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Vinik leads funding round for Nashville health IT firm

Margie Manning



Portrait of Jeff Vinik. (Scott Iskowitz/TBL)

Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik led a $5 million funding round for Bridge Connector, a Nashville, Tennessee-based technology company offering data-driven workflow automation to solve health IT interoperability challenges.

The company will use the fresh capital to continue to scale and to launch Destinations, a new integration platform as a service (iPaaS) that connects health data systems without the need for code, a news release said.

Bridge Connector has raised $25 million to date, including the most recent funding round led by Vinik with participation from existing investor Axioma Ventures, a Tampa-based company that is the private investment vehicle for former Publix Super Markets CEO Howard M. Jenkins.

Vinik, who is partnering with Cascade Investment on the $3 billion Water Street Tampa development, is an active investor in several technology startups, both locally and out of the area. Local investments include digital health firm Peerfit and educational technology company Knack. He’s also backing Embarc Collective, a downtown Tampa hub that will bring together entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and other funders, and academic resources in one space. Additionally, Vinik was one of the first to commit to invest in SEED Florida Early Stage Investment Fund LLC. That fund is a partnership between Florida Funders, a hybrid venture capital firm and crowd-funding platform, and University of South Florida, and is focused on investing in high potential, seed stage companies throughout the state.

“We feel fortunate to have the support of an experienced investor in Jeffrey Vinik, who shares our belief in the power of data and its potential to solve an array of shortcomings in our health care system,” Bridge Connector founder and CEO David Wenger said in the news release. “Mr. Vinik’s investment will play a significant role in our company’s growth, our ability to expand the capabilities of our products, and it will help us build a more cohesive health care system that treats patients more effectively.”

“The last decade in health care has been marked by an explosion of technological advancements and new medical devices that gather an unprecedented amount of patient health data, but the ecosystem of available solutions to collect and connect that data has not advanced at the same pace,” Vinik said in the release. “Solutions like the Bridge Connector platform will prove crucial in improving patient care by allowing us to leverage these data points to unearth and act upon previously unknown insights about our health and wellbeing.”


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