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grady vanderhoofven
partner, meritus ventures; ceo, three roots capital

Grady Vanderhoofven has co-founded and invested multiple private equity funds.  Meritus Ventures, which was the first Rural Business Investment Company (RBIC) in the United States, focused on companies in rural areas, and Southern Appalachian Fund (SAF), a New Markets Venture Capital Company (NMVCC), focused on companies in low-income areas.  Together, these funds have approximately $50 million under management and have invested in sixteen (16) portfolio companies, which in turn have attracted $193 million of investment from co-investors.  The companies are located in rural and/or low-income areas throughout the southeast and mid-south and have created more than 400 jobs to date.  In addition to the capital directly invested by Meritus and SAF, the funds have provided more than $4 million of technical and operational assistance to portfolio companies, either directly or through service providers engaged specifically to support the companies. 

Most recently, Mr. Vanderhoofven co-founded Meritus Kirchner Capital in 2013 to be the general partner of Meritus Kirchner RBIC II, LP, a new RBIC with a national footprint. Meritus Kirchner currently is fundraising $100M of growth capital to invest in manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, and energy companies in rural areas.

Prior to becoming an investor, Mr. Vanderhoofven participated in the creation of twelve technology-based, start-up companies based on intellectual property developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. 

Mr. Vanderhoofven received 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.