technology sector, supported innovative technological solutions for NHS Innovation Hubs, and was an Associate Director of Innovation for an NHS organisation.
Chris has extensive international and domestic product management experience with market leading medical device manufacturers including Phillips and Hewlett-Packard.
Rodrigo Mallo Leiva, Venture Advisor
Rodrigo is an investor and Partner at Outsized Ventures. Formerly a Partner at SOSV, he has invested in over 45 companies at Seed and Series A, and is an active co-investor in digital health.
Rodrigo is an investor and Partner at Outsized Ventures. Formerly a Partner at SOSV, he has invested in over 45 companies at Seed and Series A, and is an active investor in digital health. He is a mentor for The Founder Institute, Techstars, and is an Ambassador for the MIT Technology Review in Europe. He founded four LatAm technology companies in the food, gaming, and digital advertising industries.
Rodrigo is a Kauffman Fellow, became an angel investor after selling gaming company (TheFanLeague), and holds executive qualifications in venture capital from UC Berkeley.
Dr Benjamin Maddison, Venture Advisor
Ben is a PhD scientist with a passion for creating tomorrow through scalable sustainable innovation and business transformation with some of the largest global consumer brands for Costa Coffee and Unilever.
Ben’s passion is creating tomorrow through scalable sustainable innovation and business transformation. His background in commercial innovation, strategy, change and project management uniquely positions him with a blend of valuable skills, knowledge and broad sector experience. This is with some of the largest global companies including Costa Coffee, owned by The Coca-Cola Company, and leading consumer healthcare brands at Unilever. His 18+ years experience spans several industries including healthcare, pharmaceutical, public sector and consumer goods.
Ben holds a PhD from Imperial College London, specialising in molecular neurochemistry, an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry, and has a proven track record on launching disruptive innovations in global markets.
Rebecca Sweetman, Venture Advisor
Becca supports CEOs and Executive teams to maximise their potential and is passionate about digital health. She combines her experience at McKinsey & Company and operational leadership in start-ups (Kano, MOO, Babylon Health).
Becca supports CEOs and Executive teams to maximise their potential and is passionate about digital health. Combining her experience in executive coaching, strategy at McKinsey & Company, and operational leadership in start-ups (Kano, MOO, Babylon Health) she is uniquely positioned to provide both high level support and get into the practical details of what it takes to succeed.
Becca holds a degree in Economics and Management from the University of Oxford and works with impact driven companies, particularly in healthcare, as an Executive and Team Coach, Advisor, or Non-Executive Director.
Dr Vishaal Virani, Venture Advisor
Vishaal is a medical doctor, strategy consultant, and co-founder of Doctorpreneurs - the world’s largest community of medical innovators. He has worked with leading global consumer healthcare brands at RB and health partnerships at YouTube.
Vishaal is a medical doctor, strategy consultant, and co-founder of Doctorpreneurs - the world’s largest community of medical innovators – with skills across digital health, private equity due diligence and corporate strategy. He has worked on the leading global consumer healthcare brands at RB, business development at digital healthcare company Ada Health, and is currently working on health partnerships at YouTube.
Vishaal holds degrees in Medicine and in International Health from University College London. He is Governor of the Royal Free NHS Trust, Mentor at DigitalHealth.London, and guest lecturer at London Business School.
Dr Aleksandar Petrović, Venture Advisor
Aleksandar is a healthcare leader with expertise in life sciences industry spanning strategy consulting (IQVIA), entrepreneurial market expansion (Sensirion) and digital innovation (Siemens).
Aleksandar is a healthcare leader with expertise in life sciences industry spanning strategy consulting (IQVIA), entrepreneurial market expansion (Sensirion) and digital innovation (Siemens). With a background in clinical neurology and engineering, he defined, developed and commercialised novel medical devices and diagnostics. These include Research and Development to launch of a brain perfusion MR imaging solution as well as development of a disruptive go-to-market strategy for a $1B insulin pump business.
Aleksandar holds a doctorate from the University of Oxford, a US Department of State leadership award, is a certified negotiator in difficult negotiations (Schranner Negotiation Institute) and has held research and innovation positions at Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital.
Atiq Mirza, Founding Partner MENA
Atiq is a senior MedTech and healthcare executive advising early-stage companies and boards of mature organizations to deliver accelerated growth across the healthcare ecosystem in multiple markets. In his former role with Medtronic, the world’s largest MedTech, Atiq headed business development and strategy across a region of 102 growth countries and $1.6 billion in revenue.
Atiq is a senior MedTech and healthcare executive advising early-stage companies and boards of mature organizations to deliver accelerated growth across the healthcare ecosystem in multiple markets. In his former role with Medtronic, the world’s largest MedTech, Atiq headed business development and strategy across a region of 102 growth countries and $1.6 billion in revenue evaluating investment opportunities including M&A, strategic alliances, and joint ventures. Formerly, Atiq has held senior positions with leading consulting firms such as Ernst & Young in both London and Dubai, where he advised clients across multiple industries. Atiq is passionate about exploring new and disruptive HealthTech and MedTech business models that define the future of healthcare.
Atiq holds a BEng (Hons) in Aerospace Engineering, MBA from Warwick Business School, and Corporate Strategy Certification from Harvard Business School.
John Pennant, Partnership Lead
John has a 20-year track record generating close to £100 million in philanthropic funding as well as additional millions in partnership funding.
He was formerly Senior Principal Gift Fundraiser at King’s College London and King’s Health Partners from 2017-2022, where he actively raised millions from recognised groups in the UK and internationally. Funding included support for COVID-19 response and research, Children and Young People’s Mental Health, Chair in Addictions, Evelina London Nursing Scholarships, Autism research, Air Quality Research, Child Health Lecturer as well as working with a team to secure an 8-figure investment in King’s Business School’s Qatar Centre for Global Banking and Finance.
John also held senior roles at the University of York, the University of British Columbia and Churchill College, Cambridge.
David Seemungal, Distribution Lead
David has over 25 years’ experience in healthcare investment, policy, and distribution – as Head of Pharmaceutical & Biotechnology Equity Research at ING’s investment banking division, Deputy Head at S&P Global, and Senior Policy Advisor at the Wellcome Trust.
At the Wellcome Trust, he led the horizon scanning team to identify and analyse commercial research opportunities ahead of significant investment. David is Director at healthcare consultancy Synopia, and previously Director at Cubase Consulting and Global Business Development Director at SastoMed GmbH, a German wound care company. His focus has been assessing the competitive landscape for new products and identifying commercial distribution partners for pharma, biotech, and medtech companies.
David has a first-class degree in Microbiology & Genetics from Cardiff University, and three years postgraduate research experience at Imperial College London.