Vanderbilt University Invests in Venture Fund Supporting Black Healthcare Firms

Vanderbilt University is among the founding investors in Jumpstart Nova, the first venture fund in the United States to invest exclusively in Black-founded and Black-led companies at the forefront of health care innovation. The $55 million fund will invest exclusively in Black founder-led healthcare companies across health IT, digital health, tech-enabled services, diagnostic devices, biotech, medical device manufacturing, and consumer health and wellness.

Jumpstart Nova enables leaders focused on innovation in the health care industry to invest in talented Black health care founders. Of the nearly 785,000 companies in the U.S. healthcare sector today, only 35,000 businesses in the healthcare and social assistance sector are Black- or African American-owned, or less than 5 percent.

“The health care venture capital industry has missed out for decades on investing in America’s brilliant Black innovators,” said Marcus Whitney, Jumpstart Nova’s founder and managing partner. “Jumpstart Nova’s strong start and incredible group of limited partners validate the need to capitalize and support the vital solutions from this untapped talent base.”

“Jumpstart Nova’s ethos closely aligns with the Vanderbilt mission: to bring out the best in humanity by pushing new ideas to the forefront, challenging the limits of what is possible, and working diligently in service to others,” said Daniel Diermeier, chancellor of Vanderbilt University. “We are thrilled to partner on this endeavor to further expand Nashville’s burgeoning innovation ecosystem and advance health care solutions by investing in diverse voices and talent.”

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