John Banta, president and managing director Blue Venture Fund, is one of the 100 leading corporate venturing professionals in our 2024 Powerlist.

John Banta is a veteran corporate venture leader, joining Blue Venture Fund a decade ago and serving as its president and managing director ever since.

Blue Venture Fund invests on behalf of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans, a federation of 33 US health plans. When Banta joined the fund, a handful of Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies had their own investment efforts and even taking an LP stake in The Blue Venture Fund was seen as an experiment. Since then, the unit has grown to have more than $1bn under management across five funds.

Encouraged by the experience with Blue Venture Fund, more than half of Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies now do their own direct investments, but still maintain a relationship with Blue Venture Fund and frequently co-invest with Banta’s team.

Banta is extremely experienced in managing a wide range of stakeholders with limited partner relationships with the fund. Last September, he took part in a GCV webinar that provided advice to other CVC investors on how to manage LP relationships.

Blue Venture Fund has a team of around 20 people and has 70 investments under its belt. Recent investments include backing Rula, which provides high-quality, in-network virtual behavioural health therapy across the behavioural health acuity spectrum.

The unit has seen exits for 26 portfolio companies, including a few at unicorn valuations of more than $1bn, such as the acquisition of early-stage cancer detection company Thrive.

Banta, who has an MBA from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, has an investment background, having worked at Illinois Ventures, an early-stage technology investment firm launched by the University of Illinois, before joining Blue Venture Fund.

Powerlist cover

The Global Corporate Venturing Powerlist represents the 100
individuals spearheading the future of the corporate venturing industry.

These individuals excel in terms of their venturing approach and structure, number and quality of portfolio companies and in their contributions to the corporate venturing profession.

See the full 2024 Powerlist here.