MedCity News is pleased to announce a six-member advisory board that will guide the annual INVEST conference, May 22-24 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Chicago.
In alphabetical order by last name, they are:
Feyi Ayodele, Co-founder & CEO, CancerIQ
Steven Collens, CEO, MATTER
Alyssa Jaffee, Partner, 7WireVentures
Taha Jangda, Managing Director, Ascension Ventures
Kelsey Maguire, Managing Director, Sandbox Industries and Blue Venture Fund
Nicole McCarthy, Director of Innovation & Strategy, World Business Chicago
“I welcome our INVEST Advisory Group that has strong ties to the Midwest, where the event is located, and bring a wealth of diverse perspectives to our conference,” said Arundhati Parmar, editor-in-chief of MedCity News. “Healthcare is undergoing an unprecedented transformation, and each member of the advisory group is making sure that the most innovative ideas reach the marketplace and help to achieve the quadruple aim.”
Here is a brief bio of each board member:
Feyi Olopade Ayodele
Ayodele, Co-founder and CEO, is striving to realize CancerIQ’s bold vision to end cancer as we know it by empowering providers and health systems to improve access to the latest innovations in early cancer detection and prevention. CancerIQ makes it easy to gather comprehensive patient data, automatically map it to the latest evidence-based guidelines, and expand access to advanced care. Under Ayodele’s leadership, CancerIQ has grown its provider network to over 200 locations across the county and established a robust ecosystem of leading diagnostic and genomics testing vendors. She has been very successful in fundraising as well.
Ayodele was named to Crain’s Chicago Business 40 under 40 list in 2019 and has won multiple honors including a Chicago Innovation Award, the Chicago Booth New Venture Challenge, a fellowship from Rock health, and Women Tech Founders Award.
Collens is the CEO of MATTER, the healthcare technology incubator and innovation center. Prior to assuming his current role, Collens was senior vice president at Pritzker Group, the investment firm led by Tony and J.B. Pritzker. In that capacity, he led the team that created 1871, Chicago’s center for digital startups that now houses more than 400 early-stage companies. Previously, Collens worked at Abbott in a variety roles including product management, policy and public affairs. He serves on the boards of 1871, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and the Chicago High School for the Arts, and is a member of ChicagoNEXT, Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s council on technology and innovation.
Jaffee is a Partner at 7wireVentures where she focuses on investments in digital healthcare and technology-enabled services that empower consumers to be better stewards of their health in today’s changing healthcare ecosystem. Alyssa sits on the board of Ayogo Health and Higi and is a board observer with Zerigo Health, NOCD, Jasper Health, and RecoveryOne. Alyssa’s prior experience in venture capital includes her time as an investor at Pritzker Group Venture Capital.
Additionally, she worked at Hyde Park Angels (HPA), one of the Midwest’s largest angel organizations and Healthbox, an early-stage healthcare innovation firm, supporting their accelerator program called the Studio. Jaffee is also a Co-Founder of TransparentCareer, a 2016 NVC winning company focused on helping people make more data-driven career decisions.
Jangda joined Ascension Ventures in 2022 and focuses on investments in healthcare technology. Prior to AV, he was a General Partner at HealthX Ventures and served on the boards of Medable, Veda, Orbita, CancerIQ, RxLightning, Moving Analytics, Pacifica, EnsoData, InsightRx, NarrativeDx, and Health iPass. In addition to focusing on strategic investments, he also advises various innovation communities and organizations across the country.
Jangda started his journey at the Texas Medical Center (TMC), the world’s largest medical center. During his time with TMC, he took part in the creation of the TMC Innovation Institute comprised of an accelerator, Johnson & Johnson Center for Device Innovation and JLABS, BioDesign, and a venture fund.
Maguire is a Managing Director at Sandbox Industries and the Blue Venture Fund. She currently serves on the Board of CirrusMD, Ideal Option, Insightin Health, Origin Physical Therapy, Quilted, and Wayspring. She also helps manage the Fund’s investments in Everly Health, Lumiata, and axialHealthcare.
Prior to Sandbox, Kelsey was the Head of Eligibility and Launch Operations at health insurance startup, Collective Health, where she led several teams focused on launching new clients. She was previously an associate at the growth private equity firm TA Associates and began her career as an M&A banking analyst at Deutsche Bank.
McCarthy serves as Director of Innovation & Venture Strategy at World Business Chicago (WBC) where her team strives to place equity at the forefront of Chicago’s tech ecosystem by developing programs that connect entrepreneurs with resources to help them scale and grow.
Previously, she held positions with the Neighborhood Strategic Initiatives and Chicago Sister Cities teams within WBC, taught English as a Foreign Language in Santiago, Chile, and developed leadership initiatives for cultural exchange non-profits. She is the Communications Co-Chair of The Gray Matter Experience’s Associate Board and sits on the Programming Board of StartOut Chicago.