Venture Capital Initiative

Venture Capital Initiative - Courses - Student Clubs

Student Clubs

Student Clubs

The Venture Capital Initiative is proud to partner with clubs across Darden to prepare students for careers in Venture Capital.

Entrepreneurship & Venture Capital Club

Leadership Team

Adriana Gadala-Maria HeadshotAdriana Gadala-Maria: President

Summer Experience: Glynn Capital Management

10 years of experience working in the tech industry, specializing in strategically sourcing and developing new business partnerships and strengthening internal sales teams and processes.

Elizabeth BlankenshipElizabeth Blankenship: VP of Founders

Summer Experience: VPx2 Incubator through the Batten Institute, working on my venture Coton

I am a former fashion designer turned entrepreneur, and love talking to all Founders or Future Founders about their ventures or ideas!

Kerrin Kinnear HeadshotKerrin Kinnear: VP of Startups

Summer Experience: Marketing Intern at Reckitt

Before Darden, I spent nearly five years working at two startups in the cleantech industry. I fell in love with the fast-paced collaboration and passion of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and I hope to re-enter the space in the software sector after graduation.

Megan NashMegan Nash: VP of Community

Summer Experience: Intern at Apple (AirPods PMM). I also participated in Dorm Room Fund's Female Founder's track with my startup Rayna.

Best advice I have for my classmates is to think about what you want to accomplish while you're at Darden and ruthlessly prioritize those things!

Clay Olsen HeadshotClay Olsen: VP of Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition

Summer Experience: Chief of Staff Intern at Craneworks, Inc.

Clay plans to launch a search fund after graduating from Darden to find, acquire, and operate a small business in Texas. He is excited to use his knowledge and experience to generate sustainable growth and life-giving culture at a small business.

Gretchen Pace HeadshotGretchen Pace: VP of Events

Summer Experience: VPx2 Incubator through the Batten Institute, working on my venture Goose & Willow

I spent nearly nine years working for the Army, shortly followed by a three month internship at one of Wall Streets largest banks prior to attending Darden. These experiences taught me invaluable skills, and also helped me realize that although I had proven that I could be wildly successful in a large organization, I wanted to take a chance on myself by pursing entrepreneurship where I could build a company and a culture from scratch - an endeavor that I think will spark more joy and offer more meaningful work.

Matt Shapiro HeadshotMatt Shapiro: VP of Careers

Summer Experience: K1 Capital

Matt came to Darden after 6 years of working at Google and various early-stage technology startups. He also has worked on a few new venture ideas while at Darden including his latest, Pocket Knockit.

Andrew Shelton HeadshotAndrew Shelton: VP of Communications

Summer Experience: Associate at Sands Capital Ventures

This summer, I had the privilege of interning with the technology investment team at Sands Capital Ventures. I'm persuing a career in venture capital and hope to invest in Applied AI, MLOps, and no/low code development. Ask me about these technologies or sneakers.

Lauren Wippman HeadshotLauren WippmanVP of Venture Capital

Summer Experience: Associate at Sands Capital Ventures

My work experience comes from the luxury hospitality and early-stage start-up operations. My favorite Charlottesville food spot is Mariebette.