Healthcare Innovation Firm Moves Headquarters to Innovation Park, Partners with IDEA Center

Author: Nick Swisher

Vantedge From left to right are Jami Youmans and Kyle Hathaway, founders and managing partners of Vantedge Ventures

Healthcare innovation firm and venture fund Vantedge Ventures has moved its headquarters from Chicago to Innovation Park at Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., to elevate healthcare innovation and develop startups in the South Bend-Elkhart region. Catalyzing this move was Vantedge Ventures’ partnership with the IDEA Center, the University of Notre Dame’s centralized innovation hub that oversees Innovation Park.

Vantedge Ventures, founded as a commercialization firm for healthcare innovations, has expanded its early-stage derisking and commercialization capacity with the IDEA Center. They were attracted to South Bend by the successful track record of the IDEA Center’s program and its leader, Bryan Ritchie, Notre Dame vice president and associate provost for innovation.

“Our move to Innovation Park allows us to work closely with the IDEA Center’s business derisking process and leverage the local beta-city resources, including the University’s entrepreneurial programs, community talent pools and innovative civic leadership,” said Jami Youmans, co-founder and managing partner. “The bustling entrepreneurial culture at Innovation Park was the first eye-opening experience. It is a commitment to learning, hustle, collaboration and above all, execution. After getting involved, we learned very quickly that this program has the structure and rigor necessary for ideas and early-stage innovations to advance into successful companies.” 

Vantedge Ventures plans to expand their venture fund and innovation consultancy teams in the South Bend-Elkhart region by relocating or hiring up to 15 full-time equivalents into Innovation Park. Portfolio companies will also leverage the areas’ startup programs, services and investment opportunities by becoming a part of the ecosystem.

“By creating an infrastructure for healthcare startups that includes capital and access to a nationwide network of health systems focused on innovation, we are building a healthcare ecosystem that will be nationally recognized for the innovations and talent developed in the region,” said Youmans.

“Lack of access to capital is one of the primary reasons why startups either fail or are not started in the first place,” said Ritchie. “Vantedge Ventures’ move to Innovation Park is an important development for the continued creation and success of those startups in the area with a healthcare focus.”

The company will host a healthcare innovation launch event Sept. 14-15 at Innovation Park, gathering health system innovation leaders from across the country, physician investors, regional community leaders and Notre Dame team members to discuss collaborative ways to commercialize innovations affecting clinician, physicians and health systems.

About Vantedge Ventures:
Vantedge Ventures is a South Bend-based innovation firm and venture fund investing in solutions that align clinicians, reduce costs and bring efficiency to the delivery of healthcare. 
Find out more at: www.vantedgeventureshealth.com

About the Notre Dame IDEA Center:
The IDEA Center is the University of Notre Dame’s collaborative innovation hub dedicated to expanding the technological and societal impact of the University’s innovations. We do this by nurturing and facilitating the movement of the best ideas of the community, faculty, staff, and students from discovery to commercial application. The Center provides the necessary space, services, and expertise for idea development, commercialization, business formation, prototyping, entrepreneurial education and student entrepreneurial efforts. 
Find out more at: https://ideacenter.nd.edu/

About the Notre Dame Office of Economic Development:
The Office of Economic Development at Notre Dame is an intensely collaborative office that builds and executes strategic partnerships to link the expertise, resources and network of the University with entrepreneurial and civic opportunities to promote innovation, job growth and economic well-being in the region in support of the University’s mission. 
Find out more at: https://evp.nd.edu/divisions/new-business-development/