The principals of Solidus-TNInvestco have extensive experience in originating, structuring, closing, managing and realizing portfolio company transactions and investments. They also have previously held executive management positions in portfolio companies. Importantly, they have direct experience in executing the investment strategy which will be implemented by Solidus-TNInvestco. Over the last ten years, 27 of the 29 companies in which the Solidus principals have invested would have qualified as TNInvestco seed and early-stage deals. They have invested $59.7 million into this group of 27 small Tennessee companies and have created 1,481 high-paying jobs to date.
Townes Duncan has been the Managing Partner of Solidus Company since its formation in 1997. He has been an active investor in Tennessee since 1985 and has focused his efforts on seed and early-stage companies for that entire period. Solidus Company currently has approximately $50 million in assets under management in private and public equity markets. Prior to the formation of Solidus, from 1993 to 1997, Townes served as Chairman and CEO of Comptronix Corporation, a $100 million electronics manufacturing services company.
Townes began working as an active venture capital investor with Massey Burch Investment Group in 1985. Prior to this, he was a Partner in the securities law practice at Bass, Berry and Sims. In this capacity, Townes specialized in venture capital transactions in the southeast. He guided Massey Burch through numerous venture capital transactions during the years 1978 to 1985. Through this relationship, Townes gained a strong familiarity with the principals of Massey Burch. He also came to understand and became interested in the role of venture capitalist. When he decided to leave his law practice to pursue a career investing in early-stage companies, Massey Burch offered him a job as Partner. Townes worked with Massey Burch for eight years investing over $46 million in 15 companies and returning over 3 times invested capital ($145 million).
Townes currently serves on the Board of Directors for a number of public and private companies including J. Alexander’s Corporation (JAX: NASDAQ), American Learning Systems, New Constructs, Giant Photos, American Hometown Publishing, Change:Healthcare, SouthComm, Royal Oaks Rewards, Nashville Wire, Covenant Capital, Breathe America and The Documentary Channel. He has previously been an investor and Board member of a number of successful, publicly traded companies including: Bright Horizons, Continental Circuit, Inforum, Information America, PMT Services, Cryolife, and Sirrom Capital. Additionally Townes has previously been an investor in and Board member of more than 20 privately-held companies.
Townes is an active participant in community and charitable organizations such as KIPP Academy Nashville, Nashville Downtown Rotary, Leadership Nashville, Christ Episcopal Church, and the Society of International Business Fellows. Townes was the founding Chairman of Nashville Capital Network and has served on its Board of Directors since 2003. In addition, Townes served for fifteen years as a trustee for Ensworth School including two terms as President of Ensworth’s Board. Townes earned his B.A. in Political Science at Vanderbilt University in 1975, and his J.D. summa cum laude from Washington & Lee University in 1978. He is married with four children and five grandchildren.
Vic joined Solidus as a Partner in 2007. He has over eight years of experience as an early-stage 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 for Solidus in addition to monitoring existing portfolio companies. Vic serves on the Board of Directors of four Solidus portfolio companies: SouthComm, OnFocus Healthcare, Tricycle and Royal Oak Rewards. Prior to joining Solidus, he worked for five years in a similar capacity with another venture capital firm, Massey Burch Capital Corp.
Prior to Massey Burch, Vic co-founded a software company called InfoTech in 1993. The company was formed in Boston and grew from three initial employees to over 250 employees when it was sold in 1999. As a former entrepreneur, Vic has direct personal experience with the often misaligned incentives of the traditional venture fund investment structure. He understands the unique benefits of the Solidus approach that have been thoughtfully designed to address these conflicts.
Vic has an MBA from Vanderbilt’s Owen School of Management and a B.A. from Amherst College. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Nashville Technology Council, is President of the Board for the Vanderbilt Healthcare Business Alumni Association and is President of the Board of Trustees for The Children’s House of Nashville. He is married and has two sons.