A seasoned team guiding young enterprises



The leadership of the GRA Venture Fund, LLC does much more than manage an investment fund. It leverages the full power of Georgia's entrepreneurial ecosystem by connecting the Fund's portfolio companies to experienced business advisors and industry leaders.

This door-opening network helps ensure that the portfolio companies enter the marketplace not only with groundbreaking products and services, but also with the best chance of succeeding through sound leadership and strong financial management.
 

Kurt Jacobus, Ph.D., Managing Director

Kurt Jacobus, Interim Managing DirectorDr. Jacobus joined GRA Venture Fund in 2018 as the managing director, overseeing the Fund's investment decisions and board relations.

As  CEO of MedShape, Inc. – an orthopedic device company he co-founded – Dr. Jacobus is a materials scientist and mechanical engineer with a track record of growing young businesses as a leader, advisor and investor. In addition to MedShape, he had a founding role in three other companies and has served in a formal advisory role to five other companies.

Dr. Jacobus began his career as a business consultant with McKinsey & Co., shortly after completing his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at the University of Illinois. His engagements centered primarily on startup and turnaround work, infusing strategy, finance and operations expertise to drive better results for companies. Following McKinsey, he spent three years as vice president for The J.M. Huber Corporation, focusing on business development and mergers and acquisitions.

Dr. Jacobus left Huber in 2006 to launch MedShape with co-founder Ken Gall, whom he had met as a student at the University of Illinois. As president, he led MedShape from an unfunded business plan to a thriving companyToday, MedShape has a global sales force of more than 150 representatives and three FDA/EU-approved biomaterials for the human body, all of them new kinds of products.

Dr. Jacobus is an instructor at Georgia Tech. He also holds a B.S.M.E. degree from Georgia Tech and an M.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois. He serves on two external advisory boards for Georgia Tech. 

Michelle Jarrard, Senior Advisor

Michelle Jarrard, Managing Director As senior advisor, Ms. Jarrard provides counsel and expertise to the fast-growing companies in the Fund’s portfolio. She joined GRA Venture Fund in 2016 as its second full-time Managing Director.

The former global chief of HR and talent officer for McKinsey & Co., Ms. Jarrard had responsibilities that spanned the company's 20,000 employees and 50+ country footprint. Among them: people strategy, talent acquisition and development, partner compensation and evaluation, diversity, internal communications, HR analytics and policies and risk.

Ms. Jarrard's strategic insight and knowledge have made her a valued member of the Atlanta community. She is currently on the Board of Trustees and serves as Chair of the Compensation & Benefits Committee for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, one of the largest pediatric healthcare systems in the U.S. She is also a Trustee of the Georgia Tech Foundation Board.

Ms. Jarrard earned her MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor's Degree in Industrial Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, with highest honors.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

David M. Ratcliffe
Chairman, GRA Venture Fund, LLC

F. Duane Ackerman
Former CEO, BellSouth Corporation

James (Jim) S. Balloun
Former CEO, Acuity Brands, Inc.

Frederick (Fred) E. Cooper
Chairman, Cooper Capital

Bradley (Brad) Currey, Jr.
Retired Chairman & CEO, RockTenn Company

William (Bill) Linginfelter
Area President – Georgia / South Carolina
REGIONS Financial Corporation

Bill Midgette
Managing Partner, Fairburn Equity Partners

Ivan Sigmund (Sig) Mosley, Jr.
Managing Partner, Mosley Ventures

Diana Murphy
Managing Director, Rocksolid Holdings

Charles (Charlie) Ogburn
Non-Executive Chairman of the Board, Crawford & Company

Frances (Fran) Gail Rogers
President, Checks & Balances, Inc.