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Steve Jobs' son to lead cancer-focused firm, Yosemite

Illustration of a doctor's hands holding a large magnifying glass over a dollar bill.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Steve Jobs' son, Reed, is starting a VC firm focused on cancer treatments called Yosemite, set to raise $200 million.

Why it matters: The 31-year-old was 12 when his father was diagnosed with cancer and his firm will invest in startups developing cancer diagnostics and therapies and oncology-focused digital health technologies, per the New York Times.

Zoom in: Yosemite is an offshoot of Emerson Collective, the Palo Alto impact investing firm founded by his mother, Laurene Powell Jobs, where Reed Jobs has served since 2015 as a managing director focused on health.

  • The firm's unusual operating model means it will run as a kind of benefit foundation: The for-profit business will use its donor-advised fund to provide grants.
  • Current Yosemite backers include venture capitalist John Doerr, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Rockefeller University and M.I.T.
  • Emerson Collective will be a limited partner in Yosemite Fund I, per a release, and Yosemite will manage the Emerson Health legacy portfolio (ECI Health Funds) as the investment adviser.

The backstory: Reed Jobs told the Times that after his father's death from cancer, he took a break from being a pre-med student focused on oncology and swapped majors to history with a focus on nuclear weapons policy.

  • After getting his master's, he came back to health care to lead Emerson's health division.

Flashback: Emerson's health division has backed companies including:

  • Call center training startup ReflexAI, which last month raised $3.3 million in seed funding.
  • Women's medical device startup Teal Health, which in January closed an $8.8 million seed round.

ğŸžï¸ One fun thing: Yosemite is named after the national park where Reed Jobs' parents were married in 1991 when Laurene was pregnant with Reed.

  • Following the ceremony, the wedding party dined on a Half Dome-shaped cake and went for a hike in the snow, per Cult of Mac.

What he's saying: "I had never ever wanted to be a venture capitalist," Reed Jobs tells the Times. "But I realized that when you're actually incubating something and putting it together, you can make a tremendous difference."

Zoom in: Yosemite is an offshoot of Emerson Collective, the Palo Alto impact investing firm founded by his mother where Reed has served since 2015 as a managing director focused on health.

  • The firm's unusual operating model means it will run as a kind of benefit foundation: the for-profit business will use its donor-advised fund to provide grants.
  • Current Yosemite backers include venture capitalist John Doerr, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, The Rockefeller University and M.I.T.
  • Emerson Collective will be a limited partner in Yosemite Fund I, per a release, and going forward, Yosemite will manage the Emerson Health legacy portfolio (ECI Health Funds) as investment advisor.

The backstory: Jobs told the Times that after his father's death from cancer, he took a break from being a pre-med student focused on oncology and swapped majors to history with a focus on nuclear weapons policy.

  • After getting his master's, Jobs came back to health care to lead Emerson's health division.

Flashback: Emerson's health division has backed companies including:

  • Call center training startup ReflexAI, which last month raised $3.3 million in seed funding.
  • Women's medical device startup Teal Health, which in January closed an $8.8 million seed round.

ğŸžï¸ One fun thing: Yosemite is named after the national park where Reed's parents, Steve and Laurene Powell, were married in 1991 when Laurene was pregnant with Reed.

  • Following the ceremony, the wedding party dined on a Half Dome-shaped cake and went for a hike in the snow, per Cult of Mac.

What he's saying: "I had never ever wanted to be a venture capitalist," Jobs tells the Times. "But I realized that when you're actually incubating something and putting it together, you can make a tremendous difference."

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