Welcome to
Two Bear Capital.

Welcome to
Two Bear Capital.

We’re based in Whitefish, Montana, where the skies are wider, the opportunities brighter, and the thinking clearer.

ABOUT US

From here we can see the future.

Two Bear Capital is led by Mike Goguen, a 20-year veteran of Sequoia Capital. Between 1996 and 2016 Mike sponsored and led 54 company investments to a combined market value exceeding $64 billion. Mike had 26 companies exit above $100 million – 11 of those above $500 million, 6 above $1 billion and 3 above $10 billion in peak market value. He led investments across sectors including cyber security, bioinformatics, biopharma, IT infrastructure, and semiconductors.

Our story

When you can work any place, the only thing that matters is place.

In the early 2000s Mike Goguen visited Whitefish, Montana and fell in love with its wide open spaces. It wasn’t long before he transitioned his 20-year career as a successful Silicon Valley VC to become a Montana-based philanthropist.

Since then, Mike has helped create and fund Two Bear Farm, a certified organic local farm; Two Bear Therapeutic Riding Center; and Two Bear Air Rescue, which has completed over 600 back country search and rescue missions. Currently, Mike is planning a biotech incubator in Whitefish.

Over time, Mike’s commitment to community service intersected with his entrepreneurial spirit. As new tools provided the ability to bring together talented people working at the forefront of  innovative  technology with start-up ecosystems around the country, Mike recognized a unique opportunity to connect access to capital with access to opportunity.

The result is Two Bear Capital.

Our Approach

We invest early in founder-led companies with disruptive innovations in AI, cybersecurity, healthcare, and biotech that can deliver dramatically better solutions to our toughest problems.

Our goal is ambitious: build a virtuous cycle of economic opportunity, create high impact companies along with jobs for communities, and in the process, change the world for the better.

In addition to capital, we provide our founders with the talent, skills, and experience required to guide their business through every stage of growth, from seed to market leadership.

The companies we help build are poised to deliver massive positive change along with exponential growth in value.

OUR SECTORS

We focus on sectors at inflection points primed to accelerate innovation.

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Biotechnology

Biotechnology

Rapid advances in bioengineering are expanding our ability to measure, understand, and modify complex biological systems, building a foundation for the next generation of disease prevention, diagnostics, treatments, and even cures.
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Bioinformatics

Bioinformatics

The breakthroughs in biology aren’t just coming from microscopes, they’re coming from scientists combining new algorithms and genomic data sets to reveal the molecular machinery behind human disease, leading to powerful and novel new treatments.
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Healthcare IT

Healthcare IT

Disruptive changes in the $3.6 trillion / year healthcare industry are forcing an intense focus on improving care while lowering costs, opening the door for a new generation of technology driven companies to deliver the needed solutions and become the new market leaders.
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Machine Learning & AI

Machine Learning & AI

Advances in Artificial Intelligence are unlocking new capabilities across every sector of the economy, with the scarcity of AI / ML expertise creating massive opportunities for those companies with the talent, technology and expertise to pursue them.
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Information Security

Information Security

The skyrocketing value of the world’s digital data coupled with new technologies available to cybercriminals has created a frantic, escalating arms race that requires brilliant, disruptive innovators to protect what has become the lifeblood of modern society.

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OUR FOCUS

Our roots are in Montana.
Our opportunities span the entire U.S.

PACIFIC NORTHWEST
Startups in the Pacific Northwest life sciences industry.
BAY AREA
Game changing innovations from Bay Area AI & machine learning start ups.
San Diego
Advancements in biotech from San Diego’s deep pool of world class research institutions.
Montana
Montana-based entrepreneurs impacting the high tech/high growth economy.
BOSTON & NYC
Cutting-edge research coming out of NYC accelerators, and cancer & genomics labs in Boston’s biotech cluster.
COMPANIES

We help build companies whose breakthroughs will deliver impact on a world-changing scale.

COMPANIES

We help build companies whose breakthroughs will deliver impact on a world-changing scale.

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Expesicor delivers next generation neuro therapeutics based on research breakthroughs in epilepsy and neurodegenerative disorders.
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Spiral Genetics’ advanced software uniquely enables the rapidly growing market for large scale genomic studies with unparalleled speed and accuracy.
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FYR Diagnostics’ novel DNA/RNA amplification technology enables dramatically earlier and more precise detection and tracking of the world’s most devastating and burdensome diseases.
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XIX delivers a platform that helps developers accomplish any AI / computer vision task with just a few lines of code, delivering unmatched accuracy and a 44x cost advantage vs competitors.
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Truwl accelerates genome-related advances by providing a common, shared platform for the highly complex workflows, tools, and data that the worldwide medical research community critically depends on.
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pulseData develops next generation healthcare solutions powered by artificial intelligence to identify and manage patients at risk for chronic disease, resulting in improved outcomes at a lower cost of care.
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Envisioning a world without fraud, Verafi is combining world class human expertise from the intelligence community with machine learning technology to disrupt the multi-billion $ / year corporate diligence market.
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“We share a singular aspiration to build companies that make the world better.”

