Jim Tananbaum and Foresite Capital Promoting Availability of Scholarships to Venture Forward’s VC University Program


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Foresite Capital is proud to be among Venture Forward’s VC University scholarship financial backers. Jim Tananbaum, founder and CEO of Foresite Capital, has been supporting this initiative to underwrite and fund scholarships for more than 40 individuals to date, all from historically underrepresented backgrounds. Foresite Capital is a multistage health care and life sciences investment firm committed to the goal of addressing diversity and inclusion in the life sciences venture capital industry. Together with the other supporting partner firms – Sofinnova Investments, J&J Innovation, Longitude Capital, Salesforce Ventures and Omega Funds – Foresite Capital is taking steps to make employment in the life sciences more accessible to people from groups that have been historically underrepresented in this field.  

The new life sciences program within VC University recently launched its third cohort. Scholarship applications for the next cohort (Cohort 11) are due on June 24, 2022. Foresite Capital asks interested parties to please share the word about the availability of this program to increase the applicant pool. The program is open to aspiring and early-career VCs from underrepresented backgrounds. 

What Is Venture Forward’s VC University?

Venture Forward is a nonprofit created to shape the future of venture capital by focusing on four key areas: diversity, equity, and inclusion; education; research; and history. One of its goals is to educate a new generation of venture capital (VC) investors to equip them with the tools to succeed. The VC University Program provides a structured introduction and practical training on the nuts and bolts of venture finance. It has two components: VC University ONLINE, an online certificate course, and VC University LIVE, a three-day, in-person course held in partnership with universities across the country. 

VC University was created in 2019 through a partnership with the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), Venture Forward, and Startup@BerkeleyLaw at the University of California Berkeley School of Law. VC University is a certificate course on venture finance, which provides access to quality venture capital education for early career investors, entrepreneurs, attorneys, and anyone interested in emerging company finance.  

VC University Online 

VC University ONLINE is a certificate course on the fundamentals of venture capital in which participants can learn the nuts and bolts of venture finance. Through self-paced lectures, interactive assessments, virtual office hours, webinars with faculty and industry experts, and interviews with leading venture capitalists, the course provides a wealth of information for anyone interested in finance.  

The online course consists of more than 20 hours of lectures by UC Berkeley faculty, NVCA executives, and VC leaders, with 30-40 hours of independent coursework. The program also includes monthly webinars with leading venture capitalists and interactive assessments where participants can learn the fundamentals of venture finance. The new life sciences initiative includes coursework and seminars from partners at life science venture firms, and dedicated office hours and mentorships for scholarship recipients. The online course is offered three times a year, and students who complete the course requirements earn a certificate of completion. 

VC University Online’s Cohort 9 Scholarship Recipients

Jim Tananbaum is founder and CEO of Foresite Capital, which partnered with Venture Forward and is excited to introduce Cohort 9 of VC University ONLINE scholarship recipients. With the 

generous financial support of Tananbaum and Foresite Capital, and five other scholarship sponsors including Longitude Capital, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Omega Funds, Salesforce Ventures, and Sofinnova Investments, 42 aspiring VCs from historically underrepresented backgrounds were selected as scholarship recipients.  

Scholarship winners were chosen from hundreds of applicants through a competitive selection process that evaluated candidates’ career goals, commitment to furthering an inclusive industry, and demographic factors. Scholarship recipients receive full course tuition, supplemental office hours, and access to a dedicated three-month mentorship program. The VC University ONLINE Cohort 9 scholarship recipients include 81% people of color, 69% female or nonbinary, 57% based outside California, Massachusetts, and New York, 26% LGBT, and 7% active military or veterans.  

About Foresite Capital 

Jim Tananbaum, Foresite Capital CEO, founded Foresite Capital in 2011. The health care and life sciences investment firm seeks out and collaborates with visionary entrepreneurs with forward-thinking solutions that could save lives and improve health care. Interested in mathematics and computer algorithms and biology and health care, Tananbaum merged these two passions to establish Foresite Capital. Using resources and networks, this data-driven investment firm aims to build innovative health care companies that will significantly improve the quality and effectiveness of the U.S. healthcare system. 

Tananbaum and Foresite Capital’s continued involvement in the Venture Forward scholarship program will allow more diversity and inclusion in the life sciences venture capital finance sector. ??Jim also funded the new Tananbaum Center for Theoretical and Analytical Human Biology at Yale University. The Yale center merges mathematics and computer algorithms with biology to revolutionize health care by focusing on the role inflammation plays in all human diseases. “This new center will enable discoveries about the fundamental mechanisms of our biological systems and the underpinnings of disease,” says Jim Tananbaum, Yale class of ’85. 

Get Involved 

To learn more about CEO and founder Jim Tananbaum and Foresite Capital, visit the health care investment firm’s website, foresitecapital.com. If youre interested in serving as a VC Mentor, learn more about the VC University Mentorship program. 

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