Jumpstart Nova launches as first venture fund to invest exclusively in Black founded and led health care companies in the U.S.


FROM JUMPSTART HEALTH INVESTORS • January 12, 2022 • Jumpstart Health Investors, alongside leading limited partners, announce the launch of Jumpstart Nova, the first venture fund in America to invest exclusively in Black-founded and led companies at the forefront of health care innovation. Oversubscribing the initial $30 million goal, the $55 million fund will invest exclusively in Black founder-led health care companies across health IT, digital health, tech-enabled services, diagnostic devices, biotech, medical device manufacturing and consumer health and wellness.


Backed with the credibility of health care industry leaders, Jumpstart Nova investors and strategic health care partners include: Eli Lilly and Company, HCA Healthcare, Cardinal Health, Atrium Health, Henry Ford Health System, LHC Group, Meharry Medical College and American Hospital Association. In addition, the fund launched with partners Bank of America, Pinnacle Financial Partners, FirstBank, Ingram Industries, Truxton Trust and Vanderbilt University.


Jumpstart Nova is working to increase equity in the health care venture space by:


• Maintaining majority Black-owned general partners

• Growing the number of Black VC limited partners and VC professionals

• Generating great returns—this fund will bring new innovators to the marketplace and ensure that talented Black health care founders are properly supported

• Investing in Black founders and leaders at the forefront of health care innovation, creating a more equitable future for all


”The health care 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,” said founder and managing partner of Jumpstart Nova, Marcus Whitney. “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.”


Whitney, a leader in health care innovation and pioneer of the first Black-led health care investment fund, was inspired to create Jumpstart Nova as a solution to a central gap he saw in the marketplace. Jumpstart Nova is the newest in a family of funds managed by Jumpstart Health Investors (JHI), which he co-founded with Vic Gatto in 2015 in Nashville. In 2020, JHI successfully supported the exit of four companies, half of them led by Black founders. Whitney quickly realized the opportunity to bring these innovations to scale, and Jumpstart Nova was born of his efforts to back innovators that are historically underfunded, under-resourced and unknown.


There are nearly 785,000 companies in the U.S. health care sector today, and only 35,000 businesses in the health care and social assistance sector are Black or African American owned—-that amounts to less than 5 percent. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, two issues captured America’s attention: health care and racial equity. Jumpstart Nova created a unique opportunity for investors to address both issues simultaneously.


“We’re excited about the potential of Jumpstart Nova and to serve as one of its strategic health care partners,” said Dr. James E.K. Hildreth, president and CEO of Meharry Medical College. “Particularly, in the world of health care, the small percentage of minority-founded and led businesses–5 percent–is almost reflective of the percentage of Black physicians practicing in America. Correcting this inequity requires bold approaches and ventures, and Jumpstart Nova’s support of Black-founded and led companies in the health care sector is just that kind of innovative thinking.”


President and CEO of the American Hospital Association Rick Pollack said, “Hospitals and health systems need strong partners to collaborate with to build healthier and more equitable communities. Jumpstart Nova aims to provide talented but too-often overlooked entrepreneurs with the capital they need to advance this important work. The AHA is excited about the investments this fund will make, which we believe can positively affect the double bottom-line of financial and social impact.”


Whitney said “Our initial portfolio companies are tackling important issues for the health care industry like equitable access to clinical trials, bringing novel cell and gene therapies to market, helping families with autistic children get the therapeutic support they need, and seeking to mitigate the risk of life threatening food allergy attacks. We knew these founders were ready for primetime when many doubted they even existed. Together, we are going to make a significant mark on the health care industry.”


For more about Jumpstart Nova, CLICK HERE.