Innovate.
Disrupt.
Transform.
Repeat.

Cobalt Ventures invests in entrepreneurs who are leading the way with solutions that deliver value and align incentives for healthcare payers, providers and patients.

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Our Approach

Cobalt’s strategic approach adds value for entrepreneurs and co-investors who seek partners bringing more than just dollars to the mix. While we focus on generating superior financial returns, we’re equally passionate about supporting our portfolio companies with unique industry insights and direct access to healthcare leaders, stakeholders and subject matter experts through our affiliation with a leading regional health plan.

A Flywheel of Value Creation

Cobalt acts as a catalyst for strategic engagement between both the entrepreneurs and corporate partners we serve. Our investment model drives a flywheel of value creation by aligning the strategic priorities of payers and providers with achievement of key commercial milestones for our portfolio companies. Supporting this path for collaboration in both directions is an integral part of our investment process. We start at the earliest stages of evaluating any opportunity -- and continue to work as an active and engaged partner to execute on innovation long after the deal is done.

For Entrepreneurs

Cobalt supports business development and partnership opportunities for:

  • Product development
  • Pilots and use case implementation
  • Business model and ROI validation
  • Customer acquisition
  • Follow-on investment and exits

For Payers and At-Risk Providers

Our portfolio companies drive strategic value by:

  • Lowering total cost of care
  • Improving experience, engagement and quality metrics
  • Expanding access to care for members and patients
  • Aligning payers and providers to value
  • Enhancing business growth and administrative efficiencies
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Our
Portfolio

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Our
Team

As President and Managing Partner of Cobalt Ventures, Dave leads an investment team focused on companies that improve access, affordability and quality of care for healthcare consumers. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of AristaMD, Nymbl Science, PayForward and RecoveryOne, and is a Board Observer for Scipher Medicine and Second Wave Delivery Systems. Dave also serves as a Vice President of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City supporting strategy, innovation and corporate development.

Dave has over 26 years of experience working with healthcare leaders and entrepreneurs as a venture capital investor, board member and strategic advisor. Prior to joining Cobalt, he was a founding Partner at Cleveland Clinic Ventures where he collaborated with key enterprise stakeholders on strategic investments, spinouts and joint ventures supporting digital health innovation at the #2 ranked hospital in the world. From 1999-2017, Dave was a founding member and Managing Partner of Psilos Group, a leading healthcare venture capital firm with approximately $600 million under management.

In addition to his investing roles, Dave’s background includes various senior operating roles at Caregiver Services, Inc. (a Psilos portfolio company) during periods of transformational growth at the company. Earlier in his career, Dave was an investment banker at Wasserstein Perella & Co. as a member of the firm’s Healthcare Group. Dave earned an MBA from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. He holds another master’s degree in National Security Studies from Georgetown University and a B.A. in Government and International Relations from Cornell University, where he graduated magna cum laude.

In his spare time Dave is an avid runner and cyclist – and in less healthy pursuits, a grilling enthusiast and craft beer connoisseur. With his recent move to Kansas City, he has shamelessly jumped on the Chiefs bandwagon after spending much of his life as a long-suffering fan of the Washington Football Team.

Dipa is a Managing Partner at Cobalt Ventures, the strategic venture capital arm of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City. Cobalt’s investment model drives a flywheel of value creation by aligning the strategic priorities of healthcare payers and providers with the achievement of key commercial milestones for our portfolio companies. She sits on the board of OncoHealth and MedArrive.

Dipa formerly led Corporate Development and Ventures group at Advocate Health Enterprises (AAE), an Advocate Health subsidiary that aims further the AH mission to help people live well by advancing innovative solutions that go beyond traditional clinical care. She led investments into Foodsmart, Xealth, and acquisitions into companies helping seniors to age in their home for longer. Dipa was also previously a Managing Director at Sandbox Industries, a venture capital firm which is the investment manager to the Blue Venture Fund. During her time at Sandbox, Dipa served on the boards of Contessa Health, Upward Health, Oncology Analytics, AbleTo, and Lumiata. Prior to Sandbox, Dipa was at Amgen Ventures, the corporate venture fund of Amgen. Dipa started her career in the Global Healthcare Group at UBS and the Healthcare Fund at Paul Capital Partners, which invested in late-stage pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

Dipa holds a BS from the New York University Stern School of Business and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business where she received the Chicago Booth Leadership Award of Distinction. Dipa has also completed the Kauffman Fellowship, a prestigious two-year program for venture capitalists. Dipa is currently an Investor in Residence with the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship at Booth where she advises students and teaches workshops.

Dipa lives in Chicago with her husband and twin boys.

