CLAYTON ASSOCIATES ANNOUNCES ANGEL FUND Partnership formed between the McWhorter and Bovender Families
NASHVILLE, TENN. (July 1, 2013) - Clayton Associates, a leading source of equity capital for early-stage companies in the Southeast, announces the formation of a new angel fund, Rolling Hills Ventures, LP. The fund, which is targeting a $15 million fundraising goal, is being started through a family partnership between the McWhorter and Bovender families, both of which have a long history at Nashville-based HCA. Rolling Hills Ventures will invest in startup companies primarily in the healthcare and information technology sectors.
While the fund is new, the long tradition of angel investing at Clayton Associates is not. Clayton Associates was founded in 1996 as an incubator for angel investing. The early success of the angel investments led to venture funds, known as FCA Venture Partners. Although Clayton Associates has continued to be a leader in the angel investing community, its angel investments have been primarily on a deal by deal basis. Looking to provide structure to this activity, the firm is starting Rolling Hills Ventures, the new angel capital manager of Clayton Associates.
The fund, which will be co-managed by Richard Bovender and Landon Gibbs, will invest in up to a dozen companies with the target investment size between $500,000 and $1,500,000 per deal. “We are excited to partner with the Bovender family to establish a much needed source of capital for early stage entrepreneurs,” said Stuart McWhorter, chairman and president of Clayton Associates. “We are particularly thankful to have Richard join the Clayton Associates team fulltime and for the leadership he will provide entrepreneurs.”
Part of Clayton Associates’ investment thesis is the belief that there is a capital gap in Tennessee in the angel investing space. “With the nine regional incubators recently setup across the state and the TNInvestco funding cycle coming to a close, there is an increased need for capital,” said Landon Gibbs, co-manager of Rolling Hills Ventures. “In Nashville, the Entrepreneur Center with its three micro-funds located at the center, Bullpen Ventures, Jumpstart Foundry, and Healthbox and over 70 year-around seats for entrepreneurs has created an increased demand for early stage investments.”
Additionally, Clayton Associates also believes that there is increased opportunity in the healthcare space. “With the pending implementation of the Affordable Care Act, increasing cost pressures, and decreasing technology costs, a tremendous amount of disruption and innovation is occurring in the healthcare space,” said Richard Bovender, co-manager of Rolling Hills Ventures. “We believe this level of innovation will occur for many years to come.”
In addition to having offices at Clayton Associates, Rolling Hills Ventures will have an office at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center.