Ross Baird is the founder and Executive Director of Village Capital, an organization that sources, trains, and invests in entrepreneurs solving major global challenges, using a peer review process that delivers better results for entrepreneurs and investors. Founded in 2009, Village Capital has supported over 500 entrepreneurs that have gone on to create 8,000 jobs and raise $118 million in follow-on capital.
Prior to launching Village Capital, Ross worked with First Light Ventures, a seed-stage venture fund and participated in the founding and development of four education-related start-up ventures: the Indian School Finance Company in Hyderabad, India, the National College Advising Corps in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and two ventures using technology to promote civic participation. Ross has a MPhil from the University of Oxford, where he was a Marshall Scholar, and a BA from the University of Virginia, where he was a Truman Scholar and a Jefferson Scholar.
Village Capital finds, trains, and invests in early-stage entrepreneurs solving major global problems. Village Capital puts the power of the investor into the hands of the entrepreneurs– the entrepreneurs themselves choose which of their peers should receive investment.This peer-selection model and curriculum was awarded McKinsey/Harvard Business Review’s prestigious M-Prize for innovation in 2013. Over the past 6 years, program graduates have reached 6 million customers, created over 8,000 jobs, and raised more than $140 million in follow-on capital. To date, 92% of their portfolio alumni are still in business.