Meritus Ventures, The Nation's First Rural Business Investment Company, Adds Analyst In Tennessee Office

Monday January 21, 2008
Meritus Ventures, L.P. is pleased to announce the appointment of Chris M. Miller as an analyst in the fund's Oak Ridge office. Mr. Miller has several years of experience in entrepreneurial and small business environments, most recently serving as the senior project coordinator for South Florida start-up LeadAmerica.

Meritus Ventures, L.P. is pleased to announce the appointment of Chris M. Miller as an analyst in the fund's Oak Ridge office.  Mr. Miller has several years of experience in entrepreneurial and small business environments, most recently serving as the senior project coordinator for South Florida start-up LeadAmerica.  Mr. Miller recently completed his MBA at the University of Tennessee - Knoxville, with an emphasis in innovation/entrepreneurship and finance.

In his role as an analyst, Mr. Miller will support the fund's marketing, deal tracking, due diligence, and investment monitoring activities.

"We are pleased to have Chris join Meritus," said Grady Vanderhoofven, one of two Fund Managers for Meritus Ventures.  "We needed to add capacity to our team in response to the strong deal flow we are observing and because of our substantial level of investment activity.  We want to ensure we are positioned to proactively address the opportunities we identify.  We interviewed and considered a number of candidates from around the country over an extended period of time.  Chris exhibited the fundamental skill set and basic character we were seeking.  Maintaining proper chemistry within our team is extremely important to us because that chemistry is a major driver of our productivity."

"The addition of Chris to the Meritus team will multiply our ability to look at possible investments in our area," added Ray Moncrief, one of two Fund Managers for Meritus.  "He brings strong academic preparation as well as practical experience with him.  We are pleased to have Chris join us to support the accomplishment of Meritus Ventures' investment goals."

About Meritus Ventures

Meritus Ventures is currently the only Rural Business Investment Company (RBIC) in the United States.  The $36.5M venture capital fund was formed to generate attractive returns for the fund's investors while creating wealth and jobs in rural areas of central and southern Appalachia and Arkansas.  In addition to providing equity capital, the fund may provide operational assistance to its portfolio companies.  The fund's roster of portfolio companies includes Zipit Wireless of Greenville, SC (www.zipitwireless.com), SinglePipe Communications of Louisville, KY (www.singlepipe.com), Aldis Corporation of Oak Ridge, TN (www.aldiscorp.com), and Wazoo Sports of London, KY (www.wazoosports.com).  For more details, visit www.meritusventures.com.

About the Rural Business Investment Program

The U.S. Congress authorized the Rural Business Investment Program (RBIP) in the 2002 Farm Bill.  The purpose of the RBIP is to promote economic development and to create wealth and job opportunities in rural areas by encouraging developmental venture capital investments primarily in small companies and by meeting the unmet equity capital needs of such businesses.  The program is similar to existing SBA-sponsored venture capital programs - specifically, the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) and New Markets Venture Capital (NMVC) programs - and is intended to license Rural Business Investment Companies (RBICs) through a competitive process.  The U.S. Congress is currently considering the reauthorization of the RBIP.  While a new authorization, like the original authorization in the 2002 Farm Bill, would not directly provide capital for investment by venture funds, it would provide the availability of federally-guaranteed debentures that can be used to supplement the capital that must be raised by private venture capital funds operating as RBICs.  (www.sba.gov/aboutsba/sbaprograms/inv/inv_new_rural_business_program.html.)

 

Contact:  Grady S. Vanderhoofven, Fund Manager, Meritus Ventures, L.P., 865-220-2020 

 

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