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Team

Founded in 2015, RYSE is a diverse team with a strong investment management background combined with experience across venture capital, entrepreneurship, healthcare, research, operations, and technology.


Shabir Chowdhary

Shabir Chowdhary, Managing Partner

Shabir has a track record of building companies and supporting company founders across multiple sectors. The majority of his career has been spent building and managing asset management businesses 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. Asset management businesses Shabir has been involved with have raised in excess of $4.5bn in aggregate and several sold to strategic buyers.

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.

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John Lee Allen

Dr John Lee Allen, Managing Partner

John is a venture capital investment professional with a track record across healthcare, as a physician, research scientist, and technology entrepreneur. With an engineering and life sciences background, his focus spans healthtech and biotech. John leads a global team of Venture Analysts as a Principal at GoingVC and has published widely. He developed an implantable biotech device as a neuroscience PhD student at Oxford University, leading him down the path as a serial tech entrepreneur and angel investor. He took a leading role at Specsavers to support their global expansion into hearing care and was appointed national NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Fellow.

John holds a degrees in Medicine and Surgery from Imperial College London, an undergraduate degree in engineering, and has held innovation and research roles at the World Health Organization, National University Hospital Singapore, Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Harvard University.

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Eric Kostegan

Eric Kostegan, Impact Investing Lead

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 in San Francisco and is highly recognised for creating innovative, measurable, and metrics-focused programmes, to engage stakeholders and foster collaboration across healthcare.

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Vivien de Tusch-Lec

Vivien de Tusch-Lec, Investment Committee

Vivien is 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 Masters degree from the University of Cambridge and an MBA from INSEAD.

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Dr Laila Samady-Mustad

Dr Laila Samady-Mustad, Investment Committee

Laila is a research scientist, strategic advisor, and entrepreneur with 20 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical, medical, and biotechnology industry 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.

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Dr David Holbrook

Dr David Holbrook, Investment Committee

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.

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Chris Turner

Chris Turner, Entrepreneur-in-Residence

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 having their prescriptions delivered or to collect from any high street pharmacy in England.

Chris holds a first class Master in Pharmacy degree, is an NHS qualified pharmacist, and an NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Fellow.

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Dr Bhumi Shah

Bhumi Shah, Venture Analyst

Bhumi is a 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).

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Dr Puay Ling Lee

Puay Ling Lee, Venture Analyst

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.

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Annie Li

Annie Li, Venture Analyst

Annie is an undergraduate at the University of Southern California (USC) studying Business Administration. She has experience in private equity, wealth management at Morgan Stanley, and at Pareto Holdings - a venture-entity run by Jon Oringer - founder of Shutterstock.

Annie is interested in the intersection between healthcare and finance with a focus on private wealth management. She is an executive board member of Trojan Investing Society, USC's largest undergraduate finance organisation, and is also helping launch a new on-campus organisation to educate students about entrepreneurship and venture capital.

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Dr Alexander Azizi

Dr Alexander Azizi, Venture Analyst

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.

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Board Members & Advisors


Annalisa Jenkins

Dr Annalisa Jenkins, Chair of the Advisory Board

Annalisa is a healthcare thought leader with a 25-year track record in building and leading 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.

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Fergus Hay

Fergus Hay, Board Advisor

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.

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Chris Sawyer

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, 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.

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Rodrigo Mallo Leiva

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 investor in digital healthcare. 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.

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Dr Benjamin Maddison

Dr Benjamin Maddison, Venture Advisor

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.

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Rebecca Sweetman

Rebecca Sweetman, Venture Advisor

Becca supports CEOs and Executive teams to maximise their potential and is passionate about digital healthcare. 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.

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Dr Vishaal Virani

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 – 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 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.

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