When mission, passion, talent and momentum collide, magic happens.

Jumpstart Nova exists to set a path that the healthcare venture industry can follow.

Our Story

The United States healthcare system is 18% of the US GDP, consuming 3 trillion dollars in spending per year. As an industry, the healthcare system is the largest employer in the country. Every American interacts with the healthcare system at some point in their lives.

The leadership of a system of such import to the country should reflect its population.

Venture capital is the platform for the future workflows, therapies, and leaders in US healthcare. If we do not become more inclusive here, we have little hope of changing the systemic issues that result in the health inequities that the industry seeks to solve.

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic and the murder of George Floyd put two issues at the forefront of America’s conscience: Healthcare and Racial Equity.

As data emerged regarding the disparities in health outcomes of COVID-19 patients, leaders in the healthcare industry began to call for a focus on health equity. But our experiences told us that part of the problem was not being discussed.

Our founder, Marcus Whitney had recently graduated from the Nashville Health Care Fellows, where alongside leaders from across the healthcare industry, he was encouraged to make change and challenge the status quo. He knew from his work as co-founder of Jumpstart Health Investors that there was a significant lack of diversity in the healthcare venture capital industry, but over time he grew to understand the power of the healthcare venture capital industry in healthcare more broadly.

Whitney realized that as Nashville’s only Black healthcare venture capitalist, with a track record of driving returns from Black founded and led healthcare companies, there was an opportunity to lead the way with a new institution. Leveraging the Jumpstart Health Investors platform, a new fund dedicated to investing in Black founded and led companies, could be successful and transformative. What he did not know was that this new fund, Jumpstart Nova, would start a movement.

From the first limited partner that agreed to invest with us in July 2020, Jumpstart Nova went on to blow past a $30M target for its first fund, reaching an increased hard cap of $55M with 97 limited partners, including some of the most essential healthcare institutions in the country. Equally as important as the aggregation of capital was Kathryne Cooper’s choice to leave her beloved role at The West Coast Consortium for Technology & Innovation in Pediatrics as Co-Director to join Whitney as a Partner at Jumpstart Nova.

Together, Cooper and Whitney’s backgrounds, networks, and areas of expertise make Jumpstart Nova a complete and highly competitive firm to support the first generation of Black healthcare entrepreneurs to be adequately capitalized and supported in US history. Based in Nashville, Tennessee and Los Angeles, California we not only bring geographic diversity but also experiential diversity to healthcare investing.

We are dedicating ourselves to a group of chronically overlooked founders who we know, when given the opportunity, will make the healthcare industry better. Some of these founders will focus on solving the problems that lead to significant health inequities; while others will bring solutions to the market that will improve the entire industry. Our first fund does not have enough capital to capture all the opportunity in the market, nor would we want it to. We are not the end all be all. In fact, we want to be a part of it all and are grateful for the partners who believed in us, enabling the first Black healthcare venture fund in America to thrive.

Our Criteria

Jumpstart Nova only makes direct investments in Seed and Series A stage healthcare companies; however, we partner with Jumpstart Foundry to ensure that Black founded and led pre-seed healthcare companies receive the capital and support they need.

We encourage you to apply to Jumpstart Foundry if you are at the pre-seed stage, in addition to connecting with Jumpstart Nova through our process outlined below.

Black founded and led companies in the Jumpstart Foundry portfolio receive mentorship from Jumpstart Nova, and we watch them closely for the potential of follow-on investments at the Seed stage.

We are looking for all of the following in our investments:

  • Leadership: Black founder in C-level position with board seat
  • Sectors: Tech-enabled services, Biotech, Diagnostic devices, Health IT, Digital health and Consumer health & wellness
  • Stage: Seed & Series A
  • Check size: $250,000 – $3,000,000
  • Lead: Yes, not always
  • Board Seat: Yes, if we lead
  • Location: US-based and focused companies

Our Process

We keep our process simple at Jumpstart Nova. Complete our form. We will follow up.

We are committed to supporting the Black healthcare innovation ecosystem. As such, the process is the same for all interested in connecting with us to minimize bias and maximize efficiency. Whether our paths have crossed or we are getting to know you, we look forward to connecting.