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Today I have a special guest, Touraj Parang, who has not only founded and sold three venture backed startups, but he's also led eight transformational acquisitions as a corporate development buyer at GoDaddy.  Touraj has been a Silicon Valley M&A attorney, a venture investor, an entrepreneurial mentor, and today is the president of Serve Robotics, which provides delivery to people in public spaces using zero emissions autonomous robots.In our conversation Touraj and I discuss why selling a business is so difficult and how planning and preparation can greatly improve your chances of real transactional success. In fact, Touraj is such an expert on exit preparation that he wrote a bestselling book about the topic called Exit Path: How to Win The Startup Endgame, in which he shares the lessons he's learned over the last 25 years from every side of the M&A table.A few episode highlights:(8:43) ... How economic headwinds changed the exit possibilities of Touraj's first venture, Jaxtr (15:12) ...  An impactful Webs.com Corporate Offsite, and the plan that resulted in a $120M exit to Vistaprint(20:48) ... A move to the Head of Corporate Development at GoDaddy(29:00) ... Putting a lifetime of M&A learnings into a best-selling book, EXIT PATHI hope you enjoy my conversation with Touraj Parang.
Today I have a fantastic guest from my men's league hockey team and serial entrepreneur, Greg Packer.  Greg was born in Detroit. He graduated from the University of Michigan, and went on to build two large Professional Employer Organizations (or PEOs). Greg built his first PEO, Amstaff right out of college and eventually sold the business to ADP, which rebranded as ADP Total Source.  At ADP Greg built the business to over $700 million in annual payroll which created one of the most profitable business lines for ADP. After a professional break to help coach his kids' hockey and lacrosse teams, in 2000 he decided to get the band back together and build another PEO - AccessPoint.  Today, AccessPoint services more than 330,000 work site employees across all 50 states.  In our conversation, Greg describes his entrepreneurial journey and how company culture, recurring revenue, and HR due diligence helped him to not only sell his companies, but how he measures the companies he acquires today. A few episode highlights:(6:10) ... Thinking about value creation and handling inbound M&A interest. (15:10) ...  Getting prepared for an 8-figure exit, and becoming one of the most profitable business unit within ADP.(22:38) ... Greg Packer's superpower, and how that led to the creation of his next PEO(25:06) ... The role of culture in M&A(36:56) ... In business and sports, "act like you've been there before"...I hope you enjoy my conversation with Greg Packer.
Today I have a special guest, M&A expert, and serial entrepreneur, Brian Scanlon. Brian started his career by founding a marketing agency, Social Mediators, a full service digital marketing agency, which he sold in 2014. Brian's exit was not life changing, but he was able to put an entrepreneurial win on the board and much like myself he then decided to focus his attention on helping his fellow founders sell their businesses by entering the world of sell side M&A advisory after helping several business owners orchestrate their exit. In 2017, Brian saw his next entrepreneurial opportunity on the buy side of M&A and launched Deal Gen Partners, an origination company, discovering opportunities for private equity funds and strategic acquirers to acquire great companies.Deal Gen Partners currently manages 2.7 billion in buy side mandates, which gives Brian real insight on how buyers are thinking about M&A in 2023 and. So today Brian will share his full entrepreneurial story and offer his advice to our fellow founders about how to make their companies attractive to buyers right out of the gates.A few highlights:(10:53) ... The importance of bringing experts into any M&A process (24:05) ...  Brian's unique perspective seeing both buyer and seller motivations during M&A(27:02) ... How Deal Gen Partners is similar to an MLB scouting department serving every major league team at the same time(35:28) ... 2023 M&A OutlookI hope you enjoy my conversation with Brian Scanlon. 
