Too often we define the Medtech sector by the number of dollars raised, IPOs helped or companies sold. But the focus neglects the very foundation of the sector - the People. Join the Medtech Talk Podcast each week to hear from entrepreneurs, investors and executives who spend their days developing the tools that make sick people well and health care more efficient.
Nicole J. Walker brings far more diversity than just her race and gender to her role as managing partner at Arboretum Ventures. Her background was in operations and engineering, and she knows her perspective has given her valuable insight into the businesses she works with. Walker also credits her team with asking hard questions, applying different experiences, and bringing an historical perspective—together keeping each other disciplined and objective. Walker knows that “fullness of diversity” will be equally successful for the healthcare venture space as a whole. “It’s really important that we keep pushing the envelope on the people around the table,” she says, having honest conversations about who are the decision-makers, how we compensate people for their work, and how our pools and pipelines may be influencing our candidate choice.
Nicole joined Arboretum Ventures in 2021 as a Managing Partner, where she focuses on early-to-growth stage healthcare investments. For nearly 30 years, Nicole has successfully partnered with entrepreneurs to modernize and transform the healthcare industry. She strongly believes in the power of teams and in the importance of bringing diversity across all levels when building effective organizations. Originally trained as an engineer, Nicole spent the first half of her career in US and International operating roles with ACS/Guidant and Abbott Diabetes Care before moving into venture roles with Onset Ventures, Abbott Ventures, and Baird Capital. Nicole is proud to serve as an advisor to Springboard Enterprises and to the Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Council – MATTER Chicago. Additionally, she serves as a board director with Venture Forward (the foundation arm of the National Venture Capital Association), the Alzheimer’s Association, and Minnesota’s Medical Alley. Nicole has been recognized as one of the industry’s most active and engaged investors by “The Tech Crunch List 2020” and by Crain’s Chicago Business “Tech 50” for 2018 and 2016. Nicole holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and completed dual degrees in management and operations from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.