What we focus on when identifying new portfolio companies can be found under "Our Focus". As an entrepreneur, however, it’s also important for you to know what you’re looking for in a financial partner. At HealthQuest we capture our ethos in three words: “Open + Connected + Catalytic”

For us, OPEN means being open to ideas and situations that other investors might just dismiss. As investors (and entrepreneurs) we’ve all had success with opportunities that were over-looked or rejected by others. We think that sometimes those are, in fact, the very best opportunities. We also like entrepreneurs that challenge our own paradigms about business and investing so we remain open-minded at all times.

HealthQuest is CONNECTED throughout the industry with an exceptionally broad network of established relationships with major industry players, providers and provider groups, payers, successful entrepreneurs and other investors. These relationships become an asset to our portfolio companies as we help them build bridges to potential commercial partners and collaborators, help strengthen boards and management teams, raise future capital or (when appropriate) find acquirers for our companies.

Finally, we describe ourselves as CATALYTIC because in every company we partner with we want to make a difference to the business beyond the capital invested. We look for opportunities where our experience, networks, or other contributions can fundamentally change the trajectory of the business. Every member of our team looks for catalytic opportunities with every company in our portfolio on a continuous basis – and we believe we’ve had that kind of impact on each one.

Our Team

Our team has decades of investing experience and also decades of experience operating businesses of the types we invest in. We also have a Board of Advisors that we can call on to help evaluate investments and assist our portfolio companies. [Scroll down or click on photos for individual bios]
 

Garheng Kong, MD, PhD, MBA
Managing Partner

Garheng founded HealthQuest Capital in 2013 to pursue opportunities for investing in fields and locations that he felt were overlooked by many venture and growth investors. A physician and engineer by training, Garheng has 17 years of experience investing in innovative healthcare companies with a long list of successes. He currently serves on the boards of portfolio companies Castle Biosciences, First Aid Shot Therapy, Magnolia Medical, Trice Medical and ScribeAmerica and is a Board Observer on VirMedica and Spirox.  

Some of his notable past successes include IPO’s with Cempra (CEMP), Alimera (ALIM), Applied Genetic Technology Corp. (AGTC), Proteon (PRTO), Histogenics (HSGX) and TransEnterix (TRXC). His investments going on to successful M&A transactions include: Calibra Medical (J&J), Cellective (AstraZeneca), Serenex (Pfizer), Athenix (Bayer), NovaMin (GSK), Aldagen (Cytomedix), Salveo Specialty Pharmacy (Catamaran) and SARCode (Shire). Each case was an opportunity where the entrepreneur was “genuine,” the commercial opportunity was clear, and the science was strong. Garheng continues to look for each of these for HealthQuest’s investments.

Garheng’s interests and industry footprint are broad as he also serves on the board of LabCorp (LH), Alimera Sciences (ALIM), Histogenics (HSGX), Cempra (CEMP), StrongBridge (SBBP), the Duke University Medical Center, SEBIO, Corporate Chaplains of America and numerous industry groups.

Garheng received two undergraduate degrees in Chemical Engineering and Biological Sciences from Stanford, while on an athletic scholarship. He then earned a MD, PhD and MBA from Duke University, graduating #1 in his class in each instance. His early career included stints at GlaxoSmithKline, McKinsey and a medical device start-up, TherOx, before joining Intersouth Partners and then Sofinnova Ventures. He lives in Redwood City with his physician wife (a board certified electrophysiologist) and was a nationally ranked volleyball player (and avid “foodie”).

Randy Scott
Partner

Randy joined Garheng in starting HealthQuest in 2013. After a successful career as a MedTech entrepreneur, Randy switched careers because he also saw the opportunities overlooked by investors and felt he could help innovative young businesses by applying the lessons he learned by leading those kinds of companies. He is currently on the board of HealthQuest portfolio companies Vestagen, Virmedica and Avizia and is a Board observer on Magnolia Medical, Trice Medical and FAST.

Randy’s industry successes include starting NovaMin Technology, Inc. leading it through financing, growth and eventual acquisition by GlaxoSmithKline (at a 10x return on capital); a turn-around of USBiomaterials Corp’s bone-grafting business from perennial money-loser to a profitable spin-out (now NovaBone Products); and a member of the early management team at LensCrafters as it emerged from start-up to market leader. These businesses each solved real problems for patients and users and those are the kind of opportunities Randy seeks as he thinks about opportunities at HealthQuest. 

Randy is committed to supporting entrepreneurs both in HealthQuest’s portfolio and beyond, including as past chair of the Gainesville Area Innovation Network, board member of the Cade Museum of Invention and Creativity, advisory board member for the Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research.

Randy graduated from Georgia Tech with a BS in Management Science. He spent the first half of his career in consumer products marketing, starting in brand management at Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati. Randy lives in Gainesville, Florida with his wife and three sons with whom he enjoys wilderness backpacking.

