Entrepreneurship Advisory Council

The Entrepreneurship Advisory Council (EAC) was established to support CTTC in the development of strategies to identify technologies that are suitable for new ventures and to stimulate entrepreneurial thinking at Vanderbilt. The EAC first convened in October 2013. It consists of more than a dozen influential members of the business and investment community.

Members:

William Andrews
Director, Chairman of Exec. Committee
CCA

Bill Andrews assumed the role of Director and Chairman of Executive Committee in July 2008 after serving as CCA's Chairman of the Board since August 2000. Andrews has earned high marks as chairman, president and CEO of five public companies, including three New York Stock Exchange companies. He has also served as chairman of three private companies and on the boards of many public companies. Andrews brings significant experience in financial markets and finance to CCA. He was a member of CCA's board from 1986 until 1998, prior to the company's merger with Prison Realty Trust.

Andrews was former chairman, president and CEO of Scovill Manufacturing. He also served as chairman, president and CEO of Singer Sewing Machine Company; as president CEO of UNR Industries, Inc.; as chairman, president and CEO of Amdura Corporation and chairman of Katy Industries. Most recently, he served as chairman of Northwestern Steel and Wire Company and was a director of Juvenile and Jail Facility Management Services, Inc. He has also served as chairman of several privately held companies: Utica Corporation, Schrader Bridgeport International, Inc., Scovill Fasteners, Inc. and Allied Aerospace Corp.

He is a graduate of the University of Maryland and holds an MBA degree from Seton Hall University.

Germain Böer
Professor of Management, Director of OEC
Owen Graduate School of Management

Germain Böer is the Chief Wealth Creation Officer, Professor of Management, and Director of the Owen Entrepreneurship Center (OEC) at the Owen Graduate School of Management of Vanderbilt University where he teaches and does research in entrepreneurship. He cofounded and managed a retail photo store that catered to sophisticated amateur photographers prior to joining the Owen School.

In addition to his academic activities at the Owen School, he is a business advisor to several startup ventures, serves on the boards of startup companies, and he is an active investor in startup companies ranging from medical devices to software companies to geothermal ventures.

Through the Owen Entrepreneurship Center, Germain has instituted a program for MBA students that enables them to work full time on their business idea for the summer between the first and second year of their MBA degree program. He is currently working to fund a scholarship program that will enable students to build their company while earning their MBA degree. This competitive program will admit two students per year whose ideas are the best business ideas submitted to the Owen School.

He currently leads the entrepreneurship effort at the Owen School and was instrumental in founding the Owen Entrepreneurship Center. As director of the OEC, he worked closely with the Owen School, Vanderbilt University, and community leaders to found the Nashville Capital Network in 2003; this organization matches budding entrepreneurs with early stage investors. In his capacity as Director of the OEC, Germain works to build relationships with entrepreneurs, private investors, and organizations that foster a strong entrepreneurial climate in the Southeast. He is systematically executing a plan to make the OEC the premier entrepreneurship organization in the country.

Chuck Byrge
President and CEO of Harpeth Capital, LLC

Chuck Byrge is the President and CEO of Harpeth Capital, LLC, a middle market investment banking firm. He has more than 25 years of experience advising both public and private companies on capital raising and merger and acquisition transactions.

In addition, Byrge directs Harpeth Companies LLC, which includes Harpeth Ventures – the firm’s principal investing arm and Harpeth Consulting – the firm’s healthcare-focused management consulting division.

Prior to joining Harpeth Capital, he was a Senior Managing Director and Head of Investment Banking at FTN Financial Securities (NYSE:FHN), where he was involved in opening and directing the New York office. Prior to that, he was Managing Director and Co-Head of Mergers and Acquisitions at SunTrust Equitable Securities (now SunTrust Robinson Humphrey), where he was responsible for directing a wide variety of assignments for both public and private companies. Previously, Chuck was a senior member of the Mergers and Acquisitions Department at Morgan Keegan & Co and a Vice President at NationsBanc Capital Markets in Dallas, Texas where he co-directed the middle market M&A practice for the Southwestern U.S.

Byrge received a BA in Economics from Vanderbilt University and an MBA from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a former Certified Public Accountant with Peat Marwick and Ernst & Young.

