The rest of the 100 (in alphabetical order): John Banta, BlueCross BlueShield
Since June 2014, John Banta has been executive director of BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners, a $550m corporate venture fund sponsored by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, a federation of 36 US health insurance organisations. Since then, he has been on “the continued quest for value-based – or at least more effective and efficient – clinical approaches” in a world of “US federal health policy instability,” as he described in the GCV year-end survey.
He is responsible for maintaining relationships with all stakeholders to ensure the operational success of the fund, and for the generation of an appropriate rate of strategic and financial return.
BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners has been going for nine years and manages its third fund, including participation of the overwhelming majority of the 36 Blue Cross and Blue Shield health insurance plans, and nearly doubling the size of the program.
For last year’s Powerlist he said: “With the healthcare industry continuing to experience unprecedented change, we will continue to focus on supporting leading entrepreneurs driving innovation within a dynamic marketplace.”
It is success supported from the very top. Scott Serota, president and chief executive of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, for last year’s award said: “Blue Cross Blue Shield Venture Partners have played a key role in advancing healthcare innovation while providing invaluable competitive advantages. Thanks to John’s terrific leadership, the funds not only have delivered healthy returns on strategic investments, they have established Blue Cross Blue Shield as a highly desirable partner for leading venture firms and entrepreneurs.”
From 2002 to 2014, Banta was CEO and managing director of IllinoisVentures, an early-stage technology investment firm launched by University of Illinois and focused on companies deriving from Midwest universities and labs. Banta built and led the founding team, and continues to serve as the managing principal of the Illinois Emerging Technologies Fund managed by the firm, and of IllinoisVentures Capital Holdings.
Before joining IllinoisVentures, he was the president and chief operating officer of DigitalWork, a Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Dell Ventures portfolio company, having served as head of corporate and business development.
Previously, Banta was a vice-president of corporate services at investment banks UBS and Bear Stearns, and a director of the Investment Management Consultants Association. He earned an MBA in finance and statistics with high honours from University of Chicago Graduate School of Business where he has guest lectured, and a bachelor’s degree in finance from University of Illinois.