Futures Fund Community Health Incubator

The Futures Fund Community Health Incubator, launched in 2022 with the support of the Humana Foundation, is a first-of-its-kind entrepreneurship program at Volunteers of America (VOA) to accelerate social enterprises that improve quality, equity, and access to care for Medicaid and at-risk populations. The program includes grants, business training and mentoring, as well potential partnership opportunities and venture capital investments to help companies scale and fundraise.

How It Works

The 2023 Community Health Incubator is sponsored by the Humana Foundation and powered by SEED SPOT. Our Incubator partner SEED SPOT is a 501(c)3 entrepreneurship support organization which, since 2012, has helped over 3,000 founders raise over $122M in capital and generate over 5,300 jobs.

The Incubator will guide up to six Startup Founders through the 12-week program where participants will benefit from the expertise and collaboration with the VOA network, gain business training and tailored mentorship, and engage in health equity training. 

If you are interested in applying for the 2024 cohort, email tgathers@voa.org.

INCUBATOR COHORTS

The VOA Futures Fund Community Health Incubator provides each startup company with a $25,000 grant and expert mentoring to support the continued development of their business. VOA National staff, Futures Fund Board of Directors, and the Incubator’s extraordinary Advisory Board help to identify pilots and joint venture opportunities these companies can have with VOA Affiliates and other strategic partners across the country. By participating in the Incubator, each company is also eligible for a potential follow-on investment of up to $200,000.

ADVISORY BOARD

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Abbie Gilbert

HUMANA ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR HEALTH & ADVOCACY

Abbie Gilbert is an Associate Director with Humana’s Office of Health Affairs & Advocacy, supporting physician relationships, government affairs, thought leadership and the company’s population health strategy; connecting together with state and local health initiatives for the benefit of members, employees, and the community at large. Abbie began her work at Humana in 2014 in Management Consulting where she worked with company leaders to define and evaluate initiatives, lead consulting engagements, and work on specific project goals for the Executive Leadership Team. In 2012, Abbie was named one of the Louisville Business First’s 40 under 40.

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Christopher Thompson

HUMANA DIRECTOR, CORPORATE STRATEGIES/STRATEGIC INITIATIVES

Chris is a Director of Corporate Strategy at Humana having held the position since November 2019. In his current capacity, he leads a team that solves complex business problems and helps to advance Humana’s strategic objectives. Over the past year his team has evaluated new growth markets, assessed divesture opportunities, provided analytical insights, developed enterprise strategies and optimized core business capabilities. Prior to his current position, Chris started his career and had some of his most notable accomplishments and life experiences as an Army Infantry Officer during combat operations in Iraq.

Clare Herceg

LET’S GET SET, CEO AND FOUNDER

Clare Herceg is the CEO and Founder of Let’s Get Set, a mission-driven fintech making wealth-building Possible for the 90 million households making less than $70,000. Their app and text line help others secure their maximum tax credits ($5,500) and their piece of the $12B that is left unclaimed every year. Her passion for economic mobility has fueled her decade of work funding and scaling mission-driven initiatives in low-income communities. As Director of Strategic Initiatives at First Place for Youth, a California-based nonprofit providing education, employment, and housing to youth aging out of foster care, she led a team to enable national expansion into Mississippi, Massachusetts, and New York. Prior to that, she worked for a foundation investing in national youth-serving nonprofits. Clare has an M.B.A. from MIT and a B.A. from Princeton in Public Policy.

Gema Moreno

VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA MID-STATES, DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Gema Moreno serves as Director of Business Development for Volunteers of America Mid-States, a role she assumed in 2022. In this capacity, she oversees the implementation of new programs and the expansion of existing programs. Gema joined VOA in 2016 as the Community Engagement Manager, overseeing volunteerism and in-kind donations, and began managing Beaded Treasures, VOA’s social enterprise, in 2019. She started her professional career in media production before transitioning into non-profit, where she worked with AMVETS, a veteran service organization.

