Seth Morton has built resilient direct investment programs alongside entrepreneurs, founders, and family offices. Informing his career has been the challenge to improve the outcomes for both buy and sell side investors and founders through fundamental analysis. As a Director for The Family Office Association, he authored whitepapers on best-practices for both buy and sell-side operations, as well as how to best integrate these efforts within long-term objectives.
He created platforms to diligence significant amounts of deal flow and has negotiated, formed capital, and executed transactions across a range of industries including healthcare, technology, energy, CPG, and media. Seth received BA degrees in English and German from Michigan State University, was a Fulbright scholar with research on communications systems and information theory in Freiburg and Berlin and earned a PhD in the same topic from Rice University.
Mike Douglas is a health educator and entrepreneur working for 25 years in support of research, emerging health, and biotechnology companies. As Executive director of different biotechnology accelerator programs and research foundations, he has built wet lab incubators and UT clinical research support programs using Texas emerging technology and federal funding. In academic research leadership as Associate Research Vice Chancellor at Washington University St. Louis, and as founding chairman of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the UNC Medical School, Chapel Hill, he managed the university’s intellectual property portfolio and technology licensing programs in support of commercialization.
In commercial leadership, he was CEO and Board Chair of a multi-national public company (Sigma Diagnostics) and the founder of a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. He consults and serves on various us foundation and clinical research boards. He completed his degree at Southwestern University and PhD from St. Louis University and is a decorated veteran.
Board of Directors
Philip Sanger, MD
Managing Partner TEXO Ventures
Dr. Phil Sanger is an active investor and the founder of multiple ventures, including a publicly traded Medicare-Advantage Health Plan, Dr. Sanger understands what it takes to build a successful healthcare company. After working for more than twenty-five years as a pulmonary and critical care specialist, he also understands firsthand the complexities and challenges of the healthcare system. He now leverages this knowledge to provide both capital and collaboration as a Managing Partner of TEXO Ventures.
Michael B. Ajouz
Managing Member Spar Holdings
Michael B. Ajouz is the Managing Member of Spar Holdings LLC; a family office focused on managing the family’s long-term public, private, real estate, and charitable holdings. Spar Holdings focuses on aligning the Ajouz family with passionate, ethical, and brilliant builders to develop long term commercial and not for profit platforms of significance. Prior to Spar Holdings, Mr. Ajouz was a founding member and senior managing director of New Mountain Capital LLC, a $20 billion asset management business with private equity, public equity and credit strategies located in New York City. Mr. Ajouz has over twenty years of experience as a successful control and minority investor across public, private and venture companies and has been an active board member often serving as lead director. He has led or been a significant part of over $10 billion in investment transactions in over 15 different industries ranging from technology to health care. As an institutional private equity investor, Mr. Ajouz has generated significant investor returns over two decades without any single capital loss through a consistent focus on high quality growth companies with strong, ethical management.
Marty Makary M.D., M.P.H.
Chief of Islet Transplant Surgery, John Hopkins University
Dr. Marty Makary is a New York Times bestselling author and health care expert at Johns Hopkins University. Marty is the recipient of the 2020 Business Book of the Year Award for his most recent book, The Price We Pay. Dr. Makary served in leadership at the World Health Organization and is a member of the National Academy of Medicine. A public health researcher, he leads a Johns Hopkins project on the “re-design of health care” to make health care more reliable, holistic, and coordinated, especially for vulnerable populations. He leads national efforts to increase medical transparency and lower health care costs for everyday businesses and consumers. Clinically, Dr. Makary is the chief of Islet Transplant Surgery at Johns Hopkins and is the recipient of the Nobility in Science Award from the National Pancreas Foundation. He has been a visiting professor at over 25 medical schools, has published over 250 peer-reviewed scientific articles, and writes for the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. He is the New York Times bestselling author of two books, The Price We Pay, which has been described by Steve Forbes as “A must-read for every American” and Unaccountable, which was turned into the hit T.V. series, The Resident. A graduate of Bucknell, Thomas Jefferson, and Harvard Universities, he completed his surgical residency at Georgetown University and his specialty training at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Richard (Dick) Benkendorf
Managing Principal, Technology Impact Partners
Richard (Dick) Benkendorf is cofounder and Managing Principal of Technology Impact Partners (TIP), a venture capital and advisory services firm focused on software, information technology and communications companies. Specific to healthcare, Mr. Benkendorf has personally overseen, diligenced and executed over 20 healthcare service related investments. Prior to founding TIP, Mr. Benkendorf founded and led two other successful private equity firms focused on the same market segments. Mr. Benkendorf was Senior Vice President of Investments and Strategic Planning for Ameritech and worked for over 16 years in various executive roles at IBM. He founded The American Software Company (TASC), was Chairman and President of Telemed and Chairman of Execucom.
Pete Winstead, JD
Founder, Winstead PC law firm
Pete Winstead, JD was the founding shareholder of the Winstead PC law firm in Dallas and opened the firm’s Austin office in 1987. The firm guided Dell Computer Corporation through its initial public offering and he continued to have a role with the founders of that company. He has become active in working with early stage and “start-up” companies that need appropriate mentoring on financial backing, management procurement and legal matters, including a role on the initial board of the Central Texas Angel Network (CTAN). He has chaired the boards of the Austin Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Austin Economic Development Corporation (GAEDC), St. Edwards University, the Texas Turnpike Authority, the Real Estate Council of Austin (RECA), the Austin Area Research Organization (AARO), and the United Way of Austin. His major involvements in civic, political and philanthropic matters in the Austin area has made him a “go to” person to secure the award of various projects from political entities in the region or just to position a client to understand and succeed in the Central Texas area.
Garheng Kong, MD, PhD, MBA
Founder and Managing Partner, HealthQuest Capital
Garheng Kong, MD, PhD, MBA is physician, scientist, and engineer by training and has over two decades of experience investing in innovative healthcare companies with a long list of successes (29 IPO/M&A exits). Garheng founded HealthQuest Capital in 2012 to improve people’s lives through improving healthcare on a significant scale. His vision was to build a best-in-class team of the highest talent and integrity to work with outstanding entrepreneurs to transform healthcare through high growth companies while generating outsized risk adjusted returns for investors.
Stephan A. James
Former COO, Accenture
Stephan A. James former Chief Operating Officer of Accenture where he coordinated leadership to initiate and achieve broad operational excellence. He was responsible for implementing and integrating elements of the firm’s five industry practices (Financial Services, Resources, Products, Government, and Communication & High Tech) to assess businesses and support client teams. Over 35 years he lead the firm’s operations functions to achieve cross-market efficiencies, and the consolidation of finance, human resources , marketing & communications.