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The American Hospital Association is a lobbying powerhouse, championing the interests of its thousands of member hospitals before Congress. Now, though, the trade group is dipping its toes into a decidedly different arena: venture capital investing.

It’s rare for trade groups to dabble in venture capital — where investors fund startups in exchange for stakes in those emerging companies — because it’s so different from their typical bread and butter. But the not-for-profit AHA says it’s well-positioned to get health care startups off the ground because it can offer up their technologies to its almost 5,000 hospital and health system members.

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