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Vanderbilt University-Backed Venture Capital Association is Building its Foundation with Office Space and its First Director

By May 15, 2024May 24th, 2024No Comments

Exciting news at 2100 West End Avenue in Nashville, TN! The University Financing Foundation, Inc. (TUFF) is excited to welcome Executive Director Judith Byrd and the Greater Nashville Venture Capital Association (GNVCA) to our building as they join tenants from top ranked Vanderbilt University (VU).

Innovation paves the way for improved standards of living, and TUFF believes investment in education, research, and innovation helps the communities surrounding institutions thrive. We look forward to a continued partnership with GNVCA and VU to further advance economic growth and innovation in the Nashville community.

Bruce Evans, chairman of the board at Vanderbilt University, addresses attendees at the kickoff gathering of the Greater Nashville Venture Capital Association.

The acting board of Vanderbilt University’s venture capital association has appointed its first executive director and secured office space.

Judith Byrd will take the reigns of the Greater Nashville Venture Capital Association effective April 8, according to a press release. The association is also moving into office space at 2100 West End Ave. in May.

Byrd was most recently the director of community and government relations for Nashville-based Ardent Health Services and has experience in business, government, trade association, health policy and journalism.

“We have a lot of work to do to build and create value for the venture capital community in support of a shared vision to further economic growth in innovation in Middle Tennessee,” Byrd said in the release.

The Greater Nashville Venture Capital Association was founded in late 2023 and is a membership organization made up of investors from pre-seed to growth equity in the Greater Nashville region. Its purpose is to increase the availability of capital and talent to build successful companies, create jobs and drive economic growth.

Over the next three years, the association is intended to become self-sufficient.

The association was initially funded through a seed grant from Vanderbilt University, Middle Tennessee’s second-largest university, with an enrollment of 13,710 in 2023, according to Business Journal research.

RankPrior RankName/Prior Rank
Middle Tennessee State University
Vanderbilt University
Tennessee Tech University

“Judith will help grow this critical piece of our innovation ecosystem across all industry sectors in the region,” said Vanderbilt Board Chairman Bruce Evans in the release.

The association is currently looking for a staff member to support the organization’s operations, according to the release. It is also anticipating opening up a number of internship opportunities for students.

Read the original article published By Nikki Ross – Reporter, Nashville Business Journal here.