Nonprofit groups that advocate for disease research are diving more deeply into venture capital in an effort to wield greater influence inside the startup ecosystem.
Startups for many years have gathered capital through grants from nonprofits, and sometimes by raising equity from them. In a new twist, several nonprofit groups are launching or expanding investment programs by raising dedicated venture-capital funds of their own.
The American Cancer Society and Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation both recently have established venture funds. CureDuchenne, a group focused on the rare disease Duchenne muscular dystrophy, is planning to raise a fund. JDRF, which targets Type 1 diabetes, in 2016 launched its own venture fund.