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Gregory Downing, D.O., Ph.D.

INNOVATION HORIZONS, LLC FOUNDER

Gregory Downing is the Founder of Innovation Horizons, LLC, a Washington, D.C.-based health consulting organization focused on supporting the integration of highly innovative health technologies and services into business practices that support value-based health and health care practices. In current practice, Dr. Downing provides business development services to organizations by designing programs, strengthening infrastructure, and enhancing leadership capabilities that are aimed collectively at raising their innovation capacity.

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Jordana Pleat

CAPSHIFT, DIRECTOR, IMPACT INVESTING

Jordana is responsible for impact assessment and screening and analyzing investment opportunities on the CapShift platform. Prior to joining the CapShift team, Jordana worked as a consultant at The Bridgespan Group, a social impact management consulting firm founded out of Bain & Company and as the CFO of Kunduz, an early stage education technology startup. She has experience designing and implementing organization and fund strategy, diligence tools, and impact reporting. Jordana graduated from Columbia University with a BA in Sustainable Development and Business Management, magna cum laude. She is author of Back to the Frontier: Investing that Puts Impact First and Venture Capital’s Next Unicorn? Impact. Jordana is an avid guide-runner with Achilles International.

Karen H. Thompson

HCA HEATHCARE, ASSISTANT VICE PRESIDENT OF COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

Karen H. Thompson currently serves as Assistant VP of Community Engagement at HCA Healthcare, where she was selected to lead the nationwide expansion of the company’s community engagement strategy focusing on addressing the social issues impacting the health and viability of the communities in 21 states. In this leadership role, Karen oversaw the design, launch, and oversight of the Healthier Tomorrow Fund, HCA’s $80M national community impact fund. She co-manages this national fund and is the national social impact lead for all mental wellness programs for the HCA Healthcare Foundation.

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Ravi Sharma

OOTIFY, CEO AND FOUNDER; VENTURE PARTNER (IBOS VENTURES)

Ravi Sharma is a mental health activist, investor, and fourth-time entrepreneur. He has incubated and invested in numerous technology startups (including multiple mental health startups) through iBOS Ventures, and is currently the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of a new mental health platform called OOTify. Ravi’s latest passion project is a Children’s Mental Health Book he wrote after recently becoming a father. The book speaks to physical health and mental health parity and is a great conversation starter to start talking about mental health early.

Saba Nikpour, PharmD

THE MARIGOLD GROUP, PARTNER

Saba is Managing Partner at The Marigold Group, a growth advisory and investment firm that assists pre-public companies in realizing their next phase of growth through systems design, with focus on health tech and life sciences. Prior, Saba held roles across the healthcare industry – beginning her career in clinical practice, then expanding across health systems, pharmacy, managed care, pharmaceutical, venture capital, and management consulting – having recognized the abundance of third parties, unnecessary complexity, and importance of understanding each of these stakeholder’s incentives to drive collective change. She now holds several board roles, and has transitioned her focus to contributing her deep understanding of the healthcare ecosystem to assist new ventures in driving change and ultimately improving health outcomes.

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Shayna Hetzel

AMERICAN FAMILY INSURANCE INSTITUTE FOR CORPORATE AND SOCIAL IMPACT INVESTMENT DIRECTOR, COMMUNITY & SOCIAL IMPACT

Shayna is a community builder focused on collective action for greater social impact – with 15+ years of experience in education, equity, and social justice. She currently leads teams at American Family Insurance that are focused on social innovation and community collaboration to close equity gaps in education and for our youth through venture capital investments, strategic partnerships, and community programs. As part of this work, Shayna serves on the board of directors of several social impact startups.


We would like to acknowledge our former Advisor Board members who have helped to shape and guide the Community Health Incubator:

Claire-Cecile Pierre, M.D. 

Brigham and Women’s HospitalAssociate Chief Medical Officer, VP of Community Health

Julia Ryan

Mellon Foundation Senior Manager for Strategic Initiatives and Planning

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