Nicole WalkerNicole Walker is a venture investor and advisor. She was part of Baird Capital’s Venture Capital team from 2013-2021, which focused on early-to-growth stage healthcare investments. Her current areas of interest include pharmaceutical tools & services; devices for underserved conditions such as cancer, women’s health, and structural heart; and tech-enabled solutions to transform healthcare delivery.  

Walker’s current portfolio companies include Cala Health, Elucent Medical, NeoChord, Inc, NeuMoDx Molecular, and Strata Oncology. Prior to joining Baird, she was a venture investor with Abbott Laboratories focusing on early stage biotech, device, and life science opportunities; and prior to that with Onset Ventures, a Menlo Park, CA firm that specializes in seed & early staged healthcare and tech service investments.  

Before starting in venture, Walker served in a number of operating roles. Beginning her career as reliability & process engineer with Guidant’s Advanced Cardiovascular Systems division, she went on to hold successive roles within product design, engineering management and marketing management, including leading the Commercial Marketing team for Guidant’s Asia Pacific operations, while based in Hong Kong and the Global Strategic Marketing team for Abbott’s discrete and continuous diabetes monitoring brands, while based in California.

In addition to her venture boards, Walker currently serves as an advisor to Springboard Enterprises, an accelerator program dedicated to building high-growth technology-oriented companies led by women, AdvaMed’s Venture Investor Committee, and Women in BIO – Chicago. She is also a director on the boards of the National Venture Capital Association, the Mid-America Healthcare Investor Network and Minnesota’s Medical Alley Association. 

Additionally, Walker has been recognized by “The Tech Crunch List 2020” as one of the most active and engaged investors, as one of Crain’s Chicago “Tech 50” 2016 and 2018, as one of Fierce Medical Devices’ “Top Women”, and as one of the Wall Street Journal’s “Women in the Economy”. 

Walker received a bachelor’s of science degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University and dual master’s degrees in business administration and engineering operations from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.  

Walker was elected to the board of directors in 2020.