Nicole Walker named managing partner of Ann Arboretum Ventures
Nicole J. Walker // Photo courtesy of Arboretum Ventures
Healthcare investor Nicole J. Walker has been named managing partner of Arboretum Ventures, an Ann Arbor-based healthcare venture capital company.
With more than 25 years of industry experience, Walker emphasizes the use of innovation to improve access, cost and quality of care for those in need. She has led teams in the US and Asia.
“I love working with entrepreneurs to develop transformative solutions to tough healthcare problems,” says Walker. “I also appreciate promoting fantastic teams and great companies in our communities. I am very excited to be part of Arboretum Ventures, a company that values and understands both. “
Walker was most recently the managing director and partner at Baird Capital, where she led the team’s healthcare investments since 2013. While at Baird, she led the company’s Series B investment in the Arboretum portfolio company NeuMoDx Molecular, a next-generation PCR test platform. Walker also led Baird’s Series A investment with Arboretum in Strata Oncology, an oncology-focused precision medicine company that uses genome testing to match patients with effective therapies.
She served on the Arboretum’s Board of Directors, assisting Jan Garfinkle and Dan Kidle in QIAGEN’s acquisition of the company last year.
Prior to Baird, Walker was Investment Director at Abbott Ventures and Abbott Biotech Ventures and Principal at ONSET Ventures.
Originally trained as a mechanical engineer at Stanford University, Walker began her career as a process engineer at Advanced Cardiovascular Systems / Guidant. She also holds two degrees in Management and Operations from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
“We couldn’t have wished for a better addition to our team than Nicole at the moment,” says Dr. Tom Shehab, managing partner at Arboretum Ventures. “Nicole’s professional background, respect within the corporate ecosystem and her extensive network are important prerequisites for identifying and supporting exciting portfolio companies.”
Founded in 2002, Arboretum is an early stage company focused on medical devices, life science tools and diagnostics, and technology-based care that support improved, lower-cost solutions to chronic health problems. Arboretum currently manages $ 700 million in capital across five mutual funds, with the last fund closing at $ 250 million in 2019.
Walker is a consultant to Springboard Enterprises, an accelerator program to build high-growth, technology-driven companies led by women. She is also a board member of the National Venture Capital Association, the Mid-America Healthcare Investor Network, Minnesota Medical Alley, and the Alzheimer Association.