Todd Creech, MBA
Partner

Todd joined HealthQuest in 2016 after spending the prior nine years as a healthcare CFO, helping build several successful companies to profitable exits. He joins HealthQuest excited to bring his operations and financial experiences to innovative companies that are primed for growth with the right plan and execution.

Most recently he has been the acting CFO for Femasys, a medtech company developing and selling devices targeted at women’s health issues. Prior to that, he was CFO and Treasurer of ZS Pharma (IPO in 2014 and sold to AstraZenaca in 2015; a 30x increase in valuation from when he joined in 2013).  Todd was the CFO and led business development activities for Sarcode which developed lifitigrast, the first dry-eye pharmaceutical to be approved (2016) for both signs and symptoms of dry eye (sold to Shire in 2013).  He was also the CFO of Sirion Therapeutics, an ophthalmic company that successfully developed and received approval for two products (Durezol and Virgan) and sold to Alcon and Bausch and Lomb in 2010. During his CFO tenure he has raised more than $500m in equity and debt, helping to build operations and companies that generated over $3.5b in exits.

Earlier in his career, Todd did healthcare venture investing for Quintiles and worked with SRI International. He has also co-founded two companies; a spectroscopy platform spinout of Duke University (Centice) and a specialty pharmaceutical company (TLC Pharma).

Todd holds bachelor's degrees in Finance and Accounting from Miami (Ohio) University where he was also a scholarship baseball player, and an MBA from Duke University. He is an Executive-in-Residence for Moffitt Cancer Center and sits on the Healthcare Advisory Board for Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. He and his wife live in Tampa, Florida with their two sons.

David Kabakoff, PhD
Partner

David shares his time between HealthQuest and Sofinnova Ventures, where he has been an investor since 2007. David joined the HealthQuest team to leverage decades of experience as an entrepreneur in the diagnostics field. While a chemist by training, the companies that David has led as President, CEO or Chairman have produced billions of dollars in returns for investors and employees. He currently serves on the Boards of portfolio companies Lineagen and Biotheranostics and is a board observer for Castle Biosciences.

As an operator David’s successes include leading the development of some of the diagnostic industry’s most iconic products like the first yes/no color changing pregnancy test, the PSA test for prostate cancer and the rapid strep throat test, plus numerous cancer diagnostics. He served in senior executive positions at Hybritech, was EVP of Dura Pharmaceuticals, CEO of Spiros Development Corp., Corvas International and co-founder/CEO of Salmedix. Each of the products he developed succeeded because it made a big impact on the medical management of patients and David keeps a keen eye out for the same thing when he considers investments for HealthQuest.

In addition to his HealthQuest Board responsibilities, David serves as a Board member of Antiva Biosciences and Dauntless Pharmaceuticals, and as a Board Observer at Histogenics.  He has served as Chairman of Trius Therapeutics (acquired by Cubist), Chairman of Cebix Inc., Chairman of Amplimmune, Inc. (acquired by AstraZeneca), and as a Director of InterMune, Inc. (acquired by Roche), and Allylix, Inc. (acquired by Evolva).

David earned his BA in chemistry from Case Western Reserve University and then his PhD from Yale University. He lives with his wife in the San Diego area and enjoys fine wine, travel and skiing.

Richard Lin, MD, MBA
Consulting Partner

Rich joined HealthQuest as a Consulting Partner in 2014 to leverage his 16+ years of healthcare investing experience in both venture capital and small cap public companies. Having begun his career as a physician, surgeon and scientist, Rich understands first-hand how innovative companies can uniquely impact the practice of medicine. Following his career as a surgeon and scientist, he spent 15+ years at Three Arch Partners, a healthcare focused venture capital firm, where he sourced deals, made investments and added value as a Board member. He serves as a Board member on portfolio company Inmediata.

Past investments that he was involved in include Calistoga (Gilead), Visiogen (Abbot),  Cameron (Boston Scientific), Confluent (Tyco), Novacept (Cytyc), Vivant (Tyco), Calibra (J&J), inGenuity (Qiagen), Spiration (Olympus), Sirtris (GSK), Salveo (Catamaran) and ePocrates, (Athena Health).  In addition to HealthQuest, Rich invests in small cap public companies (also focused in healthcare) as the Founder and General Partner of Acuta Capital, which has over $200M in AUM. His experience in following companies through start-up phase, to IPO and beyond as public companies offers him unique perspective at how young companies can best create lasting value.

Rich holds a BS from Stanford University where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa.  He received an MD from Harvard Medical School where he graduated cum laude and was named a Howard Hughes Scholar for his research efforts with the National Institute of Health.  After medical school, he then went to UCSF School of Medicine for surgical residency and then attended Stanford Graduate School of Business where he received an MBA and graduated as an Arjay Miller Scholar.  Rich and his wife reside in San Juan, PR while maintaining long-time ties to the Silicon Valley area.

