Good Growth Capital, a Charleston-based venture capital firm that announced its formation in April and took in its first capital over the summer, announced its first four investments.
“There is no shortage of great technology companies and talent in the Southeast,” said Amy Salzhauer, a Managing Partner of Good Growth Capital. “We are seeing an incredibly robust pipeline of investment opportunities in the region. Our fund has deep networks across the country—we have Venture Partners in Boston and Washington, DC as well as in the Southeast—but three of our first investments are here in Charleston.”
Good Growth Capital’s first Charleston-based investments include Questis, an enterprise-level financial platform that enables businesses to offer financial wellness tools as an employee benefit. The investment is being led on behalf of the fund by Milt Alpern, a Venture Partner with Good Growth Capital and formerly CFO of Benefitfocus. “I’m very excited about the potential of Questis as a business opportunity,” remarked Alpern. “GGC’s inaugural portfolio of investments demonstrate our ability to attract, evaluate and propose exciting opportunities for our investors to put capital to work.
Good Growth Capital is also making an investment in PT On Demand, a private pay platform for physical therapists that was the winner of the prize it sponsored at the Harbor Entrepreneur Center’s Accelerator Pitch Competition at the 2017 Dig South Conference, and is announcing its investment in Dynepic, which is creating a social platform called IOKids. IOKids enables brands to safely interact with children under 13, where strict privacy rules apply, and was recently selected to participate in Apple’s new web show, “Planet of the Apps.” The investment is a good example of how the fund is leveraging the talent of its partners and the talent in the region to foster the growth of its portfolio companies.
Good Growth Capital Managing Partner Carolyne La Sala’s experience includes launching and running iTunes, iTunes Europe, and the App Store for Apple, so she has considerable insight to share with entrepreneurs and companies that need to operate in those environments. She says, “This is a great place to live and a great place to do business, but it has been a capital desert for companies seeking more than a few hundred thousand dollars. That dearth of capital has limited entrepreneurship in the region. So while we are also seeking the highest possible returns for our investors, we also think of ourselves as impact investors who can help sustainably grow the economy of South Carolina and the Southeast.”
The fund is aiming for at least 50% of its investments to be in the region, but having a talented team of experienced entrepreneurs in multiple cities around the country allows the fund’s investors access to world-class deals that would otherwise not be available in the Southeast. The fourth investment being announced is Rare Genetix, a Cambridge, MA-based company formed by world-leading experts in RNA biology and disease. Rare Genetix is revolutionizing cancer and genetic disease treatment by developing small molecules that target the underlying genetic causes of disease.
The Rare Genetix investment is being led by one of Good Growth Capital’s Boston-based Venture Partners, Maureen Stancik Boyce. Boyce and Salzhauer are known for launching multiple companies out of universities such as MIT and Harvard over the last 20 years, and Boyce is also a mentor to MIT’s Sandbox Innovation fund, which serves the greatest number of MIT startups – 230 teams this summer alone. Boyce’s roles at MIT and at Good Growth Capital give her both access and perspective, “As a Sandbox mentor, it is incredibly stimulating to help move teams forward in some of the most cutting edge research in the world. And as an investor, I know where they have to get to in order to attract the capital they need to launch their companies.”
The fund’s main investing team in Charleston is rounded out by David Mendez and John Osborne, both experienced investors in the region. “I can’t say enough about what a pleasure it is working with our team. A committed capital fund with the kind of talent our partners have executing multiple investments in our region is extremely exciting. I look forward to helping support our initial portfolio company founders as they continue to grow,” says John Osborne, a Managing Partner with Good Growth Capital. Adds Mendez, “This is just the first set of investments. There is so much to see in our investment area. We are excited about these deals, and looking forward to the ones to come.”
Good Growth Capital is focused on early-stage technology companies, capitalizing on the lack of competition for Seed Preferred/Series A financings in the Southeast and investing in great opportunities worldwide.