Venture capital firms must be staffed to align with the market opportunities they are pursuing and to provide depth of resources to effectively partner with entrepreneurs – to best meet the moment. With that in mind, we are particularly excited to welcome our newest Executive Partner, Chris Hocevar, to the Flare Capital team.
Across a very distinguished career building leading healthcare organizations, Chris brings a wealth of expertise in innovative value-based care models, integrated care, and technology. Most recently, he had a very successful 16-year run at Cigna, ultimately serving as President of their U.S. Business Segment and Specialty Businesses. Chris has been committed to the transformation of the healthcare industry and has already shown to be a great resource for many of our portfolio companies. We are honored to have him on the team.
Importantly, our Executive Partners are lightning rods for great people and investment opportunities. They often serve as the board chairman for some of our portfolio companies (see Bright Health, Cohere Health, Higi) or in senior leadership positions at important healthcare technology companies (see Amwell). Arguably, one of their greatest contributions is providing the “voice of the customer.” Given their extensive and relevant commercial experiences, our Executive Partners are particularly good at articulating product / market fit in what is now a rapidly changing healthcare technology sector.
Another recent development which we are all excited about is that one of my partners, Dan Gebremedhin, was recognized by the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) as one of only three “Rising Stars” this past week. The NVCA, which advocates on behalf of 1,328 venture firms managing $444 billion of capital across 2,211 active funds (as of year-end 2019), plays an essential role in promoting policy positions that strengthen the U.S. entrepreneurial ecosystem. The venture capital industry has grown nearly 60% since I served on the NVCA board ten years ago.
One other team development – we are excited to welcome the Flare Scholar Class of 2021 to the firm. While each class is our favorite, this year’s class of 49 brilliant Scholars looks to be particularly strong and brings the total number of Scholars across all six classes to 200. We are quite pleased with the diversity of experiences and background of this class and look forward to welcoming them in-person to our offices later this year (fingers crossed).
Our Scholars, who tend to be younger professionals from many of our strategic limited partners and leading academic centers around the country, serve as ambassadors at their companies and schools, as well as assist with industry diligence and deal sourcing. Last year we announced the formation of Flare Scholar Ventures (FSV), which is a pre-seed initiative to back Scholars for the very first step in their entrepreneurial journey. We are off to a terrific start and will likely have half a dozen or so FSV companies by this summer.
Stay tuned for more team developments…