As Principal for Cobalt Ventures, Ben manages the full transaction lifecycle of venture capital investments, including sourcing, due diligence, investment evaluation, and portfolio company growth support. He is a Board Observer for Bicycle Health and supported Cobalt’s investment in OncoHealth.

Ben has more than 10 years of investing and operating experience in the healthcare industry. Prior to joining Cobalt, he was part of the team that founded CVS Health Ventures, where he invested in several successful digital health startups, including Unite Us, Oui Therapeutics, and vita health. Previously, he served as a corporate strategy and transaction advisory services consultant with Palladium, where he also helped establish their corporate venture capital fund. He has personally been a seed-stage investor in more than 30 companies since 2010 and frequently advises startup founders on product and growth strategy. He is a member of the Flare Capital Scholars Class of 2020.

Ben received a master’s degree in International Business and Diplomacy from New York University and a bachelor’s in International Political Economics from Washington & Lee University, where he was captain of the wrestling team, and an Academic All-American.

Ben is a member of the Association for Corporate Growth – Kansas City chapter, and a former board member of the Impact Capital Forum in New York City.

When he is not partnering with founders to help build the next successful healthcare company, Ben enjoys salsa dancing, sailing, Boston (and Kansas City) sports, and reading books on economics, history, psychology, philosophy and theoretical physics. Ben is fluent in Spanish and while he calls the United States home, he has lived and worked across the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.

As Head of Strategic Engagement and Partnerships for Cobalt Ventures, Ben works with entrepreneurs and healthcare industry leaders to drive comprehensive stakeholder value.  In his role, Ben collaborates closely with Cobalt’s portfolio companies and strategic partners to identify and execute on innovative solutions that improve access, quality of care and affordability for healthcare consumers. He also serves as an advocate and advisor to our portfolio companies on product and GTM strategies targeted at the payer ecosystem.

Ben has more than 20 years of product, sales, account management and operating experience in the healthcare industry. Prior to joining Cobalt, he was leader on the health plan team at OODA Health (now Cedar) and the Health Services and Strategy team at Livongo (now Teladoc Health) where he led partnerships with strategic payers across the country. Previously, he worked as Vice President, Product and Innovation at UnitedHealthcare focused on portfolio and network product solutions, benefit design and innovation strategies for multiple commercial and ACA markets.

Ben graduated from the Jerome Fisher Management and Technology program at the University of Pennsylvania, earning Bachelor of Science degrees from the Wharton School and the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

In his spare time, Ben enjoys traveling, exploring new places through food and photography, a good hike, an occasional whiskey, biographies and spy novels, and Formula 1 racing.

Semir is a Senior Associate at Cobalt Ventures, the strategic venture capital arm of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City. In this role, he manages the full transaction lifecycle of venture capital investments, including sourcing, due diligence, investment evaluation, and portfolio company growth support.

Before joining Cobalt Ventures, Semir was part of the investment team at Mighty Capital, an early-to-growth stage venture capital firm based in San Francisco, where he sourced and evaluated investment opportunities across B2B tech, fintech, and healthcare. Previously, he served as Vice President at VestedWorld, an emerging markets-focused venture capital firm, where he managed the entire investment lifecycle and led investment efforts into multiple companies. Semir began his career in management consulting at PwC, where he provided strategic and technology advice to clients across the financial services, healthcare, and technology sectors.

Semir holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Davis. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, exploring new cultures, reading, swimming, and playing basketball.

Jill joined Cobalt Ventures in 2021 as the firm’s Executive Assistant and Office Manager. She supports the entire investment team and plays a key role in coordinating scheduling and meeting planning, as well as managing Cobalt’s deal flow database, reporting activities and other administrative projects.

Jill has more than 20 years of experience in progressive administrative roles in higher education. Prior to joining Cobalt Ventures, she served as the Administrative Officer at Pittsburg State University.

In her free time, Jill enjoys spending time with her family and exploring all Kansas City has to offer.

Our Core Principles

Our Team is passionate about forging strong partnerships that drive significant growth and value creation for our portfolio companies. We are committed to the following shared principles and values:

  • We are both financial returns motivated and mission oriented. We believe we can do well by doing good.
  • We are not passive investors. We act with a partnership mentality and seek to work with people who want to actively partner and collaborate with us.
  • We are undeterred by the dysfunction of our healthcare system, and we are obsessed with trying to improve it for payers, providers and patients.
  • We value honesty, integrity and transparency.  We expect the same from our partners.
  • We value and support the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • We do serious and important work in support of incredibly talented entrepreneurs and professionals, but we will always strive to have fun while doing it.
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