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Inimmune is a Montana-based biopharmaceutical company focused on developing novel immunotherapies and vaccines for the treatment of allergy, cancer, infectious disease, and autoimmunity.
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The ultra-fast, cloud-native, interoperable data engine. TileDB Cloud is a serverless solution for data scientists to collaborate and work faster, focusing on their science without engineering hassles.
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OUR TEAM
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Mike Goguen

Founder & Managing Partner

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J. Seth Strattan

Partner

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Ida Khodami

Partner

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Ryan Castonia

Principal

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Rachel Tsunemoto Hislop

Principal

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Avery Sonnenberg

Principal

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Alex Krizhevsky

Venture Partner

Liz Marchi

Head of Community
Engagement

VALUES

Two Bear Capital exists to partner with exceptional teams to help them solve problems that matter - problems that, when solved, will make our world a better place

Our team focuses on razor-sharp logic, fostering differences as a source of strength, stoking passion, serving others, and pursuing a lifetime of learning, which we believe lays a foundation for making the most positive impact.

HONE RAZOR-SHARP LOGIC

Distilling complicated problems and technologies into essential elements is difficult. We hone razor-sharp logic, beginning from first principles, in order to concisely communicate, make decisions, and solve problems.

FOSTER DIFFERENCES AS A SOURCE OF STRENGTH

We celebrate our differences as strength. By actively seeking and combining different viewpoints, backgrounds, cultures, and experiences, we strive to better understand problems and collectively create better solutions.

STOKE PASSION

Passion and grit are critical ingredients to doing anything
of consequence and we believe there are brilliant, passionate people everywhere. When passion and grit align, anything is possible.

SERVE OTHERS

Add value to every interaction. Be candid with investors, teammates, and strangers. We help others on their journeys and invest in relationships built on foundations of trust.

PURSUE A LIFETIME OF LEARNING

Lifelong learning is sustained by an infinite curiosity about the world and how things can be made better. We seek constant improvement, honest and open introspection, and encourage productive debate.

Mike Goguen

Founder & Managing Partner

Whitefish MT

Two Bear Capital is led by Mike Goguen, a 20-year veteran of Sequoia Capital. Between 1996 and 2016 Mike sponsored 54 investments with a combined market value of over $64B. He led investments across sectors including cyber security, bioinformatics, biopharma, networking, and semiconductors. Mike has built the Two Bear brand in Montana as an active philanthropist and as a first responder with Two Bear Air which completed more than 600 helicopter search and rescue missions in the region. Two Bear Capital is the result of Mike’s passion to combine the life-changing platforms that venture capital can enable with a desire to make lives better in an enduring way. Mike is a Cornell undergraduate and Stanford ME in Electrical Engineering. Mike lives with his family in Whitefish, where he loves to learn, save lives, spend time in the outdoors, and create new opportunities for others and for Montana.

J. Seth Strattan

Venture Partner

Silicon Valley CA

J. Seth Strattan, PhD is a Partner based in Silicon Valley focused on the application of data science, software engineering, and genomics technologies to problems in medicine and biology. Seth joined Two Bear Capital from Stanford University where he built and led engineering and data science teams in the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE), Human Cell Atlas (HCA), and International Human Epigenomics (IHEC) consortia. Previously he held entrepreneurial and management positions in enterprise software and consulting. Seth brings to Two Bear Capital a passion for empowering collaborations between scientists and engineers to deliver durable, reproducible solutions to problems in genomics and health. He splits his time between San Francisco, Whitefish, and his family farm in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky. Seth earned his PhD in Structural Biology and BA in Philosophy from Stanford University.

Liz Marchi

Head of Community Engagement

Whitefish MT

Liz leads Two Bear Capital’s community engagement and partnerships. She is a pioneer in building access to equity capital and high-value startups in nontraditional locations. She founded and led Montana based Frontier Angels, www.frontierangels.com for 12 years, seeding more than $20 million in very early stage capital. Liz will engage the firm and our portfolio companies with a broad network of investors, entrepreneurs and philanthropists to support the TBC mission of doing well and doing good. She is a graduate of Hollins College in Virginia where she served as a Trustee. Liz lives on a ranch and is a lover of gardening, global travel, reading, and her three corgis.

