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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce
OIE Background

Office of Innovation and
Entrepreneurship (OIE)

University Of Texas At Austin


Austin, TX

Project Name

Launch of True Wealth Ventures' Gender Lens Impact Fund


Seed Fund Support

Award Amount


The University of Texas Austin’s Dell Medical School (UTADMS) is committed to strengthening the ecosystem necessary to create systemic change in healthcare. True Wealth Ventures is an Austin based seed-stage venture capital fund designed to invest in women-led companies in the sustainable consumer and consumer health impact verticals. With TWV as a founding partner, UTADMS has launched the Health Impact Collaborative to engage with the technology community. One of the collaborative’s priorities, and this program’s focus, is to address the gap when it comes to early-stage funding for women entrepreneurs who are creating innovative health solutions.

Nationwide, only 3 percent of venture dollars go to women-led start-ups and 15 percent to those with a woman on the leadership team, yet companies with diverse leadership show significant financial outperformance. UTADMS and TWV believe there is an additional advantage for women-led executive teams when servicing these markets where women are the vast majority of customers (e.g., 80 percent of healthcare decisions are made by women.) Through this collaboration, TWV will raise a $20 million fund to invest in approximately 12 early-stage companies to deliver a top-tier venture return. In addition to financial returns, TMV strives for a “triple bottom line” return that includes environmental and human health returns as well as a gender dividend – where women with increased wealth have been shown to invest 80% back into their family’s and community’s health and education.

The Seed Fund Support grant will overcome the inertia for new women fund managers in getting a new fund off the ground (especially in an environment where less than 5 percent of venture capital partners are women). The funding will go toward creating awareness, fundraising, sourcing deal flow, tracking/reviewing deals, and conducting due diligence on investments.

In addition to the EDA, this grant is supported by the Austin Chamber of Commerce, Austin Community Foundation, Austin Technology Council, City of Austin, DLA Piper, TechStars Austin, Cockrell School of Engineering and the Austin Technology Incubator at UT Austin and Women@Austin.