Thomas H. Callaway, MD, MBA
Venture Partner

Tom is a venture partner with HealthQuest, where he leverages his training as a physician, experience in the diagnostics industry and success as one of the industry’s best executive recruiters and management team builders. He serves as a Board observer for portfolio companies Lineagen and Inmediata.

Tom founded Life Science Partner, a very successful executive recruiting firm that has helped build the leadership teams at some of the world’s foremost medical device and pharmaceutical companies, as well as many venture-backed companies in the medical device, biotech and healthcare services sectors. Prior to LSP, he led similar practices at Korn/Ferry and Russell Reynolds. Tom has learned that the quality of a company’s management team predicts it’s success more than products or technologies and that perspective guides him in looking at companies for HealthQuest.

Tom began his career at Roche Molecular, where he developed and implemented their first marketing programs around PCR for medical diagnostics, including HIV detection. Like all HealthQuest partners he then worked inside a start-up, SyStemix where he established technology developmental partnerships with major cancer centers including MD Anderson, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Mayo Clinic. SyStemix developed proprietary stem cell purifying technologies important for treatment of cancer and genetic illnesses. He was the liaison with Sandoz's oncology group, whose parent company completed its acquisition of the company in 1996.

Tom has been especially active at promoting the industry across his home state of Georgia and the entire southeast. He is former Chairman of Georgia Bio, co-founder of SEMDA, the Southeast Medical Device Association and serves on the boards of SEBIO and the Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience at Georgia Tech.

Tom earned his MD from Vanderbilt and both his undergraduate degree and MBA from Duke University. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Atlanta. He splits his free time between hiking and skiing in the mountains and kite-boarding on the coast.

Manfred Yu
Chief Financial Officer

Manfred joined HealthQuest in 2016 with over 20 years of private equity experience in managing investments, operations, finance and regulatory compliance.  Manfred has broad knowledge in the legal, tax and accounting issues relevant to private equity firms, as well as deal structuring expertise and investment experience in the healthcare, financial services, business services, manufacturing, automotive, retail and energy industries.  

Manfred spent 17 years with CAI Managers & Co., L.P., a mid-market private equity investment firm, where he became a Partner in 1998 and served on the boards of multiple portfolio companies.  While at CAI in New York, Manfred held CFO responsibilities until 2001 during which time he formalized and implemented the firm’s operational policies and investment processes.  He also led all Advisory Committee meetings and discussions relating to valuation policy and potential conflicts of interests.  In 2001, he founded CAI’s Toronto office where he served as President of CAI’s Canadian subsidiary for seven years while continuing to have management responsibilities for all aspects of finance, operations and investor relations.  

Manfred began his career in investment banking with Merrill Lynch & Co.’s corporate finance group where he worked on public and private issuances of equity, debt, and equity-linked securities.  He also spent two years with New Street Capital Corporation, a New York-based merchant bank that invested in high-yield debt, distressed debt and private equity, and was a Senior Director at Visa Inc. for three years, where he structured and negotiated incentive agreements with Visa’s issuing financial institutions.  

Manfred holds a B.A. in Economics from Stanford University.  He lives in San Mateo with his wife, and both enjoy cruising while on vacation.

Marie Casey, PhD
Senior Associate

Marie joined HealthQuest in 2015, where she uses her training as an engineer and medtech analyst to help in investment diligence and sourcing.

Prior to joining HealthQuest, Marie worked in sell-side Equity Research at JMP Securities in San Francisco and Goldman Sachs in New York. Her coverages included Molecular Diagnostics, Life Sciences Tools and Medical Devices companies. She was responsible for performing and communicating value-added proprietary research, including valuation and market analysis on the industry's core growth drivers. Marie also has prior consulting experience with Accenture's Life Sciences and Pharmaceutical R&D practice, where she focused on a range of strategic initiatives including clinical development and IT implementation.

Marie obtained her PhD in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and her B.S. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, where she graduated Tau Beta Pi. While at Penn, Marie’s dissertation demonstrated for the first time that synthetic DNA can direct the self-assembly of nanoparticles into novel crystalline structures.  Her thesis was published in several leading journals, including Nature and the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences. Marie is fluent in French and enjoys scuba diving, as well as traveling.  She resides in San Francisco with her husband. 

Anna Le
Executive Administrator

Anna serves as Executive Administrator for Garheng Kong and coordinates special events and activities for the entire HealthQuest Team.

Anna brings over 15 years of experience in project management, real estate development, planning, community outreach, communication, economic and business development, neighborhood improvements, administration, human resources, budgeting, grant management, purchasing, and event management.

Her experience includes being a Development Officer with San Jose Redevelopment Agency, an Administrative /Human Resource Manager with Everett Charles Technology and Associate Developer with Eden Housing.

She has a Masters degree in Urban Planning and a BS in Mathematics, both from San Jose State University. She resides in San Jose with her husband and two children.