Michael McCullough (entrepreneur)

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Michael McCullough
McCullough speaking at Yale during a QuestBridge Leadership Conference for talented low-income high school students
McCullough speaking at Yale
Oregon, U.S.
Alma materStanford University, Oxford University, UCSF
OccupationEntrepreneur, investor and physician
Known forQuestBridge, HeartFlow
Medical career
FieldEmergency room medicine
InstitutionsUCSF Medical Center, Stanford Medical School
Sub-specialtiesEmergency medicine, trauma

Michael McCullough is an American investor in healthcare and life science companies, social entrepreneur, and emergency room doctor. He was a Rhodes Scholar. He lives in Palo Alto, California.

Early life and education[edit]

Raised in rural Oregon, McCullough was born 8 weeks prematurely and suffered a brain hemorrhage which was undiagnosed for nine years resulting in hydrocephalus, severe headaches, and a speech impediment that was corrected with brain surgery at age 10.[1][2] Despite this, at age 6 he played chess against chess master Arthur Dake in a public tournament.[3] Following the brain surgery, McCullough learned to use biofeedback and meditation techniques to regain the ability to speak fluently.[4][1][5] At 17, he served on the Oregon Board of Education where he represented the K-12 students in Oregon and helped co-author Oregon's Action Plan For Excellence in Education, state graduation requirements and other policy.[6][7] To better control his stuttering, McCullough used different accents for public speaking, teaching, and stand-up comedy, which he also used to support his way through college and medical school.[8][1][2]

McCullough received his undergraduate degree in Human Biology and Neuroscience from Stanford University in 1989. He dropped out several times to earn money to pay the tuition.[8][4] He met David Packard, whose Packard Foundation subsequently supported his early social entrepreneurship.[8][9][10] He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford and was awarded the Dean's award for public service in honor of his establishment and directorship of the Stanford Medical Youth Science Program,[11] which later evolved into the QuestBridge organization.

McCullough was awarded a Rhodes scholarship[12] and travelled to England to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Balliol College, Oxford University while concurrently studying diagnostic neuro-imaging at the John Radcliffe Hospital.[13][14] Following the completion of his master's degree at Oxford, he enrolled in medical school at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine in 1992 where he was awarded the UCSF Chancellor's and Burbridge awards for public service.[15] He graduated with an MD in 1996 and completed a surgical residency in Emergency Medicine at Stanford Hospital.


McCullough is an Entrepreneur in Residence at Greylock Partners,[16] a co-founder and partner at Headwaters Capital Partners,[17] and a co-founder at Capricorn Healthcare and Special Opportunities (CHSO).[18] He is the founder of the BrainMind Summit and BrainMind organization.[19][20]

McCullough works as a consultant to venture capital funds on life science, impact, and education focused investments at Redpoint, NanoDimension, and Venrock.[21][22] He has been an angel investor of and/or on the founding board of a number of companies.[8][4][23][24] McCullough was a founding board member at 2U Inc (NAS: TWOU).[25][26] He has also worked as a board member at the Dalai Lama Foundation,[27] Metabiota,[28] KaeMe,[29][30] and Zipongo.[21][4][22] He was a founder and President of RegenMed Systems.[31][32]

In 2009, McCullough was elected as a venture fellow at the Kauffman Fellows Program and then as a Kauffman Fellows mentor in 2015.[33]

Social entrepreneurship[edit]

McCullough is a co-founder and the president of QuestBridge,[34][35] a non-profit NGO that places talented low-income students into US colleges with financial aid. This organization evolved from the Stanford Medical Youth Science Program that McCullough founded as an undergraduate and gives out approximately $1.2 billion in financial aid annually[36] to place around 3,000 students[37] a year in 40 universities including Stanford,[38] Yale,[39][40] MIT,[41] Amherst,[42] and Caltech.[43]

McCullough was a founder of the Stanford Youth Environmental Science Program (SYESP),[10][44] the Quest Scholars Program[36][45] and the Stanford Medical Youth Science Program (SMYSP).[9][46] He is a co-founder of the Be A Good Doctor non-profit incubator at Stanford.,[47] which he started while he was a surgical resident[33] McCullough co-founded KaeMe,[29] a non-profit organization that works to reunite children living in orphanages in Ghana with their families, S.C.O.P.E.,[48] an internship program that places pre-medical students into emergency department volunteer positions,.[49] Other Be A Good Doctor organizations that McCullough helped to found include the Courage Project[47] and Happiness Science.[50]

McCullough was elected an Ashoka Fellow in 2004[14] and was named a top American social entrepreneur in 2006 for-profit entrepreneurship and investing.[51]

Medical career[edit]

