Japanese optics and reprography products company Olympus has established Olympus Innovation Ventures, a new venture capital fund focused on healthcare start-ups.

Olympus Innovation Ventures will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Olympus Corporation of the Americas.

The venture capital fund will support start-ups aimed at improving patient outcomes, advancing the detection and treatment of disease, and transforming surgery.

It will invest in advanced technologies that improve clinical outcomes, reduce healthcare costs and enhance the quality of life for patients.

The new fund is built on the company’s strategy to strengthen endoscopy and develop next-generation solutions for minimally invasive surgery.

Olympus CEO Yasuo Takeuchi said: “Our investment underscores our commitment to make people’s lives safer, healthier, and more fulfilling. Our goal is for this fund to continue our history of innovation and support our long-term growth and transformation.”

Olympus chief operating officer Nacho Abia said: “This effort is another way Olympus is demonstrating its commitment to excellence and creating tangible value for providers and patients

“We believe we will play a meaningful role in the advancement of minimally invasive care and new ways to detect, monitor and treat conditions and diseases.”

Olympus said that the new venture fund prioritises early- and growth-stage companies worldwide, with solutions in gastroenterology, respiratory, and urology areas.

The company has allocated $50m for initial commitments and follow-on investments in portfolio companies.

It will also support its portfolio companies by contributing its clinical and technical expertise, access to healthcare professionals and hospitals, and help launch and scale the solutions in the global market.

Touchdown Ventures, a company that is specialised in corporate venture capital has been selected to help manage Olympus Innovation Ventures fund.

It will work closely with Olympus senior executives to support all aspects of the fund.

Touchdown Ventures co-founder and president Scott Lenet said: “We are excited about what Olympus can bring to entrepreneurs through the company’s technical strengths, industry relationships, vast distribution, and deep subject matter expertise.

“The entire Olympus Innovation Ventures team is working to be the partner of choice for innovators and create a competitive advantage for their start-ups.”