Byrge is a member of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Nashville Health Care Council. In addition to his Chamber membership he is also a Partnership 2020 Investor, Middle Tennessee’s public/private economic development initiative. He has served on the Board of the Nashville Healthcare Council, Owen Graduate School of Management Alumni, Boy Scouts of America Middle Tennessee Council, the Nashville Sports Council and was a Director for NextGxDx . He currently serves on the Entrepreneurship Advisory Council of Vanderbilt University's Center for Technology Transfer and Commercialization and the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce Vital Signs Action Team.

Barbara Cannon
Advisor
Compass Executives

Barbara Cannon serves as Chief Operating Officer, NuSirt Biopharma.  NuSirt Biopharma has developed a breakthrough technology platform that combines natural compounds with various pharmaceutical agents. The first application focuses on Type 2 diabetics.

Ms. Cannon brings over 25 years clinical research experience in NuSirt Biopharma.  She was responsible for the start-up of ClinTrials Research, one of the early Clinical Research Organizations (CROs), providing outsourced clinical research services to the pharmaceutical industry.  She was responsible for initiation of Phase II-IV research activities and participated in the company's IPO, (NASDAQ:CCRO).  Her role as CEO, Board Director at Celeris Corporation (NASDAQ:CRSC) focused on supporting complex medical device, biologic, and combination FDA product approvals. 

Ms Cannon currently serves on several business healthcare boards including Nashville Capital Network, University Community Health Services (UCHS), The Blakeford, and The West End Home Foundation.  

She earned an MBA from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management and a BS from California State University, Sacramento, CA.

Sid Chambless
Executive Director
Nashville Capital Network

Since September 2003, Sid Chambless has served as the first Executive Director of Nashville Capital Network, the leading angel investment organization in Tennessee. As part of his role, Sid oversees NCN’s group of over 100 angel investors, is responsible for deal flow, investment analysis, and due diligence. He is also tasked with helping early stage entrepreneurs prepare for the fundraising process by matching them with the appropriate investors and advisors within NCN’s network.

Additionally, Sid serves as the Managing Partner of NCN Angel Fund I, LP and NCN Angel Fund II, LP, NCN's sidecar investment funds, as well as the TNInvestco Tennessee Angel Fund.  NCN has cultivated a network of qualified and committed angel investors who have invested $40 million in Tennessee-based companies. 

Sid is a 2003 graduate of Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management, where his concentrations were finance and accounting with an emphasis in entrepreneurship. His undergraduate degree is also from Vanderbilt.

Mike Collins
CEO, Managing Member & Founder,
2nd Generation Capital

Mike Collins is chief executive officer, managing member and founder of 2nd Generation Capital, LLC a merchant-banking firm active as an investment principal, advisor, and placement agent (through its licensed broker/dealer subsidiary, BrightChoice Financial, LLC), 2nd Generation participates in private offerings both as an investor (together with its own principals, clients and associates) and as a placement agent. Mike is also managing partner of several venture investment partnerships affiliated with 2nd Generation. His investment experience spans many different industries including healthcare services, biotechnology, insurance, financial and business services, aerospace and defense, distribution, manufacturing and publishing. 

Mike is experienced in starting new businesses, developing and implementing their strategic and operating plans, and in obtaining necessary financing. He is a frequent speaker and author on current business and financing issues, healthcare industry investment and trends, corporate governance, negotiation, and litigation consulting and expert witness services. Additionally, Mike has been engaged in the merchant banking and venture capital industries as a principal and senior executive for the majority of his business career.

Mike has served on numerous corporate boards and chaired executive, compensation, audit and other key committees. He is a past Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Sarah Cannon Research Institute, LLC, a clinical research organization and clinical trials services company, and has served on a Tennessee based venture capital funds advisory board. He is a member of KraftCPAs, an affiliate of and minority investor in 2nd Generation. 

An honors graduate of the University of Tennessee, Mike also participates in continuing education programs, meeting or exceeding the requirements for his various professional certifications. He is a CPA, has the specialty designation Accredited in Business Valuations (ABV) and is Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) and holds FINRA licenses 7, 63, 79 and 24 (General Securities Principal). Mike was one of 60 civilians nominated to and attending the 2011 US Army War College Commandant's National Security Program.