McCullough is a part-time assistant clinical professor of emergency medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) campus in Fresno.[52] He worked as the emergency doctor for the Dalai Lama and his entourage during several tours of California between 2009 and 2011.[33][53]

McCullough is a co-founder of clinical internships in Dharamshala (the India Clinical Internship), Honduras (the Roatan Clinical and Public Health Internship), and Nepal (the Nepal Clinical Internship).[2][54]

McCullough has co-authored academic articles[9][55] and has spoken on his work, impact investing, compassion, and the human mind.[23][56][57][58]


  1. ^ a b c Brignolo, Don (1988-12-23). "Pathways to the Coveted Rhodes: Michael McCullough". San Jose Mercury News.
  2. ^ a b c Ehrlich, Thomas; Fu, Ernestine (2013-06-27). Civic Work, Civic Lessons. UPA. pp. 94–95. ISBN 978-0761861270.
  3. ^ Pintarich, Paul (28 September 1972). "Six Year Old Anxious for Chess Rematch". Oregonian.
  4. ^ a b c d Ferriss, Tim (31 August 2015). "The Oracle of Silicon Valley, Reid Hoffman (Plus: Michael McCullough)". The Tim Ferriss Show. Retrieved 2015-10-04.
  5. ^ Lund, Diane (1983-08-08). "Teen Shuns Handicap Label for Stuttering". Oregonian.
  6. ^ Lund, Diane (25 June 1984). "Glencoe Graduate Leaves Mark on Board". Oregonian.
  7. ^ Lund, Diane (25 January 1984). "Survey Shows Oregon Pupils Support Graduation Changes". Oregonian.
  8. ^ a b c d Senator Bradley, Bill. "Interview with Michael McCullough, M.D. - who's dedicated his life to closing the inequality gap that many students face when applying to college". American Voices on Sirius/XM with Bill Bradley. Archived from the original on 2015-10-19. Retrieved 2015-10-06.
  9. ^ a b c Winkleby, Marilyn; McCullough, Michael (1996). "The Stanford Medical Youth Science Program". Academic Medicine. 71 (5): 419. doi:10.1097/00001888-199605000-00006. PMID 9114854.
  10. ^ a b Sacks, Melinda (1994-08-12). "Stanford Program for Gifted Teens Gives Disadvantaged a Fresh Lease on the Future". San Jose Mercury News.
  11. ^ "The Stanford Daily 31 May 1989 — The Stanford Daily". stanforddailyarchive.com. Retrieved 2017-09-17.
  12. ^ "Rhodes Scholars in innovation and social change" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-12-22. Retrieved 2015-10-06.
  13. ^ Kathleen., Schaeper; J., Schaeper, Thomas (February 2010). Rhodes scholars, Oxford, and the creation of an American elite. ISBN 9781845457211. OCLC 873806268.
  14. ^ a b "Ashoka.Org - Ashoka Fellow Profile - Michael McCullough". Ashoka Innovators for the Public. Retrieved 2015-10-06.
  15. ^ "Award for Public Service Recipients | UCSF Chancellor". chancellor.ucsf.edu. Retrieved 2016-10-18.
  16. ^ Hoffman, Reid (2017-08-22). "Michael McCullough Joins Greylock as an EIR". Reid Hoffman. Retrieved 2017-08-30.
  17. ^ "Michael McCullough, Chso Management LLC: Profile & Biography". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2018-07-06.
  18. ^ "Capricorn Healthcare & Special Opportunities - Team". Retrieved 2015-10-04.
  19. ^ "BrainMind Summit". Brain & Mind Summit. Stanford University Bechtel Center. September 2016. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  20. ^ Steven., Kotler (2017-01-01). Stealing Fire : the Secrets of Super Performers from Google Executives to Navy SEALS. HarperCollins Publishers. p. 225. ISBN 9780062429650. OCLC 964730099.
  21. ^ a b "TED.com - Michael McCullough Profile". Retrieved 2015-09-29.
  22. ^ a b "Michael McCullough M.D.: Executive Profile & Biography - Bloomberg". www.bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2017-03-23.
  23. ^ a b "ICV Manhattan – ICV Events". ICV Events. Retrieved 2016-12-04.
  24. ^ "Renaissance Weekend — Illustrative List > Non-Profits, Philanthropy & Community Service". www.renaissanceweekend.org. Retrieved 2017-03-23.
  25. ^ "2U Board of Directors - Form D 2013 SEC Filing for 2U, Inc". 2U. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2018-07-06.
  26. ^ "Bloomberg Business Executive Profile - Michael McCullough M.D., MS.c." Bloomberg. Retrieved 2015-10-04.
