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University City Science Center launches early-stage VC initiative for startups addressing health inequities

The University City Science Center will prioritize raising and deploying capital as part of an effort to address health outcome disparities in underserved communities.

The Science Center said Wednesday that it will raise its own funds to get early-stage capital to startups focused on health inequities in underserved communities, with a particular emphasis on ventures from diverse founders.

Heath Naquin, head of the Science Center's new capital vertical, declined to share how much money the nonprofit seeks to raise as it embarks on its capital campaign. The Science Center won’t broker deals between companies and investors, but it will instead raise capital to give to startups as an active, participating investor, he said.

Naquin said the Covid-19 pandemic further exposed longstanding health inequities both locally and nationally. The Science Center seeks to support companies finding solutions to address those inequities and diverse founders working in that space, he said.

“That’s the mission-driven component of all of this for us,” Naquin said. “Ultimately we are a nonprofit, and that’s our mission alignment. That’s why we’re expressly tying those things in with the capital strategy.”

Media Contact:

Kristen Fitch

Kristen Fitch

Senior Director, Marketing