Specific Ways To Engage With the TFC

Interested in engaging with our Center? The below timeline maps when you could take part in some of our programming, with more information on specific programming and ways to connect below.

We recommend students who are interested in the TFC sign up to receive our weekly events newsletter. Within the newsletter, we share upcoming programming (like Immersions, Lunch & Learns, or workshops), deadlines for programming applications, and other ways to engage with social impact around Nashville.



Hult Prize Pitch Competition

The Hult Prize Pitch Competition – also known as the “Nobel Prize for students” – is a global challenge that encourages students to solve our generation’s most pressing issues through social entrepreneurship. This year’s Hult Prize Challenge is: redesigning fashion to make it more sustainable.

Around this time next year, global finalists will compete for $1M for their startup. Gearing up to the international pitch, our local competition here at Vanderbilt took place this November. The first-place team will receive $1,000 per team member to travel to the regional competition, and all other teams who progress will be given $1,000 per team.

The competition is open to both graduate and undergraduate students. You are not required to have an idea or a team to sign up. If you are interested in this year’s challenge or pitch competitions in general, check out the registration page or the Hult Prize website to learn more.


TFC Immersions are student-led experiential learning trips with interdisciplinary groups of Vanderbilt graduate students. The goal of these experiences is to connect students with a variety of cross-sector approaches to social entrepreneurship in different cities. Join us on an Immersion to engage with peers, alumni, professionals, and organizations creating market-based solutions for social impact!


TFC Summit

The TFC Social Ventures Summit gathers students, entrepreneurs, investors, educators, accelerators, policymakers, and other startup champions to meet, collaborate, and share ideas to co-create and deepen collaboration. The event is an annual conference and immersion experience that brings social impact leaders from around the country to gather on Vanderbilt’s campus.

The 7th Annual TFC Summit will be held on Friday, February 17 – Saturday, February 18. The theme of this year’s Summit is Innovation for Good.


TFC Membership

All Vanderbilt students have the opportunity to engage more deeply with the TFC through an annual membership. While any Vanderbilt student is welcome to engage with our programming, TFC Membership provides additional opportunities for students to bolster their experiences in the realm of social enterprise.

TFC Member benefits include access to leadership opportunities, such as Committee & Board Leadership positions, career coaching, monthly networking events, and priority registration to Immersion trips and Summit.

Students have the opportunity to purchase a membership for one academic year.  Membership packages can be purchased on Vanderbilt Marketplace here. A full overview of TFC Student Membership Benefits can be found here:


Office Hours with Center Staff

The TFC staff host weekly office hours to help you engage and learn more about the center, while exploring options for how to maximize your time at Vanderbilt and in your career.

On Thursdays, TFC Director Mario Avila holds advising hours to speak with students about their future careers and how to leverage time in graduate school to gain exposure to opportunities in social impact work. Schedule time to meet with Mario on Thursday afternoons in his office at Owen.

Mario has been an invaluable resource for developing the confidence to go after less available opportunities.”
– Student Feedback from Office Hours


Conference Sponsorships

The Turner Family Center for Social Ventures is excited to be able to facilitate student learning beyond campus by providing partial reimbursement for student attendance at social ventures focused conferences across the country.

The TFC provides funding for projects aligned with its mission of alleviating poverty through market-based solutions. If you have an idea that you think fits perfectly with our organization, let’s start the conversation.


Project Sponsorships

The TFC provides funding for students to complete projects aligned with its mission of alleviating poverty through market-based solutions. If you have an idea that you think fits perfectly with our organization, let’s start the conversation by contacting our staff or emailing tfc@vanderbilt.edu.

Summer Fellowships

Through TFC Summer Fellowships, Vanderbilt University graduate students bring their expertise and education into meaningful action with partner organizations focused on social enterprise which may not otherwise devote resources to interns. In partnership with TFC leadership, students seek and match with partner organizations based on fit to gain valuable work experience integrating business and social impact, while receiving a stipend and support from the TFC.


Networking & Social Events

Monthly Lunch & Learn events, workshops featuring Vanderbilt faculty, Immersion Treks, and member networking opportunities provide graduate students with the opportunity to connect with the TFC and with one another. Check out the calendar to join us for the next one!


Committee Involvement

Our center would not be possible without the support and engagement of our student leaders. Each of our board members are supported by an interdisicplinary student committee which helps to strategize, plan, and execute our mission for the year and beyond. Committee level involvement gives students the space to build upon strengths, explore different worldviews, and connect with students from varied disciplines.

Emerging Impact Leaders Fellowship

The Emerging Impact Leaders Program brings together a multidisciplinary cohort of students to examine – and position themselves within – the intersection of business and social change. Dinner sessions are designed to create space for critical thinking and challenging conversations about the role of the market in society. These dinners will foster intentional, tactical introspection as students learn to articulate their motivating values and connect them to their career paths. Through case studies, content discussions, and conversations with industry leaders, students will gain insights and practical tools for creating social impact in the corporate, social enterprise, nonprofit, and policy sectors. Overall, the program is designed to equip students with the frameworks they need to engage critically with questions of social impact and foster social change in their careers – whether they work for a corporation, an NGO, or something in between.

As a student, this is your center.

No matter your background or area of study, there’s an opportunity for you to get involved. Check out our calendar to find ways to engage at every level.

View all upcoming events here:


I see the TFC as a great opportunity to grow student awareness of, and participation in, market-driven solutions to the world’s biggest issues.”

Matt Inbusch, MBA, '16