Joe Crace
Managing Director
The Legacy Consulting Group

Joe Crace is a relationship-focused, service driven chief executive with more than 25 years experience running public and private companies, from  medium-sized private businesses to $1 billion public companies.  Currently Managing Director of The Legacy Consulting Group, LLC,; he has served as CEO, COO, CFO, President, Board Member, and Consultant  for companies in the retail, consumer products, hospitality, entertainment, and service industries—including Bob Evans Farms, Inc., Gaylord Entertainment Corp., Gibson Guitar, Baldwin Piano Co., Hickory Specialties, Inc., and the E.H. Wright Co..  He has also served in recent years as Managing Partner in a private investment firm focused on small to medium sized companies with next-level growth potential.

Joe was raised in and worked for his family business early in his career, and has first-hand knowledge and experience working in and with family and closely-held companies.  He has strong domestic and international P&L and Balance Sheet management experience and a proven track record of driving market share, revenue and profit growth.  He is particularly adept at assessing and identifying issues and creative solutions to resolve them in all areas of operations, and manages with a strong sense of proprietorship.

He is on the board of Nashville Area Red Cross, where he chairs the Philanthropy Committee; the Leadership Nashville Alumni Board; Advisory Director for Stanton Chase International; and is involved in various other community service efforts.  In the past he has served on the board of The Nashville Symphony, Family and Children’s Services, and the Board of Governors for St. Thomas Hospital.

J.D., Stetson University College of Law

M.B.A, Vanderbilt University

B.A., University of South Florida

George Dunbar
Venture Partner
Arboretum Ventures

George Dunbar joined Arboretum Ventures during 2010 and serves as a Board member with portfolio companies, IntelliCyt, KFx Medical (as Chair), and as Executive Chair of CerviLenz. He was a past Director and Executive Chair of Accuri Cytometers which was sold to BD (Becton Dickinson) during 2011. George's management consulting practice,

George is an independent Director with Capricor, a leading cardiac cell therapy company affiliated with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and Diagnovus, a molecular diagnostic information service company for underserved diseases. He served as Board Chair for Aastrom Biosciences (ASTM) during 2010 and as CEO/Director for the prior three years from 2006. Under his leadership, management completed a successful turnaround yielding a financially stable enterprise with stronger Intellectual Property (IP) and technology, clinically directed, and a cell therapy focus with higher clinical need and commercial potential including three new cardiovascular programs progressing through Phase 2 and Phase 3 clinical trials; thus allowing George to transition to Executive Chair of Accuri Cytometers and to join Arboretum Ventures.

Prior to relocating to Ann Arbor, Michigan, George and family lived in Los Gatos, California for 15 years where he worked with several venture capital investors and served as an Advisor, Director, or CEO with several public and private life science companies.

Katie Gambill
Managing General Partner & Co-Founder
Council Capital

Katie Gambill was the youngest of a small group of principals who purchased Equitable Securities from American Express in 1972. When Equitable Securities was sold to SunTrust in 1998, she was President of Equitable Securities and its second-largest shareholder.At Equitable, she was Chief Investment Officer with primary responsibility for the direct investment of the firm's capital in both public and private emerging growth companies, including both healthcare and financial services businesses.

From 1972 to 1998 Katie had primary responsibility for building and leading Equitable's equity business. When the company was acquired from American Express in 1972, revenues acquired were over 90 percent corporate and municipal bond sales and underwriting. When the company was ultimately sold to SunTrust in 1998, revenues were over 90 percent from the equity business. In addition to her position as President, Katie was a member of the Executive Committee and a member of the Board of Directors of Equitable Securities. She was Chairman of the Investment Policy Committee governing all research recommendations and investment banking underwriting commitments; the Founding Managing Director and member of the Board of Directors of Equitable Asset Management, a mutual fund management company; and member of the Board of Directors of Equitable Trust Company. Combined assets under management were over $1 billion at the time of the sale to SunTrust. After the sale to SunTrust, Katie became President and a member of the Board of Directors of the newly formed SunTrust Equitable Securities. She remained with SunTrust Equitable Securities until co-founding Council Capital in 2000.

