McWhorter, Bovender families launch $15M angel fund

Clayton vehicle will target health care, IT plays

Clayton Associates has formed a new angel fund, Rolling Hills Ventures, that will target local health care and information technology start-ups.

The fund is being started via a partnership between the McWhorter and Bovender families and aims to raise $15 million in all. Landon Gibbs (left in our photo) and Richard Bovender — the son of former HCA CEO Jack Bovender who joined Clayton Associates as entrepreneur-in-residence in early 2012 — will co-manage the pool, which will put to work between $500,000 and $1.5 million per deal.

Forming a dedicated fund marks Clayton’s first formal foray into angel investing. Until now, the firm has made angel investments on a deal-by-deal basis.

“With the nine regional incubators recently set up across the state and the TNInvestco funding cycle coming to a close, there is an increased need for capital,” Gibbs said. “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.”

The Clayton team also sees potential in the disruption being caused by the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

“A tremendous amount of disruption and innovation is occurring in the health care space,” Bovender said. “We believe this level of innovation will occur for many years to come.”

Rolling Hills Ventures will have offices both at Clayton’s Maryland Farms home base and at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center on Rolling Mill Hill.