Fund Launched To Invest Exclusively In Black-Owned Health Tech Ventures
Nashville-based Jumpstart Nova announced its first venture fund Wednesday, with $55 million to invest exclusively in Black founder-led health care companies, according to a news release.
The funding round brought together nearly 100 investors — including Eli Lilly and Company, HCA Healthcare, Cardinal Health, Meharry Medical College, Vanderbilt University, American Hospital Association, and others.
Though Jumpstart is based in Tennessee, the Nova fund will have roots in Los Angeles, as well. Jumpstart Nova partner and native Angeleno Kathryne Cooper is based in L.A. and is working alongside Jumpstart co-founder Marcus Whitney to lead deals and manage the portfolio.
According to Jumpstart, of the nearly 785,000 companies in the U.S. health care sector today, only around 35,000—or less than 5%—are Black-owned.
A survey of nearly 700 health startup leaders conducted by Rock Health in 2020 found that support for Black founders was largely inadequate.
Black founders were more likely than white or Asian founders to bootstrap their companies, while most were based in the South or the Midwest—far from the funding hotbeds of the Northeast and West Coast.
Marcus, the founder and General Partner of Jumpstart Nova, the first Black healthcare venture fund in America, said in a statement: “The healthcare venture capital industry has missed out for decades on investing in America’s brilliant Black innovators, and this has been a loss for us all. Jumpstart Nova’s strong start and an incredible group of limited partners validate the need to capitalize and support the vital solutions from this untapped talent base.”