Hospitals, Health IT

Tampa General Hospital to launch venture capital fund

The Florida-based hospital plans to launch the fund next year, under the leadership of a newly named vice president of innovation. It will be used to support startups and invest directly in healthcare companies.

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Tampa General Hospital in Florida has created a venture capital fund that will launch in the first quarter of 2021. Called TGH InnoVentures, the fund will support early-stage startups, encourage onsite innovation and directly invest in healthcare companies.

TGH InnoVentures will include three components: an onsite program to support hospital team members and physicians working to solve operational problems; an accelerator program to invest in early-stage healthcare companies that are preparing market launches; and a direct investment arm focused on companies in the healthcare arena.

Tampa General Hospital has appointed Rachel Feinman vice president for innovation, a newly created role. Previously serving as executive director of the Florida-Israel Business Accelerator, she will join the organization in January and help launch and manage TGH InnoVentures.

“TGH InnoVentures is a critical ingredient in our strategic vision to become the safest and most innovative academic health system in America,” John Couris, president and CEO of the hospital said in a news release. “It has the potential to be a game-changer for both the organization and the healthcare industry.”

“First and foremost, TGH InnoVentures will allow us to develop innovative solutions to improve the quality and access to care right here at Tampa General,” he said. “At the same time, TGH InnoVentures will provide us a platform to invest both resources and funds into emerging companies and technology that will have the ability to significantly improve the delivery of healthcare within our region, state, and even nationally.”

TGH InnoVentures will also serve as the healthcare partner of Embarc Collective, a nonprofit that works with startups to help them grow. TGH InnoVentures will be located at Embarc’s 32,000-square-foot facility in Tampa, Florida.

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“Through this dynamic partnership, more than 50 early-stage startups at Embarc Collective will be able to meaningfully engage with TGH InnoVentures regularly,” Embarc Collective CEO Lakshmi Shenoy said in a news release. “The opportunities that Tampa General will offer startups through TGH InnoVentures, in addition to their reputation as a leading healthcare provider, will attract new companies to the region.”

Venture capital interest in healthcare companies has grown in leaps and bounds over the past decade. According to a 2019 Health Affairs blog, the value of investments in digital health increased by 858% between 2010 and 2017, and more than $41.5 billion has been invested in digital health this decade.

Tampa General joins a long line of hospitals and health systems that are creating venture capital arms and investing in digital health. Some are new, like Intermountain Healthcare’s $80 million Intermountain Ventures, which was created in 2019; and some are more established, like Kaiser Permanente Ventures, which was founded 20-plus years ago and manages $400 million in assets over four funds.

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