Fund Facts: Jan Garfinkle, Arboretum Ventures

Courtney Overbey

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

On this episode of Fund Facts—a video series focused on venture capitalists, angel investors and other funders critical to Michigan’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, we connect with Jan Garfinkle, founder of Arboretum Ventures.

Ann Arbor-based Arboretum Ventures is a venture capital firm specializing in the healthcare sector. The organization invests in companies that improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare system costs across medical devices, life science tools and diagnostics and tech-enabled care delivery. Roughly half of the companies Arboretum Ventures invests in are in the medical care and diagnostics sectors. The other half are in the non-regulated healthcare space with IT, tech-enabled services and pharma-adjacent companies.

In this video, Jan sits down with the MEDC to discuss how Arboretum Ventures chooses companies to invest in and how to get the attention of an investor, among other key takeaways. Some of these include: 

  • It’s always helpful for entrepreneurs to have a warm introduction from other entrepreneurs, or other venture funds, who have already made investments when trying to get the attention of new investors.
  • In Michigan, there are incredible entrepreneurs, but the Midwest tends to be an “under-ventured” geography.
  • Arboretum Ventures has invested in at least 14 Michigan-based companies that also received support from MEDC-funded resources. Two examples of these companies include NeuMoDx and Delphinus Medical Technologies, Inc.
    • NeuMoDx CEO Jeff Williams and President and COO Sundu Brahmasandra developed a COVID-19 test in three weeks that now has approval from the FDA. Their vision is to create a family of molecular testing platforms easily integrated into the molecular diagnostic process.
    • Delphinus Co-Founders Neb Duric and Peter J. Littrup contributed to the invention of the Delphinus SoftVue, a technology which provides a 3D whole breast ultrasound. This is transformational to breast cancer detection, especially for the 40% of U.S women who have dense breast tissue.
  • Expansion into international markets plays a unique role in healthcare. Often it is easier for companies to get regulatory approval in the international markets and start selling more quickly on a global scale. That revenue can then be used to grow the company in the United States.

If you have a high-tech startup idea you’d like to explore further and don’t know where to start, contact the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Entrepreneurship & Innovation Initiative at 888-522-0103 or visit

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