Ryan Castonia

Principal

Whitefish MT

As a Principal on the investment team, Ryan leads a broad range of deal flow, diligence, and investment decisions. An MIT trained engineer, turned special operations officer, and founding team member of the DoD’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, Ryan is a generalist who is passionate about working with tenacious founders to build and develop culture, strategy, and leadership. After hours, Ryan enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters exploring Glacier National Park, snowboarding, and the constant humbling that comes from learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Rachel Tsunemoto Hislop

Principal

San Diego CA

As a Principal at Two Bear Capital, Rachel focuses on the scientific due diligence behind investment decisions and is passionate about accelerating innovations in disease prevention, diagnostics, and drug discovery. As a former academic researcher and Medical Science Liaison in biotech, Rachel’s experiences in the therapeutic development process span from preclinical to post-approval. Rachel has a PhD in Neurosciences from UC San Diego and her graduate work led to a first author publication in Nature. After hours, Rachel enjoys spending time with her husband and lovable husky, working out at the gym, trying new restaurants, and learning Spanish.

Avery Sonnenberg

Principal

Whitefish MT

As a Principal at Two Bear Capital, Avery focuses on the technology, science, and business case behind investment decisions. With a PhD in Bioengineering from UC San Diego, Avery joins the firm after a senior engineering role in the Life Science Innovation group at Becton Dickinson. Avery's expertise, through both academic and industry experience, is in anticipating, understanding, and solving the roadblocks between transformational technologies and life-changing products. Avery enjoys hiking, biking, climbing, and camping, especially with his wife and three young sons.

Alex Krizhevsky

Venture Partner

Silicon Valley CA

As a Venture Partner with deep expertise in artificial intelligence, Alex focuses on applications of this emerging technology to a wide range of problems. A former member of Google Brain, Alex’s graduate work in machine learning has been among the most influential in the field. His CIFAR-10/100 datasets have become standard benchmarks. His 2012 paper on “AlexNet,” now with more than 51,000 citations, kick-started the artificial intelligence revolution that we are presently living through. In his spare time Alex enjoys learning to play piano and is trying to raise a well-adjusted kitten.

Jen O’Connell

Vice President, Operations

Location: Whitefish MT

As VP of Operations for Two Bear Capital, Jen oversees all company operations while also ensuring our portfolio companies have access to the services they need in order to be successful. Jen’s professional accomplishments include building/launching 3 national cell phone companies, advising Wall Street on Emerging Technology trends, authoring “The Cell Phone Decoder Ring,” and serving as on-air Tech expert for MSNBC, ABC News and Fox. On the business side, Jen worked for several Tier 1 wireless operators & successfully ran her own wireless consulting business prior to joining a Silicon Valley start-up that sold to Cisco for $1.4 Billion. When not busy working, Jen can be found enjoying time with her young son & very active puppy.

Jenny Kim

Investor Relations

Los Angeles CA

Jenny Kim leads Two Bear Capital's fundraising and investor relations strategy. Prior to TBC, Jenny began her career at Sequoia Capital and has since held roles as a venture capital investor and Limited Partner, and led operational initiatives at a hyper-growth start-up. She is passionate about the sciences, and previously performed basic science research in oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital. Outside of the office, Jenny enjoys practicing art, guitar, Spanish and surfing.

John L. Sullivan

SPECIAL ADVISOR

Boston MA

John is a Special Advisor to Two Bear Capital. He has over 25 years experience analyzing healthcare and life sciences industry trends as well as emerging biopharma company assets / strategies. John was the Director of Research for investment bank SVB Leerink where he was a Healthcare Investment Strategist. Prior to that, an award-winning Wall Street research analyst in life sciences. John is a graduate of Boston University (current member of the Dean's Advisory Board of the School of Public Health) and holds graduate degrees from both Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management and Harvard University. As a resident in Boston, John spends his free time with family, working with charities that change young peoples' lives, and daily cardio workouts that he attacks with great vigor and reluctance.

Ida Khodami

Partner

San Diego CA

Ida Khodami is a Partner based in San Diego with expertise in genomics, biotech, and operations. Ida joined TBC from Illumina, where she held multiple leadership positions across Engineering and Operations for over a decade. She built and led the first company validation consortium that resulted in FDA approval for the first ever Next-Generation- Sequencing platform: MiSeqDX. Over the past three years, she has led the global business strategy and operations for the Direct-to-Consumer genomics market. Ida has a MSc from University of Waterloo in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. She is passionate about learning, interdisciplinary innovation, and helping the next generation of company builders realize their vision and create positive impact. Outside of work, you’ll find her creating unique recipes inspired by her travels (60+ countries) and local seasonal ingredients.

Haley Barrile

Chief Operating Officer

Whitefish MT

As Two Bear Capital’s COO, Haley oversees company operations and portfolio services. In this role she works closely with our portfolio companies to help them scale and thrive. Before moving to Montana, Haley spent 20 years in Silicon Valley in leadership roles at several technology companies including six years on the executive team at recently IPO’d Medallia as they grew the company from <$10M to $150M+ in revenue. Haley has an Economics Degree and an MBA, both from Stanford University. Outside of work, you’ll find Haley spending time with her husband (also a VC!) and her pre-teen kids, coaching basketball, volunteering at school, and doing interior design projects.