Katie is on the Board of Directors of Council Capital portfolio companies Lancope and Reach Health and is a member of the Executive Council of the Harvard School of Public Health. She was previously a member of the board of Council Capital portfolio companies Advanced Academics, Benefit Informatics, iKobo, NotifyMD and Senior Whole Health. Katie received her BA cum laude in Economics from Vanderbilt University in 1968 and her Chartered Financial Analyst (C.F.A.) designation in 1976.

Vic Gatto
Partner, Solidus
Founder, Director Jumpstart Foundry

Vic Gatto joined Solidus as a Partner in 2007. He has over ten years of experience as an early state venture investor in Tennessee. Vic focuses his investment activity primarily in three industries: healthcare services, applied technology, and media/communications. He is responsible for sourcing, analyzing, and structuring new investments in addition to monitoring existing portfolio companies.

Vic serves on the board of directors of five Solidus portfolio companies: SouthComm, OnFocus Healthcare, Change: Healthcare, Check’d In and Tricycle. Prior to joining Solidus, he worked for fine years in a similar capacity with another venture capital firm, Massey Burch Capital Corp. Vic is also a Founder and Managing Director of Jumpstart Foundry (JSF), a mentor-driven, micro-fund in Nashville. JSF provides a little capital ($15K) an a lot of support and training to promising concepts that do not meet the Solidus minimum investment amount. He has also founded a similar accelerator in the Memphis area called Seed Hatchery.

Before switching to the investor side of the table, Vic co-founded and subsequently sold a software company in 1993. The company was formed in Boston and grew from three initial employees to over 250 employees when it was sold in 1999. Vic moved to Atlanta to start a Southeast office of the company in 1996. He found that he preferred the southeast and decided to remain in the region and attend business school at Vanderbilt University.

Vic lives in Nashville with his wife and two sons. He has a graduate degree from Vanderbilt&'s Owen School of Management and a BA from Amherst College. Vic is on the board of directors of the Nashville Technology Council, The Vanderbilt Healthcare Business Alumni Association and Harding Academy.

Mark Harris
Founder
NextGxDx

Mark Harris has a broad range of experience in scientific research, data analytics, product design, and technology commercialization. He founded NextGxDx in 2010 to bring efficiency to the field of genetic testing through a web-based marketplace.  Today, NextGxDx's platform offers the largest genetic testing catalog available, with more than 10,000 curated testing products.  

Previously, Mark was selected to the Leadership Development Program at ThermoFisher Scientific, where he worked within one of their portfolio companies, Athena Diagnostics, to develop the business case to bring next generation sequencing technologies into their clinical workflow. Mark serves as a mentor for the JumpStart Foundry and for HealthBox, is an advisor for CentreSource, and has earned three degrees from Vanderbilt University: a BS in Molecular and Cellular Biology, a PhD in Cancer Biology, and a MBA from the Owen Graduate School of Management in General Corporate Management.

Matt King
Managing Partner, FCA Venture Partners
Managing Partner, Triple Play Ventures

Matthew King is the Managing Partner of FCA Venture Partners, the venture capital manager of Clayton Associates, LLC. He is also the Managing Partner of Triple Play Ventures, an investment partnership started in 1999. As Managing Partner for FCA Venture Partners V, Mr. King oversees the partnership's investment process including identifying potential investments, due diligence, ownership structure, syndicate leadership and portfolio management.  Previously, he has served as a member of the General Partner and Managing Partner for FCA IV, and a member of the General Partner for FCA III, serving on its investment committee.

Matthew has more htan 30 years of business experience, the last 13 of which have been focused exclusively in the venture capital industry at FCA Venture Partners with a specific emphasis on healthcare technology and services. He has participated in more than 50 private equity and venture capital investments since 1992 and has served as lead investor in 18 transactions for FCA III, FCA IV, and FCA V.