Today I have a special guest, fellow podcaster and serial entrepreneur with multiple exits under his belt, Jeff Durso.  Jeff is a Massachusetts native who after attending MIT, sold his first business at the height of the internet bubble in 2000. We'll hear how a strategic partner can turn into an acquirer without any notice and how a well-timed silence during the subsequent negotiation with that buyer was worth an extra $1 million to Jeff. On his second exit, Jeff describes the incredible hurdles he and his team overcame to get multiple investors in. With signatures in place to not blow up a deal. Jeff shares his lessons learned on keeping your cap table clean and how time is not your friend in any M&A engagement. Currently, Jeff is the host of the Founder Breakthroughs Podcast, interviewing fellow founders on their incredible stories, as well as running Startup Mastermind, helping new founders get their businesses off the ground.A few highlights:(5:30) ... How a throwaway bullet point and a timely moment of silence created another $1M to Jeff and his partners (9:00) ... The cars that became the motivation for Jeff and his partner (and brother) to sell their first business - Acura NSX and a red Ferrari 355 Spider (17:17) ... Selling at the top of the NASDAQ(22:29) ... In Jeff's 2nd company, the 43 investors and an error by the State of Delaware that almost killed the deal.I hope you enjoy my conversation with Jeff Durso.
Today I have a special guest, friend, and forward-thinking entrepreneur, Chris Meso.  In 1989 while still in his twenties, Chris founded Mobile Air, which after more than 30 years of growth has become the largest private, portable HVAC specialty services business in North America. What's special about Chris's story is that not only did he know the right time to sell the business, but Chris also helped the private equity firm who acquired his business envision a strategy to roll up his competitors.Chris believed so much in this roll up strategy that he negotiated significant equity in the overall business platform, which created a substantial "second bite of the apple" for him when the private equity firm sold the platform just two years later.  On today's episode, Chris and I talk about the importance of preparing to sell a business and choosing the right buyer with the right strategy to maximize your ultimate outcome.Today, Chris runs T Rex Advisory helping business owners implement simple, proven organizational frameworks to tone down chaos, earn more and go back to falling in love with their business.A few highlights:(4:30) ... Working in an ultra-competitive industry and building the moat that changed his future (11:15) ... Trying to understand what Mobile Air was worth (22:53) ...  The Kumbaya Dinner, and negotiating the next bite of the apple (29:44) ... As an entrepreneur, "I left nothing on the field...  and got off the field at the right time to enjoy the fifth quarter of my life."I hope you enjoy my conversation with Chris.------------------------------------------------------------------------This episode is brought to you by Exitwise:  https://www.exitwise.comExitwise helps business owners create the exits they deserve by assembling the best teams of industry specific, M&A experts, who will help maximize the sale of each business.How Does It Work:1. Schedule A Call:  Schedule a call with one of our M&A Advisors and we'll walk you through the entire process of selling your business, from market valuations to M&A expert fees and from due diligence to the signing of your purchase agreement. We're here to answer any questions you may have.On this call, we'll want to learn about the history of the business, your financial performance, your management team and listen to your thoughts and requirements for selling the business so we can make sure to find the best M&A experts to help maximize your exit.2. Review Top Experts:  Once we've had a chance to process all your business information, we'll share with you, our top choices for investment bankers, M&A attorneys, and tax accountants to help maximize the sale of your business.We’ll present each M&A expert’s transaction history, estimated valuation range for your business and their fee structures. Then we’ll talk through the pros and cons of each choice to help you prioritize and make the best decisions.3. Negotiate & Hire:  Finally, when we've narrowed it down to your top choices, we'll negotiate your engagement letter with each M&A expert to make sure fees and terms are fair for everyone. We know what to look for and we know how to keep everyone incentivized for your optimal outcome.Once your M&A experts have been selected and you’re ready to move forward, we’ll collect signatures and get everyone to work.
