Good news for Marcus Whitney and the team behind Jumpstart Nova, the first venture fund in America to invest exclusively in Black-founded and led companies at the forefront of healthcare innovation.
In a news release issued last week, the well-known player in the Nashville start-up scene, including serving on the Board of Directors of Launch Tennessee, announced that the fund, which had a goal of raising $30 million, closed at $55 million. Whitney is Founder and Managing Partner of Jumpstart Nova and also a key executive in Jumpstart Health Investors (JHI).
Jumpstart Nova will invest across health information technology, digital health, tech-enabled services, diagnostic devices, biotech, medical device manufacturing and consumer health and wellness. According to the news release, the fund’s investors and strategic healthcare 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, Jumpstart Nova launched with partners Bank of America, Pinnacle Financial Partners, FirstBank, Ingram Industries, Truxton Trust and Vanderbilt University.
Whitney, a leader in healthcare innovation and pioneer of the first Black-led healthcare 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 JHI, which was 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.