MVCA member and Arboretum Ventures managing partner and cofounder Jan Garfinkle has experience leading a venture community, as Chairperson of the MVCA Board in 2008-2009. But she’ll have a new, larger constituency to represent now that she’s been elected to the National Venture Capital Association’s 2015-2016 Board of Directors. Her appointment is another indication that Michigan is a relevant and important part of the national venture conversation, and Garfinkle looks forward to sharing the Michigan story to a national audience in her new role.
“I’m honored to be part of the National Venture Capital Association as the only representative of a fund from the Midwest on the board,” said Garfinkle. “With this comes a responsibility to represent the Midwest to the fullest. We have so many great entrepreneurs, venture-backed companies and exits in the Midwest which deserve more recognition. I will share these many great points with other venture funds, along with state and national legislators, as the NVCA discusses issues important to the entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
Ray Leach, CEO of Cleveland-based JumpStart Inc., occupied the NVCA board seat Garfinkle fills and worked with MVCA to ensure the Midwest continued to be represented after he left. “I’ve had the pleasure of serving on the board of the NVCA since 2011 and I have been really passionate about representing venture firms from across the Midwest during my tenure. As my term was coming to its conclusion, I already had Jan Garfinkle on my radar to replace me and MVCA’s strong recommendation of Jan helped convince the Executive Committee of the NVCA that she would be the best candidate to fill my open seat. Jan represents everything the NVCA values, she is a former entrepreneur, the founder of her firm, an expert investor, a champion of the entrepreneurial ecosystem across the U.S. and advocate for the venture industry. The NVCA is lucky to have someone of Jan’s caliber on the board and I know she is going to do great things with her time as a NVCA board member.”
NVCA President and CEO Bobby Franklin said Garfinkle is part of a new group of board members that are both at the top of their industry as well as representative of the diverse makeup of our nation. “Building on the launch of the NVCA Diversity Task Force and our ongoing commitment to inclusion, a cornerstone of this year’s selection process was the belief that we needed to lead by example and add greater diversity to the NVCA Board of Directors,” Franklin said. “Our incoming class, (including Jan), is an accomplished bunch and we are fortunate to add them to an already talented roster of venture professionals that sit on the NVCA Board of Directors.”
Garfinkle’s brings more than 20 years of deep expertise in startup operations and venture capital investing to her new role on the Board of Directors of NVCA. Prior to founding Arboretum, she worked for two successful medical device start-up companies, Advanced Cardiovascular Systems (ACS) and Devices for Vascular Intervention (DVI). Each of these companies was acquired by Eli Lilly for more than $100 million and became the foundation for Guidant Corporation. She joined each company early in its development and held key management roles in marketing, clinical research, and sales. At Arboretum Ventures, Garfinkle targets promising medical device and diagnostic technologies that enable meaningful healthcare system savings. Her expertise in medical technology stems from leadership roles she held at two important cardiovascular start-ups that spurred the market for catheter-based interventions. While at Arboretum, Jan has led investments and held board seats in more than a dozen portfolio companies, including HandyLab, a company acquired by BD in 2009 for $275 million.