On Tuesday, 200 health care industry executives, entrepreneurs, and
investment professionals attended "Developing Health Care Ventures:
Investor and Entrepreneur Collaborations," an annual event hosted by the Nashville
Health Care Council and Nashville
Capital Network (NCN).
The panel featured founders and investors in early stage health care
companies, who shed light on what makes successful partnerships in
rapidly changing, high growth health care ventures. Panelists included Michael
Bailey, president and CEO, Unity Physician Partners; Alan Dahl,
co-founder and managing director, EDG Partners; Anna Haghgooie,
managing director, Sandbox Industries; and Brad Smith, co-founder
and CEO, Aspire Health. Claire Tucker, president and CEO, CapStar
Bank, served as moderator for the discussion.
View panel member interviews on YouTube
and event photos on Flickr.Photo
credit: (c) 2014, Donn Jones.
Unity Physician Partners offers clinics focused on whole health and
collaborative treatment to address the disconnect between physical and
mental health care. By creating an environment in which primary care and
mental health providers operate within a collaborative clinical model,
Unity Physician Partners is able to improve outcomes for a traditionally
high-risk patient base.
Last year, EDG Partners joined with NCN to invest in Unity Physician
"Unity sought partnership with EDG and NCN because they understand the
changing environmet of health care and know how to support a growing
company," Bailey said.
"EDG strives to invest in companies that have strong management talent
and the ability to transform their industries, which is something we see
in Unity Physician Partners and many exciting companies here in
Nashville," said Dahl.
Another featured company at the event was Aspire Health, a home- and
outpatient-based palliative care provider that operates a group of
specialized physician practices that care for patients facing a serious
illness. Aspire was co-founded by Senator Bill Frist, M.D., and Brad
Smith in Nashville.
"Nashville is the best place to start a new health care venture because
many of the most successful leaders in the business are based here and
want to offer guidance and capital to up-and-coming entrepreneurs," said Smith.
In June, Aspire received a round of Series B venture capital funding
from BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners, which is managed by Sandbox
"Through the BlueCross BlueShield venture fund, Sandbox invests in
emerging health care companies of strategic relevance and works hard to
support the best thinkers in health care innovation by helping them
accelerate growth," said Haghgooie.
In 2012, the Council and NCN released a comprehensive report on the
local venture capital marketplace. The report found that more than $1.4
billion in venture capital funds had been invested in 215 different
Nashville-based companies since 2001. Nearly $1 billion of this venture
capital money was invested in health care companies.
"The community of health care entrepreneurs in Nashville is extensive,
and NCN works to connect these innovators with resources and investors
that can help their companies grow and thrive. The collaborations
featured today are excellent examples of the types of partnerships NCN
is trying to foster," said Sid Chambless, executive director of
"Nashville's far-reaching health care industry was built on a foundation
of entrepreneurism," said Caroline Young, president of the
Council. "Through forums such as this, the Council offers our members
the opportunity to connect startups with investors and learn about the
process of innovation and growth."
Arant Boult Cummings served as presenting sponsor of the program
Swensson Associates, LBMC
Healthcare Services and Tata
Consultancy Services as supporting sponsors.
About the Nashville Health Care Council
The Nashville Health Care Council, founded in 1995 as an initiative of
the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, is an association of health care
industry leaders working together to further establish Nashville's
position as the nation's health care industry capital. Worldwide,
Nashville's health care industry generates more than 400,000 jobs and
$70 billion in annual revenue. The industry is Nashville's largest and
fastest growing employer. For more information on the Council, please
About Nashville Capital Network
Nashville Capital Network accelerates the development of early stage
companies by nurturing the most promising entrepreneurs and connecting
them with knowledgeable, experienced investors. NCN has cultivated a
network of qualified and committed angel investors who have invested
more than $47 million in Tennessee-based companies. Additionally, NCN
manages the $5.2 million NCN Angel Fund I, the $11.6 million NCN Angel
Fund II, and the TNInvestco Tennessee Angel Fund. For more information
about Nashville Capital Network, visit www.nashvillecapital.com.
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