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Bob Crutchfield Named Managing Director of BrightEdge Ventures

August 29, 2018--The American Cancer Society has hired Bob Crutchfield as the managing director of BrightEdge Ventures. The American Cancer Society (ACS), the largest private, not-for-profit funder of cancer research, is building this philanthropic fund with institutional venture capital focus that will find, value, structure, manage and exit cancer-focused investments with disciplined underwriting and operational excellence.

Leveraging ACS’ 70+ years of cancer research breakthroughs, Crutchfield will lead this investment platform by identifying investment opportunities in syndicate with life science venture firms and other investors to fund promising cancer-focused therapies, medical devices, technologies, and services.

Before coming to ACS, Crutchfield was a senior partner at Harbert Growth Partners in Birmingham, Alabama, where he led the healthcare practice. He also serves on multiple boards including the Southeastern Medical Device Association, the Southern Capital Forum, the Innovation Depot, the Birmingham Venture Club, the Global Center for Medical Innovation and the True Vine Foundation. Crutchfield was also the executive director of Innovate Birmingham, an 18-month initiative in which he led a team to assess, evaluate and recommend to Birmingham’s economic development organizations strategies for accelerating the growth of that market’s technology-based economy. 

“Once BrightEdge is fully formed, it will not only expand ACS’ translational research closer to the patient, it will also provide new ways for donor-investors to drive tangible impact through faster patient outcomes, says Rob King, senior vice president for enterprise planning & business Integration. “With Bob’s leadership, our goal for the BrightEdge fund is to seek venture capital level returns on our investments, so the proceeds from liquidity events can be reinvested in more cancer breakthrough, creating an efficient and perpetual fund model that will continue to accelerate commercialization and market access for cancer-related therapies, medical devices, technologies and services.”

Joining Crutchfield and the BrightEdge team is David Heenan, who serves as director for BrightEdge Operations. Heenan is responsible for managing all operational mechanics of ACS BrightEdge Ventures and ensuring seamless execution of the Society’s venture philanthropy business. Heenan brings a diverse background to ACS, which includes working on trade, security, and nonproliferation policy issues for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce in Beijing, China, to working on economic development for the Governor of Georgia, being part of the editorial staff of the Center for Disease Control’s Journal on Preventing Chronic Disease, and most recently was a founding member of Aces Health, a healthcare tech startup that develops products for the industry's leading research and healthcare organizations.