Jose Guerola, principal, Echo Health Ventures, is one of our top 50 Rising Stars in corporate venturing for 2024.

Jose Guerola has a background in finance, having worked in private equity for The Carlyle Group and in investment banking at Credit Suisse. He also spent three years at Johnson & Johnson in venture investments.

Guerola moved to Echo Health Ventures, the strategic investment arm of an alliance of four US health insurance plans, in 2022, where he is a principal on the investment team. He seeks to partner with entrepreneurs that can lower healthcare costs and increase patient access to healthcare. His focus areas include new care delivery models, pharmacy and precision medicine.

Guerola has become a subject matter expert in complex areas of healthcare, says Rob Coppedge, chief executive officer of Echo Health Ventures. “Jose spends time researching, landscaping and benchmarking areas of interest that then allow Echo to have deep conversations with our stakeholders,” says Coppedge.

The venture unit has 32 portfolio companies. It invests in both early and late-stage companies. “We look at opportunities where we can create the most value – where we can be disruptive and be early, and then others where we are focused on scaled, profitable businesses that can also drive a lot of impact.”

Recent funding rounds include taking part in the $20m raise by Sempre Health, a company focused on medication adherence in the pharmacy space, in September 2023.

Guerola says it’s been crucial to invest alongside strategic investors throughout his career. “We have focused on doing a few things exceptionally well and believe that partnering with investors that bring expertise across payers, pharma, providers, and employers is a competitive advantage. Depending on what problem we’re trying to solve together, we want to make sure that we’re looking at it from different angles,” says Guerola.

A key part of corporate venturing is building strong relationships with leaders in the industry, he says. “Knowing how to play an active role with others to align incentives across the healthcare industry is paramount to our success. Whether with large corporates or private equity, we are proud of our strong partnerships and our mission in supporting these exciting companies through their growth journey.”

See the full list of GCV Rising Stars for 2024 here.