He currently serves on the Board of Directors of NuScript Rx, Inc., edō Interactive, Inc., Entrada Inc., OnFocus Healthcare, Inc., KeraFAST, Inc., Medical Reimbursements of America, Inc., Catavolt, Inc., Clinical Ink, Inc., LogoGarden, Inc., and ProCharging Systems, LLC, each of which is an FCA or Triple Play portfolio company. He previously served as a Vice President of Third National Bank and its successor, SunTrust Bank (1983-1989), Chairman, President and CEO of Radar Business Systems, Inc. (1990-1996) and Regional Vice President of Radar's successor company U.S. Office Products, Inc. (1996-1999). He also is a Founder and served as Chairman, President and CEO of MyOfficeProducts, Inc., a FCA III portfolio company, from 2001 to 2003. Matthew serves as a Director of Nashville Bank & Trust Company, Director of Wake Forest University Health Sciences and Trustee of Wake Forest University and is a member of the Nashville Rotary Club. He received a BA in History from Wake Forest University in 1982.

Glenn Perdue
Managing Member
Kraft Analytics, LLC

Glenn Perdue is the managing member of Kraft Analytics, LLC which provides valuation, forensics, and transaction advisory services.  Glenn began his professional career in the venture capital industry and later became the president of a technology company. He has experience with business transactions involving equity investments, debt financing, licensing, mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, buy‐outs, joint ventures, financial distress and bankruptcy. Glenn's valuation experience includes the valuation of businesses, equity interests, intellectual property, and other intangible assets for transactional, managerial, compliance, accounting, tax, and litigation purposes.  His forensic experience includes work with attorneys related to business valuation, transactional disputes, intellectual property, economic damage analysis (lost profits, unjust enrichment/disgorgement, reasonable royalty, loss/diminution of value, etc.) licensing, antitrust, insurance recovery, and investigative analysis.   

Glenn has been retained as an expert witness in over 100 cases.  Industry experience includes work in information technology, life sciences, healthcare, media/entertainment, manufacturing and a variety of service industries.  Glenn holds an undergraduate degree in finance, and MBA (Vanderbilt '95) and professional credentials as a Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA), Master Analyst in Financial Forensics (MAFF), and Certified Licensing Professional (CLP).

Julia Polk
Sr. Vice President, Early Stage Ventures
W Squared

Julia Polk loves to build companies and work with early stage entrepreneurs. Recently joining the team of W Squared, Julia will lead the Early Stage Ventures vertical at W Squared offering outsourced strategic CFO services focused on preparing companies for scale in an investor-backed arena.

She began her career as an investment-banking analyst with Morgan Stanley in NYC, financing satellites, airplanes and the first ever AIDS test. Julia continued in corporate finance in Nashville with Equitable Securities, working with local healthcare companies and, later, the venture firm Solidus Company, where she joined its founder to invest in and support its portfolio companies. While at Solidus, she worked closely with the Nashville Tech Council to develop the first angel network in Nashville.

Twice in her career, Polk has served as CFO for early stage companies simultaneously pioneering an industry and a new venture: CorporateFamily Solutions (Bright Horizons) and Change Healthcare Corporation. Each time, she was responsible for all financial infrastructure, development of sales, operations policy/procedure and business models, capital strategy and fundraising, legal and contracting strategy and investor relations. She has also served as Acting COO/CFO of MadGravity, a tech startup, and as Acting CFO of NextGxDx, a genetics testing marketplace, Polk is guiding new business creation.

Over the past 12 months, she has met, mentored and advised more than 50 companies in education technology, consumer finance, healthcare services and technology, consumer products and hardware/software. She serves as a mentor for the Jumpstart Foundry tech accelerator and the Nashville Entrepreneur Center. Julia is also member of the Entrepreneur Committee of LaunchTN and serves on the advisory board for Sevier Skirts and CUREative Art and other early stage companies while actively supporting and investing in startups in Nashville.

Christopher Rand
Co-Founder
TriStar Technology Ventures

Christopher Rand co-founded TriStar Technology Ventures in 2009. Through his role at TriStar, he serves on the Board of Directors for Pathfinder Therapeutics, MedCenterDisplay, Molecular Sensing, Evermind, AngelEye, Carrot Medical and Cobra Introducer. To date, TriStar has invested in 18 early-stage healthcare companies.  Prior to co-founding TriStar, Christopher was the Manager of New Venture Development in Vanderbilt’s Office of Technology Transfer and Enterprise Development (now CTTC). That responsibility included licensing Vanderbilt intellectual property, assisting in the formation of new start-up companies and working with existing start-ups.

