Mr. Covert has spent his career in venture capital and private equity finance with a particular focus on growth firms as an entrepreneur. Larry began his first job out of school with a venture funded tech start-up in Boulder, Colorado called TVG that was acquired within one year. He then moved to Birmingham and joined SouthTrust Banc Corporation as a Senior M&A Analyst in 1997. While at the bank, Larry started a small software company designed for realtors to access MLS listings with mobile phones. The University of Alabama at Birmingham took over the company in 2000.
After 4 years in M&A at SouthTrust, Mr. Covert worked with MILCOM, the largest defense technology incubator in the US, where he worked as an analyst of recently declassified defense technologies. In 2002 Larry was hired by CNL to manage their Texas private equity fund business and he raised $500MM in private capital for funds targeting hotels and healthcare. Larry also started a small software company in 2005 to digitize retail goods for use in SecondLife with CollegeHumor.com. In 2006 Larry started a carbon fiber kayak paddle company and successfully gained distribution in 44 Orvis stores around the US.
In 2007 Mr. Covert met Ernst & Young Hall of Fame energy entrepreneur Gary Evans, CEO of GreenHunter Energy (NYSE AMEX:GRH), and he hired Larry to manage the private debt and private equity components of the fast growing alternative energy company. In 2008, Mr. Covert started a mineral and royalty acquisition company with the former President of GreenHunter Energy. Mr. Covert and the original founder of MILCOM launched a frontier-market private equity firm as a subsidiary of defense contractor Strategic Social. In 2010 Gary Evans, CEO of GreenHunter, re-launched Magnum Hunter Resources (NYSE:MHR), and he hired Mr. Covert to be the CEO of Energy Hunter Securities. Larry led the private equity business of the parent public company within the broker dealer channel and raised $30MM.
In 2011, Mr. Covert started software company NRVAL as a SaaS based econometrics tool to help make energy investing more efficient. In early 2014, Larry resigned from Energy Hunter to focus on mineral and royalty investing as a partner in the energy investment firm, Admiral Minerals. Larry is also a Venture Partner with VC firm StartupRunner in Austin, TX and advises LookNook and Prahfit. He is a partner with T2 Land Company in the oil and gas space as well.
Mr. Covert holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Alabama, a MBA from Rollins College, and has completed private equity studies on campus with the Harvard Business School Executive Education Program with Professors Felda Hardymon, Paul Gompers, and Josh Lerner. Mr Covert is a former Advisory Council Member of the University of Texas Medical School Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine and is frequently a panelist and keynote speaker throughout the US on topics related to energy private investing. He lives in Austin, TX with his wife and three children and is a volunteer with the Ronald McDonald House at Dell Children's Hospital and a supporter of the Aspen Institute.
Matt started his design career at 19, as a technical illustrator for Hallmark Cards. After 2 years with Hallmark, Matt spent a semester at the Kansas City Art Institute and was recruited by Walt Disney to join their accelerated animation program where he was trained as a character animator. Proceeding Disney, he jumped into the world of product design as a toy & game designer for Mattel, Hasbro, McDonald’s. At the same time, Matt began freelancing illustration and quickly gained national recognition as an advertising illustrator. He was creating work for AVIA/Reebok, American Express & Estee Lauder, Simon & Schuster, McMillan books among others.
At the second year of E3 in California, Matt launched his first game ” Titanic” which was leveraged to start his first product innovation firm, M5. At M5, he created digital vision for Adelphi, Jones Intercable, Worlds, Inc., Paramount, 911 Entertainment, TVT Records, Sony, & MGM – converting TV/Film properties into immersive digital experiences. During this time, Matt was awarded the Distinguished Hallmark Professorship at the University of Kansas, where he taught and helped KU win a significant financial grant to formally start their digital media program. M5 ultimately merged with a large mid-west agency, where MR. Walton ran digital strategy for Microsoft & American Century in 1998.
In 2000, Matt moved to Austin and joined Trilogy Human Factors, where he ran/led visual design strategy – while also served as principal designer at Ford Fleet, AXA Financial, Sun, Lands End. As the economy downturn occurred, he left Trilogy to run product strategy for a turn-around financial services start-up which was acquired by Bank of America in 2006.
For the last 10 years, Matt created his second firm, RED, by leveraging a tiger team approach to refactoring products in early stage venture backed companies. It quickly grew into a high end boutique – designing and implementing revolutionary systems for DARPA, McKesson, AT&T Labs, Dell, Quadramed and other Fortune 50 organizations. He has patents in data visualization, including a solution created to manage ICU patients across the globe in real-time, directly influencing Mckesson’s Clinical product strategy. Matt's gained expertise in healthcare, retail, business intelligence & analytics, predictive intelligence, logistics, location based services, market places, social, erp, rules engines & modeling, banking- as well as many other industries and markets.
Across his career, Matt has and still continually pushes to conceive, build & launch his own ideas & applications to constantly learn what’s necessary to bring ideas to market, as well the associated challenges of building, marketing & scaling successful SaaS businesses. Automilez is his latest SaaS focus.
Matt's designs have contributed to over $2b in business acquisitions, IPOs, roll-ups, and revenue generation. He is an expert in mobile, web, product marketing, & product management, with a process derived from birthing/evolving over 300 mobile, cloud, enterprise and SaaS solutions.