  27. ^ "The Dalai Lama Foundation: Our Board of Directors". Archived from the original on 2015-10-08. Retrieved 2015-10-04.
  28. ^ Zuckerberg, Arielle (Sep 24, 2015). "The Daily Startup: Google Ventures Backs Metabiota to Forecast Disease Outbreaks". Wall Street Journal.
  29. ^ a b "KaeMe.Org: Who We Are". Retrieved 2015-10-04.
  30. ^ Poto, Jonathan (2010-11-11). "With KaeMe, No Orphan Left Behind". No. 40. The Stanford Daily.
  31. ^ "RegenMed Systems - Management Team". Retrieved 2015-10-04.
  32. ^ "World Stem Cell Summit 2014 Speakers & Presenters - Michael McCullough, M.D." World Stem Cell Summit. Archived from the original on 2015-10-03. Retrieved 2015-10-04.
  33. ^ a b c "Kauffman Fellows Directory: Michael McCullough". Kauffman Fellows. Archived from the original on 2015-05-13. Retrieved 2018-07-06.
  34. ^ Hebel, Sara (2006-05-12). "A Matchmaker for Elite Colleges". Chronicle of Higher Education.[permanent dead link]
  35. ^ Pappano, Laura (2015-04-08). "First-Generation Students Unite". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-03-26.
  36. ^ a b Carlton, Jim (2015-05-13). "Venture Capitalists Help Connect Low-Income Students With Elite Colleges". The Wall Street Journal.
  37. ^ Leonhardt, David (2014-09-16). "A National Admissions Office for Low-Income Strivers". The New York Times.
  38. ^ "Venture Capitalists Help Connect Low-Income Students With Elite Colleges | Public Policy Program". publicpolicy.stanford.edu. Retrieved 2017-03-26.
  39. ^ Foggat, Tyler (20 January 2015). "With new admits, Yale deepens relationship with Questbridge". Yale Daily News. Retrieved 2017-03-26.
  40. ^ Bhandari, Rishabh (22 September 2014). "UP CLOSE: What's next for affirmative action?". Yale Daily News. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  41. ^ Dey, Arkajit. "Non-Profit Connects Low-Income Applicants With MIT - The Tech". tech.mit.edu. Retrieved 2017-03-26.
  42. ^ Harmon, Amy (2017-02-17). "Beyond 'Hidden Figures': Nurturing New Black and Latino Math Whizzes". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-03-26.
  43. ^ "Austin High senior to attend Caltech on prestigious scholarship | El Paso Herald-Post". elpasoheraldpost.com. Retrieved 2017-08-20.
  44. ^ Puzzanghera, Jim (1996-08-01). "Program: Low-income, gifted teens get a taste of what it takes". San Jose Mercury News.
  45. ^ Carlton, Jim (2007-11-15). "Matching Top Colleges, Low-Income Students". The Wall Street Journal.
  46. ^ Goldsmith, Marsha (1994). "'Med Prep' College Course Helps High School Students Work Toward Dreams". The Journal of the American Medical Association. 271 (19): 1467–1468. doi:10.1001/jama.271.19.1467. PMID 8176809.
  47. ^ a b "BeAGoodDoctor Organization - Founder Profile". Archived from the original on 2015-10-02. Retrieved 2015-10-04.
  48. ^ Coleman, Laura (2000-10-06). "New initiative gives internships to premeds". No. 11. The Stanford Daily.
  49. ^ Bartindale, Becky (17 Feb 2004). "FRONT-ROW VIEW OF MEDICINE: Students Work Alongside Doctors, Nurses at Three South Bay Hospitals". San Jose Mercury News.
  50. ^ "About Us — Happiness". Happiness. Retrieved 2018-07-06.
  51. ^ Leading Social Entrepreneurs. Ashoka Innovators for the Public. 2006. p. 387. ISBN 9780966675979.
  52. ^ "UCSF Fresno Emergency Medicine Faculty". UCSF. Retrieved 2018-07-06.
  53. ^ "DalaiLama.com - Meeting with Silicon Valley Leaders". Central Tibetan Administration. Retrieved 2015-10-04.
  54. ^ "BeAGoodDoctor Clinics". Retrieved 2018-07-06.
  55. ^ Kouzminova, N; Shatney, C; Palm, E; McCullough, M; Sherck, J (February 2009). "The efficacy of a two-tiered trauma activation system at a level I trauma center". Journal of Trauma. 67 (4): 829–833. doi:10.1097/TA.0b013e3181b57b6d. PMID 19820592.
  56. ^ "Dr. McCullough at Yale and Stanford QuestBridge College Prep Conferences". Vimeo. Retrieved 2017-01-08.
  57. ^ "BeAGoodDoctor/SCOPE | Haas Center for Public Service". haas.stanford.edu. Retrieved 2017-01-08.
  58. ^ "National conference to focus on challenges facing first-generation college students". Yale News. 21 February 2017. Retrieved 2017-03-18.