Jumpstart launches fund for Black founders

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nashville based Jumpstart Health Investors Launches Jumpstart Nova, the First U.S. Venture Fund to Support Exclusively Black-Founded and Led Health Care Companies,

  • Major players including Eli Lilly, HCA Healthcare and the American Hospital Association injected $55 million.
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Why this matters: A small fraction of existing health tech companies have black leaders – the result of decades of systemic racism and the institutional barriers created by it.

  • Black leaders recently rated access to capital and investors as more significant barriers to building their companies relative to their white and Asian counterparts, according to Rock Health. Survey,
  • Although 41% of Black founding respondents self-funded or bootstrapped their company, less than a quarter of White and Asian founding respondents did so, the survey found.
  • “Our decision is to be laser-focused on supporting great Black health care founders,” Marcus Whitney, founding partner of Jumpstart Nova, tells Nerdshala. “He’s our North Star.”

Intrigue: A common question Whitney had when looking for partners for the venture was whether there were enough deals to justify the fund.

  • “The answer is yes, and we don’t have enough capital to invest in all of these,” Whitney says. “It’s going to be tough. We’re going to have to make some really tough decisions.”

Description: jump start Nova’s strategic investors are a veritable one, heavily hit by the health care delivery and finance sectors, ranging from those mentioned above to Cardinal Health, Atrium Health and Henry Ford Health System.

  • Partners in the venture include Bank of America, Pinnacle Financial Partners, FirstBank, Ingram Industries, Tuxton Trust and Vanderbilt University.

What will happen next: Whitney estimates that she and Jumpstart Nova partner Katherine Cooper will invest in about 20 companies as part of their first fund.

  • “We believe the chronic low investment in Black Health Care founders has had many negative effects on society,” says Whitney. “If our fund is successful on its primary premise, we are confident that those downstream measures will improve.”
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Editor’s Note: This story was updated to include comments from a founding partner of Jumpstart.

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