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Eidos LGBTQ+ Health Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania Partners with Gaingels to Devote Five Million Dollars in Research that Supports Advances in LGBTQ+ Health Start-ups

The Eidos LGBTQ+ Health Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing) is partnering with Gaingels, an LGBTQIA+/Allies private investment syndicate, to provide their portfolio of companies access to Penn’s academic research to make an impact into the health and well-being of LGBTQ+ communities.

“This academic-industry partnership will help shorten the pipeline from discovery to social impact. Often, great ideas are proposed by researchers and entrepreneurs, and yet there are limited opportunities for collaboration and synergy. Through the Eidos-Gaingels partnership, we seek to support founders and entrepreneurs with in-depth LGBTQ+ health knowledge and research expertise and accelerate the delivery of evidence-based strategies and innovative solutions for LGBTQ+ people,” said José Bauermeister, PhD, MPH, the Albert M. Greenfield Professor of Human Relations and Founding Faculty Director of the Eidos Initiative.

A 2020 consensus report by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine found that LGBTQ+ populations are more likely to experience physical, mental, and social health disparities than the general population. The report also called for greater partnerships between public and private funders to promote the well-being of sexual and gender minority populations. “The partnership between Eidos and Gaingels responds to the National Academies recommendation as a first-of-its-kind effort to magnify the reach and impact of discoveries and high-impact solutions. We are excited to support the discovery and evaluation of bold new efforts to improve LGBTQ+ well-being while providing opportunities for faculty, students, and staff at Penn to engage with the business sector,” shared Antonia Villarruel, PhD, the Margaret Bond Simon Dean of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.

Research, discovery, and evaluation are often out of reach to many founders and start-ups, yet they are often crucial for companies to show impact as they seek to grow in the marketplace. These resources are even less likely to exist for founders and companies seeking to disrupt health inequities within specific populations such as the LGBTQ+ population. Therefore, investments in early-stage start-ups with new and innovative solutions to address these health concerns are key. “The percentage of people who identify as LGBTQ+ has doubled in the past decade, and yet they still remain severely underserved. This transformative commitment by Eidos and the University of Pennsylvania allows innovative private sector enterprises to benefit from leading academic research to ensure scalable and effective means of improving the lives of LGBTQ+ people everywhere,” observed Gaingels Partner, Jake Prigoff, MD.

Over the next five years, Gaingels portfolio companies will have the opportunity to engage with the academic, intellectual, and research resources of the University of Pennsylvania. “Eidos will bring together world-class teams of faculty, students, and staff across the 12 Penn Schools to solve problems, scale solutions, and answer research questions for these companies,” shared Jessica Halem, MBA, Senior Director of the Eidos LGBTQ+ Health Initiative.

The first round of projects is expected to launch later this Spring.