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Venture Capitalists Combine to Create Greater Access to Funds for South Carolina’s Emerging Technology Start-ups
Trelys Funds Co-Founder to Join Aurora Funds

Columbia, S.C., – The Trelys Funds, South Carolina’s largest and most active early-stage venture capital firm, today announced that Adrian Wilson will join The Aurora Funds as a General Partner and will continue to invest in compelling technologies and management teams from Aurora’s new office in Columbia, South Carolina.

Adrian Wilson co-founded Trelys in 2002 and serves as its Managing General Partner. The fund is fully invested in a portfolio of eight companies in South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia, and has approximately $22 million under management. Wilson will continue to manage Trelys, which remains an independent entity, with back-office support from the Aurora professional staff. In addition, Wilson will work as a General Partner with Aurora to make new investments with a focus on South Carolina and other Southeastern states.

The Aurora Funds, based in the Research Triangle Park area of North Carolina, is also an early-stage venture capital firm and has approximately $250 million under management in five funds. It is widely regarded as one of the top early-stage venture capital firms in the Southeast. Its investors include many of the largest private equity investors in the U.S.

Wilson and Aurora co-founders Scott Albert and Jeff Clark, both experienced and respected venture capitalists, have invested together since 1998 and have worked together closely during that period. In fact, Aurora is an investor in four of Trelys’ eight portfolio investments, and the partners have served together on multiple boards of directors.

“I am excited about the Trelys/Aurora combination,” said Wilson. “With a much larger amount of capital, a talented and deep team consisting of six full-time investment professionals and a strategy that is almost identical to Trelys, Aurora is well positioned to provide greater access to capital and management expertise for emerging early stage companies and to achieve significant financial returns for its investors.” Jeff Clark, Aurora co-founder cited South Carolina’s aggressive focus on investing in its three research universities. “During recent planning efforts, we recognized start-up activity that was a result of aggressive research programs at the Clemson International Center for Automotive Research (ICAR) and The University of South Carolina’s Innovista research initiative and its focus on hydrogen fuel cells. In addition, biomed and drug discovery efforts at MUSC are also creating opportunities in the life sciences area.”

Clark continued by saying, “We realized that we needed the very best person we could find to fully take advantage of these promising opportunities. Adrian brings a wealth of experience and South Carolina relationships to the Aurora team. His location, involvement and efforts in South Carolina create a competitive advantage for Aurora in terms of deal flow that is unmatched by any other venture capital firm.”

Paula Harper Bethea, board advisor to Trelys as well as board member of South Carolina’s Council on Competitiveness and the Palmetto Institute said, “I am thrilled for Adrian and for South Carolina. Not only does the original Trelys commitment to South Carolina stay intact, it is enhanced by a much larger pool of investment capital, a Columbia office and a strong, local presence for Aurora led by Adrian.”

About Adrian Wilson
Adrian Wilson co-founded The Trelys Funds in 2002 and serves as its Managing General Partner. In this capacity, he currently serves as a board member to Metabolon, Inc. and SpineMedica, Inc., and a board observer to Aldagen, Inc. and Ometric Corporation. He has over nine years of direct private equity investment experience. A graduate of Davidson College, Wilson earned Juris Doctor and Master of Business Administration degrees from the University of North Carolina. He is a co-founder and board member of the South Carolina Investor Network and a founding board member of both the Palmetto Biotechnology Alliance and EngenuitySC. He also serves as board member of Southeast BIO and is a graduate of Leadership South Carolina.

About Trelys
Organized in 2002, The Trelys Funds is an early-stage venture capital firm headquartered in Columbia, South Carolina. The fund partners with leading scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs to turn industrychanging technologies into high value companies. The fund is fully invested in a portfolio of eight companies throughout the Carolinas and Georgia. (Please see for more information.)

About Aurora
The Aurora Funds, based in the Research Triangle Park of N.C., is a family of venture capital funds currently managing approximately $250 million. The firm invests in seed and early stage healthcare and information technology companies in the Southeastern and mid-Atlantic United States. Aurora is committed to providing resources to help its early stage portfolio companies reach their full potential. Aurora’s investment team has the experience, strategic relationships and capital to help companies accelerate their growth and gain a strong competitive advantage in their market space. Since its founding in 1994, Aurora has invested in over 60 portfolio companies, resulting in, to date, five IPOs and eight M&A transactions. (Please see for more information.)

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