First-ever Vanderbilt Entrepreneurship Conference launches Nov. 9


John Ingram

Speakers include prominent figures in entrepreneurship and venture capital

The conference is designed to bring together leaders from the Vanderbilt and Nashville entrepreneurship communities to share their insights and experiences with attendees. There will also be opportunities for speakers and attendees to network with each other throughout the conference.

The event will feature notable keynote speakers from the area, including John Ingram (MBA’86) and Justin Ishbia (JD’04), who will discuss their efforts to bring Major League Soccer to Nashville.

The event is free to attend for all Vanderbilt students, faculty, and staff across all schools. Everyone who wants to attend must register online at the Center for Entrepreneurship website. Registration includes the catered breakfast, lunch, and happy hour.

“The conference will be great for networking and getting the entire Vanderbilt startup, investment, and entrepreneur community in the same room on the same day,” said Michael Bryant, Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship. “We’re making sure we’re leveraging our connections with each other to help further Vanderbilt entrepreneurship.”

“(Ingram and Ishbia) will talk about the entire process, not only acquiring the franchise and all the things they have gone through since, but also how they plan to grow and build MLS soccer in Nashville,” he added.

Other speakers include Brian Kasser (BA’90), Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners; Sherry Deutschmann, founder and CEO of Sunset Ventures; Aaron Dorn (MBA’17), Chairman, President, and CEO of Studio Bank; and Ryan McGrath (BA’06), President of Asset Plus Companies. The conference will also feature panels on entrepreneurship, campus innovation, the evolution of venture capital, and search funds.

The event will be held in the Student Life Center

In the afternoon, there will be TED-style talks called Commodore Conversations, as well as a pitch competition offering $5,000 in prizes. Breaks for networking, coffee, and meals are built into the schedule; a catered breakfast, lunch and happy hour will be provided. The day will conclude with a reception at the Wond’ry, Vanderbilt’s center for cross-disciplinary collaboration, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

“The conference is Vanderbilt-focused, but you don’t have to be from Vanderbilt,” Bryant said. “Anybody who thinks they might want to start a company in the future should sign up and come by and listen to speakers who can help them achieve that.”

WHEN: November 9, 2018. 7:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. CST

WHERE: Vanderbilt University’s Student Life Center: 310 25th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37240

COST: $100; Free to Vanderbilt Students, Faculty, and Staff