The first C-Suite hire to manage organization’s investment portfolio, Villa will lead investments in Tennessee early-stage companies
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (June 22, 2022) – Launch Tennessee, a public-private partnership guided by a vision of making Tennessee the most startup-friendly state in the nation, has hired Monique Villa as the organization’s first Chief Investment Officer. In this role, Villa will be responsible for building a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem across the state by providing financial opportunity to startups in all regions of the state. She’ll be focusing on startups in industries identified for growth in Tennessee.
This is the first major hire of new LaunchTN CEO Lindsey Cox.
“Monique is a powerhouse investment manager,” said Cox. “In the years that I have interacted with Monique I have seen her profile grow not only as a leading investor of startups in our region, but as a respected thought-leader who champions technology development throughout the entire Southeast.”
Villa brings over 14 years of early-stage startup experience, including serving entrepreneurs within several venture capital funds, including Mucker Capital, Velos Partners, and Core Innovation Capital. In her role at Mucker Capital, she launched their first satellite office in Nashville and sourced investments across Tennessee, the Southeast, and North America. She would later become an Entrepreneur In Residence (EIR) before accepting her new role with Launch Tennessee. Villa is also the co-founder of Build In SE, a network of ecosystem builders committed to supporting entrepreneurs in the Southeast.
Villa’s responsibilities will include ensuring top-notch venture capital presence at Launch Tennessee’s staple 3686 entrepreneur focused event, September 27-29. 2022.
Earlier in her career, Monique advised digital entertainment startups on business development and strategic partnerships and later went on to lead a startup accelerator for students in the Greater Los Angeles area. She began her career interning for shoe and apparel company TOMS, where she supported finance and inventory management projects for several nationwide launches.
“As an investor and ecosystem builder, I’ve been a long-time fan of Launch Tennessee. It’s an honor to formally join the team in support of our local entrepreneurs and rapidly growing innovation economy,“ said Villa. “It’s no secret Tennessee is having a moment, and I’m humbled by this opportunity to play a role in its future.”
A Los Angeles native, Villa earned a Bachelor of Arts (BA) from UC Irvine. She was named a Rising Star in Venture Capital by Business Insider in 2021, is a contributor to TechCrunch, and regularly volunteers with several national and global organizations dedicated to expanding access to capital for underrepresented founders and investors.
Villa will begin her role with Launch Tennessee on July 1, 2022.
About Launch Tennessee
Launch Tennessee (LaunchTN) is a public-private partnership with a vision to make Tennessee the most startup-friendly state in the nation. Its mission is to empower a high-functioning network of resources focused on core priorities that support Tennessee’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Through its network of entrepreneur centers and partner organizations across the state, Launch Tennessee fosters collaboration among entrepreneurs, the private sector, capital sources, institutions and government to offer entrepreneurs what they need to succeed and stay in Tennessee to build companies and create jobs.