Since beginning as the Chancellor’s Fund in 2000, Vanderbilt has invested a significant amount of capital into 30 different Vanderbilt-related companies. Christopher was responsible for managing this portfolio and represented Vanderbilt on the boards of five of these companies.  He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame and MBA from Vanderbilt.

Jackie Shrago
President
EduWomen.com

Jackie Shrago's career spans 30 years in technology-based executive management positions. These include two start-up companies that became multi-million entrepreneurial enterprises - ThinkLink Learning in education acquired by Discovery Channel in 2006 and Telco Research in telecommunications acquired in 1986 by NYNEX (now Verizon). Her current activities are centered around volunteer activities that make a difference in our community, state and nation. Most recently she has been involved at Martha O'Bryan to get Internet access into several housing projects within Nashville and working across the state to implement the Affordable Care Act through Get Covered Tennessee.

Jackie's career also includes commercializing ground-breaking research conducted at Vanderbilt's Peabody College, including a portion of time with Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools. With 20 years of experience in education, ThinkLink Learning designed a new state-specific approach to formative assessment until its acquisition. She continued to expand the scope of products and nationwide distribution with an emphasis on assessment with proven strategies for improving instruction and education student outcomes.

Other education projects Jackie spearheaded include: implementation of the ConnecTEN project, making Tennessee the first state to provide Internet in all of its K-12th grade schools; assuring the effective use of the technology, she was responsible for the design of web-based professional development tools used by 20,000 teachers in 1998. These education projects received recognition from the National Information Infrastructure and Smithsonian Computer World Awards.

A former teacher, Jackie has served in education technology advisory capacities to the National Governor's Association. Council of Chief State School Officers, and CEO Forum. Her education includes an MBA and BS from Vanderbilt University and Peabody College.

Jim Stefansic
Commercialization Director
Launch Tennessee

Jim Stefansic is currently the Commercialization Director at Launch Tennessee, where he focuses on assisting high growth technology businesses with commercialization planning and acquisition of funding through a federally-funded SBIR/STTR grant program. Jim previously served as Chief Operating Officer at Pathfinder Therapeutics, Inc., a medical device company he co-founded. He was instrumental in helping the company raise over $17 million in both venture capital and SBIR funding.  He was involved in every facet of the business, from investor road shows, R&D and clinical trials, regulatory approval, business development, financial management, pricing, and commercialization.

Jim received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Vanderbilt University and his MBA from Belmont University

Ken Woody
President
Innova

As President of Innova, Ken Woody leads a dedicated staff focused on finding, funding and growing startup technology businesses in Tennessee to help them achieve commercial success.  With 27 companies in the Innova portfolio and seats on the Board of 10 of them, Ken's time is spent not only investing, but also mentoring management teams. He provides strategic guidance when portfolio companies are faced with the difficult decisions that startups frequently encounter. 

Ken is a US Army Veteran who served honorably as an Infantry Captain and General's Aide.  He was also an entrepreneur and a Fortune 500 Executive. He worked for GE for over 16 years, serving as a VP and General Manager in its Healthcare and Capital businesses. He served as VP of Sales for DePuy Spine, a Johnson and Johnson company, before moving his family to the Memphis area in 2004. Ken was Senior Vice-President for Global Sales with Smith and Nephew Orthopedics, in charge of Sales and Operations for this multi-billion dollar global enterprise. In his executive roles, Ken worked extensively in the mergers and acquisitions side of biotechnology, medical device and IT businesses.

Ken has a history and a passion for helping startup businesses achieve success. In addition to his portfolio company Board roles, Ken serves as Board Chairman for the ZeroTo510 medical device accelerator. He is also on the Life Science Tennessee Board and the Advisory Board for the FedEx Institute of Technology at the University of Memphis.

Featured Video

Vanderbilt Patent Activity

View Vanderbilt University Patents

CTTC on Twitter