Saturday, March 5, 2011

John Ingram, Stuart McWhorter start new venture partnership

Budding entrepreneurs setting up shop at the new Nashville Entrepreneur Center now have access to an additional source of seed money.

Nashville businessmen John Ingram and Stuart McWhorter have launched an investment partnership dubbed Bullpen Ventures that plans to offer seed-stage investments for up to a dozen start-up companies this year alone.
Bullpen will operate out of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center at the foot of Broadway, which helps budding entrepreneurs prepare to pursue funding.

“This strategy is designed to take a business plan and within 90 days turn the concept into an investable business venture,” said McWhorter, who along with others from his Franklin-based venture capital firm, Clayton Associates, will share business lessons with the entrepreneurs funded by Bullpen.

The initial investment by McWhorter and Ingram in Bullpen wasn’t disclosed. Both are also equity partners in Clayton Associates, whose chairman R. Clayton McWhorter also is the chairman of the entrepreneur center. Stuart McWhorter is president of Clayton Associates, while Ingram is chairman of distribution conglomerate Ingram Industries of Nashville.

A portion of proceeds from any successful investment by Bullpen will go to help sustain the entrepreneur center, McWhorter added.

Michael Burcham, CEO of the center, lauded the roles that both the Ingram and McWhorter families have played in shaping the entrepreneurial landscape here.

“This new partnership is an important part of our entrepreneurial ecosystem — helping us to support the next generation of Nashville’s entrepreneurs and promote economic growth for our region,” he said.

Other sources of seed-stage money for local startups include JumpStart Foundry, which in the past has provided $15,000 each to companies including some at the entrepreneur center. This year, Jumpstart, which receives its funding from local venture capital firm Solidus Co., and a network of angel investors, is targeting investments in health-care information technology, data systems and social networking tools.

Getahn Ward can be reached at 615-726-5968 or at

Comments | Share your thoughts »Related StoriesMore Business News headlinesJohn Ingram, Stuart McWhorter start new venture partnershipCracker Barrel's second quarter profits rise year over year, but below expectationsTN women underrepresented in corporate leadership rolesFiling deadline looms for some business taxpayers in TNMitsubishi Electric to build Memphis plant, hire up to 275Selected for you by a sponsor:ADVERTISEMENT

Top Stories

Garth Brooks, Leon Russell among new Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees- 3 TN schools make Princeton Review's 'Best Value' list- Judge revives Tenn. gun rights' lawsuit - LATEST: Police believe elderly man shot daughter unintentionally - See all Top Stories

Most Popular

Titans hire one assistant, get rid of twoPolice calls on Nashville's honky-tonk strip jump3 TN schools make Princeton Review's 'Best Value' listDowntown law firm weighs move elsewhere in NashvilleVanderbilt Commodores await Tennessee Vols

John Ingram, Stuart McWhorter start new venture partnership

Heart Gala

John Ingram, Stuart McWhorter start new venture partnership

Look who got Bieber-ized!

John Ingram, Stuart McWhorter start new venture partnership

Miss America 2010 talks about first impressions

Most Commented

Lawyers say cap isn't needed on civil lawsuit damages97GOP's anti-teacher push lets down party supporters68Fairgrounds controversy gets national TV attention58ADVERTISEMENT

Underwater? Alternatives to Walking AwayFiling deadline looms for some business taxpayers in TN