Meritus Ventures Fund Manager Grady Vanderhoofven appointed to the Tennessee Capital Formation Board

Tuesday December 02, 2008
Meritus Ventures announced today the appointment of Grady Vanderhoofven to the Tennessee Capital Formation Board (TCFB). The members of the TCFB were appointed by the Board of Directors of Tennessee Technology Development Corporation (TTDC) on November 6, 2008.

Meritus Ventures announced today the appointment of Grady Vanderhoofven to the Tennessee Capital Formation Board (TCFB).  The members of the TCFB were appointed by the Board of Directors of Tennessee Technology Development Corporation (TTDC) on November 6, 2008.  The TCFB is chartered to develop policy recommendations for Tennessee State Government to improve the supply and accessibility of risk capital in Tennessee.

Eric Cromwell, President and CEO of TTDC, said, "This leadership board consists of distinguished members of the state's venture capital community, and we are excited to have Grady Vanderhoofven participate in this strategic initiative.  Meritus Ventures is an active investor in Tennessee and the southeast, and I know Grady is passionate when it comes to supporting venture capital as an economic driver.  My team at TTDC looks forward to working with Grady and the other members of this board to make Tennessee a destination location for high-potential entrepreneurship."

"I applaud TTDC for its initiative in establishing the Tennessee Capital Formation Board," said Vanderhoofven.  "I look forward to participating in a collaborative effort to enable the people of Tennessee to realize increased economic benefit from the tremendous innovation that is ongoing in the State.  High-quality jobs will be created at a faster rate and more wealth will be generated in Tennessee if we can increase the opportunities for investment capital to connect with entrepreneurs and innovation in the State."

Grady Vanderhoofven and his partner, Ray Moncrief, manage approximately $50M in two venture capital funds that invest in high-growth, knowledge-based companies throughout central and southern Appalachia and Arkansas. The two funds, Meritus Ventures and Southern Appalachian Fund, with offices in Oak Ridge, TN, and London, KY, have invested more than $7 million in seven early- and expansion-stage Tennessee companies since 2003.  Those seven companies have raised an aggregate of more than $40 million to fuel their growth.

Mr. Vanderhoofven currently is a member of the Boards of Directors for Protein Discovery (Knoxville), Smart Furniture (Chattanooga), and Tricycle (Chattanooga).  He is a former member of the Board of Directors of Eonstreams (Knoxville), and he is a Board observer for Aldis Corporation (Oak Ridge).  Mr. Vanderhoofven is or has been a director or board observer for seven other young companies in Tennessee and the surrounding Appalachian states.

Prior to working in venture capital, Mr. Vanderhoofven held several positions at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).  He began his career at ORNL as an engineer, subsequently moved into business development, and ultimately became a leading player in technology transfer and commercialization.   During his latter years at ORNL, he was responsible for commercialization of intellectual property developed in a $300 million/yr R&D organization. He negotiated more than 50 license agreements and more than 125 commercial research and development agreements with national and international companies ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 corporations. He led ORNL in the creation of twelve start-up companies founded to commercialize products/services based on technology developed at ORNL. Mr. Vanderhoofven has both a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in mechanical engineering from Yale University and has completed an Executive Education Program in private equity and corporate governance at Harvard Business School.

About Tennessee Technology Development Corporation

The Tennessee Technology Development Corporation (TTDC) is Tennessee's lead organization for technology-based economic development investments. TTDC is a private, nonprofit corporation that operates as a public/private partnership to create wealth, opportunity and prosperity in Tennessee. The organization was created by the state legislature in 1998 to provide a balanced approach to statewide economic development by establishing an innovation agenda for Tennessee. TTDC designs and implements focused initiatives aimed at improving state competitiveness in three critical areas: research and development activity, venture capital formation, and entrepreneurial growth. For more information, visit tntechnology.org.

 

 

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