Andy Slavitt Launches New VC Firm to Aid Affordable Health Care-Focused Companies
Just three months after launching an organization aimed at promoting and improving affordable health care access, industry leader Andy Slavitt has launched a venture capital firm with a similar mission. The firm, Town Hall Ventures, will focus on investing in technology and service companies working to transform the health care experience for “America’s most vulnerable populations.”
To form Town Hall Ventures, Slavitt – himself the former Obama-era Administrator for the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services and the group executive vice president of Optum – teamed up with Trevor Price, founder of executive search and investment firm Oxeon Holdings; and David Whelan, managing general partner of Oxeon Ventures and former general partner and CFO of investment firm Accretive LLC.
Based in New York and Minneapolis, Town Hall Ventures was built with the intent to improve care in Medicare, Medicaid, risk-based care, complex conditions, and to address social determinants of health – all areas that affect almost 120 million Americans and amount to about $1.2 trillion in annual health care spending.
“As a nation we have significant health care infrastructure serving healthy populations while lower-income communities go underserved, leading to vastly poorer health outcomes,” said Slavitt. “We are at the beginning of a wave of innovation serving Medicare and Medicaid populations. Town Hall is being formed to help lead this massive and necessary shift. The answers are not always traditional; they involve investments in underlying systemic issues as well as innovative approaches that improve people’s health and well-being.”
To achieve the venture capital firm’s mission, the founders will tap into their combined experiences in public service, business, founding and investing in health-related companies and expertise in entrepreneurial, executive, policy, regulatory and financial aspects.
Individually, Slavitt, whose affordable health care-focused nonprofit endeavor United States of Care launched in February, brings insight into Medicare and Medicaid policies and regulations, among other extensive knowledge areas.
Price, who will remain as CEO of Oxeon Partners, has created leadership teams for key companies behind Medicare and Medicaid – including Landmark Health, Aspire Health, and more – and Whelan is well-known as a health care investor. He has developed, launched and invested in a number of companies for several firms.
The leadership team for Town Hall Ventures is rounded out with three other individuals. The team members collectively give the company a network of mentors, experts and community leaders to utilize as they work toward the goal of transform care in communities nationwide.
“Our objective is to be a catalyst and investing partner to spur substantial investment and entrepreneurial commitment to the rapidly emerging opportunity to support real health care solutions for Americans all over the country,” said Whelan. “We look forward to sparking a series of Town Hall companies over the next few years and supporting them to change health care for the better.”
Town Hall Ventures announced earlier this week that it had already made its first investments. Beneficiaries include Brooklyn, New York-based Cityblock Health, Vienna, Virginia-based Somatus, New York City-based Aetion and Welbe Health, which is based out of the Silicon Valley area.
Cityblock works with Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs to provide primary care, behavioral health and human services for urban populations with unmet health and social needs. Somatus is dedicated to looking at treatment and new models of care for chronic kidney patients. Welbe health provides medical and social services to PACE-eligible seniors, and Aetion provides real-world analytics and information to help biopharma companies better understand the real-life impact of drugs, to improve the value level of care.
“As a first-time entrepreneur, Town Hall surrounded me with a group of experienced leaders and operators across regulatory, management, fundraising, and technology unparalleled in health care,” said Iyah Romm, the CEO of Cityblock Health. “Without Town Hall and the resources and expertise they bring to bear, our goal of transforming care for urban and low-income populations would be moving far slower.”
Price added that helping entrepreneurs build companies will be one of Town Hall Venture’s undertakings and it’s something they’re passionate about.