Tidewater Equity Partners officially announces its launch as a North Carolina small company and early stage investment firm. Based in Wilmington, NC, with an office in Raleigh, Tidewater will focus on small company direct investment, healthcare related venture capital, and innovation consulting.
Founded in late 2016, Tidewater is an investment vehicle created by industry veteran and long time Triangle-area resident Merrette Moore. The entity is not a fund and does not operate under a traditional fund model. Tidewater provides flexibility in allowing investors to participate on a deal-by-deal basis without any upfront commitment of long-term obligation.
“Our model is special in that it allows us to be hands-on and bring in investors who can draw from their expertise to contribute to specific deals,” explained Moore, who serves as Tidewater’s Managing Partner. “Through this, we provide value-add management and expertise to our portfolio companies.”
Tidewater will also use its network and expertise to foster innovation in the Triangle and across the Southeast. Through its innovation consulting, the firm hopes to promote economic development for local communities.
Tidewater has made two investments since its inception: one in Durham-based semiconductor company Phononic, and the other in South Atlantic Packaging, a contract packaging company in Winston-Salem.
Small company direct investment
Tidewater will leverage its wide-ranging network of business professionals to help companies with growth and scaling, sales, and business development. Pulling from its bench of management and executives, the firm will utilize people from its network to help fill management and advisory gaps in the companies in which in invests.
Rich Lee, former Founder and CEO of Raleigh-based Hosted Solutions, is one example of the value that Tidewater’s network brings to the firm’s operations. Lee is very familiar with the process of growing and exiting a closely-held business, having led Hosted Solutions to one of the Triangle tech sector’s largest exits in 2010. He now joins Tidewater as an advisor and works closely with the team.
“I’m excited to be involved with Tidewater,” said Lee, “The firm has a solid strategy and a unique investment management model. With their network and expertise, I believe they will have an edge in working with small businesses.”
Tidewater will concentrate its investment geography in the Southeast United States and will be largely industry agnostic, focusing on opportunities where the firm’s relationships can be value-add.
Healthcare venture capital
Tidewater has a unique advantage in its collaborations with leading healthcare organizations, and it plans to leverage these relationships in early stage healthcare opportunities.
Among these organizations is Rex Health Ventures (RHV), the innovation platform of UNC Rex Healthcare, for which Moore serves as an advisory consultant. Tidewater will be working closely with organizations like RHV to leverage their networks of expertise and world-class healthcare professionals in identifying success factors in high quality opportunities in healthcare innovation.
“UNC Rex is thrilled to be working alongside Tidewater,” said Bobby Helmedag, Director of Operations at RHV and advisor to Tidewater. “We think that Tidewater’s model is great, and the team has a track record of success in the healthcare space. We have a lot of confidence in this collaboration, and we feel that it is going to be a valuable asset for Rex Health Ventures.”
Leveraging its network and expertise to foster innovation in Wilmington and the surrounding areas, Tidewater believes it can play an integral role in building a community-based innovation platform that will foster economic development in the Southeast.
Moore is a lifelong resident of North Carolina and lived in the Triangle for nearly three decades before relocating to Wilmington in late 2015. He has history of success with innovation platforms such as MCNC, NC IDEA and Rex Health Ventures, and says that the Southeast has a lot of existing and potential assets for innovation-based activities and programs.
Tidewater particularly sees opportunities for innovation in healthcare. Similar to its work with Rex Health Ventures, Tidewater is in discussions with Wilmington’s New Hanover Regional Medical Center (NHRMC) to help the organization find synergies and potentially develop an innovation platform of its own.
Contact: Merrette Moore
Phone: (919) 491-1805