Today we have a special guest and good friend of Exitwise, Joe Chura.Joe has had an incredible entrepreneurial journey starting on the Ford Motor Company assembly line to founding two automotive digital marketing platforms, which he sold to cars.com in 2018 for a walk off home run outcome. Joe is an exceptional leader, marketer and lifelong learner who has taken on many different challenges well beyond the businesses he's most widely known for.He's recently run a marathon, hosts an incredible podcast called, Not Almost There, and he recently launched a new non-alcoholic brewery Go Brewing in Illinois. A few highlights: (10:35) ... Working at an auto dealership during the day, and building a digital marketing company at night (36:34) ... September 28, 2017 - a Wedding Anniversary, and a fateful phone call from Cars.com (45:50) ...  October 31, 2017 - Halloween, and the most important text of his professional life  (1:07:42) ... what success means to Joe, and what surprised him most after the sale of his business.(1:11:18) ...  the launch of Go Brewing I hope you enjoy my conversation with Joe Chura.------------------------------------------------------------------------This episode is brought to you by Exitwise:  https://www.exitwise.comExitwise helps business owners create the exits they deserve by assembling the best teams of industry specific, M&A experts, who will help maximize the sale of each business.How Does It Work:1. Schedule A Call:  Schedule a call with one of our M&A Advisors and we'll walk you through the entire process of selling your business, from market valuations to M&A expert fees and from due diligence to the signing of your purchase agreement. We're here to answer any questions you may have.On this call, we'll want to learn about the history of the business, your financial performance, your management team and listen to your thoughts and requirements for selling the business so we can make sure to find the best M&A experts to help maximize your exit.2. Review Top Experts:  Once we've had a chance to process all your business information, we'll share with you, our top choices for investment bankers, M&A attorneys, and tax accountants to help maximize the sale of your business.We’ll present each M&A expert’s transaction history, estimated valuation range for your business and their fee structures. Then we’ll talk through the pros and cons of each choice to help you prioritize and make the best decisions.3. Negotiate & Hire:  Finally, when we've narrowed it down to your top choices, we'll negotiate your engagement letter with each M&A expert to make sure fees and terms are fair for everyone. We know what to look for and we know how to keep everyone incentivized for your optimal outcome.Once your M&A experts have been selected and you’re ready to move forward, we’ll collect signatures and get everyone to work.
This episode is Part II of a two-episode series.  If you haven't listened to Part I, we invite you to listen to it first before enjoying this episode.Today, based on multiple requests from our listeners, my friend, fellow entrepreneur, and co-founder of Exitwise, Brian Dukes is going to interview me, Todd Sullivan, to help our listeners learn a little bit more about my background and how we came to start Exitwise. We'll take you through the four companies I've started and sold while sharing a few memorable stories about my co-founders, investors, customers, and acquirers that have made my professional journey worth the risk, the sacrifices, and the emotional rollercoaster that is entrepreneurship.A few highlights: (3:53) ... How Todd found himself on the "Tech Crunch 50" stage with Jason Calacanis(9:19) ... How Peter Karmanos helped Todd get Crowd Zone installed in the Carolina Hurricanes stadium(22:02) ... Getting Dan Gilbert's business card, and how Dan helped Todd relaunch Spirit Shop(33:42) ... The creation of ExitwiseWe hope you enjoy our conversation.------------------------------------------------------------------------This episode is brought to you by Exitwise:  https://www.exitwise.comExitwise helps business owners create the exits they deserve by assembling the best teams of industry specific, M&A experts, who will help maximize the sale of each business.How Does It Work:1. Schedule A Call:  Schedule a call with one of our M&A Advisors and we'll walk you through the entire process of selling your business, from market valuations to M&A expert fees and from due diligence to the signing of your purchase agreement. We're here to answer any questions you may have.On this call, we'll want to learn about the history of the business, your financial performance, your management team and listen to your thoughts and requirements for selling the business so we can make sure to find the best M&A experts to help maximize your exit.2. Review Top Experts:  Once we've had a chance to process all your business information, we'll share with you, our top choices for investment bankers, M&A attorneys, and tax accountants to help maximize the sale of your business.We’ll present each M&A expert’s transaction history, estimated valuation range for your business and their fee structures. Then we’ll talk through the pros and cons of each choice to help you prioritize and make the best decisions.3. Negotiate & Hire:  Finally, when we've narrowed it down to your top choices, we'll negotiate your engagement letter with each M&A expert to make sure fees and terms are fair for everyone. We know what to look for and we know how to keep everyone incentivized for your optimal outcome.Once your M&A experts have been selected and you’re ready to move forward, we’ll collect signatures and get everyone to work.
Today, based on multiple requests from our listeners, my friend, fellow entrepreneur, and co-founder of Exitwise, Brian Dukes is going to interview me, Todd Sullivan, to help our listeners learn a little bit more about my background and how we came to start Exitwise. We'll take you through the four companies I've started and sold while sharing a few memorable stories about my co-founders, investors, customers, and acquirers that have made my professional journey worth the risk, the sacrifices, and the emotional rollercoaster that is entrepreneurship.A few highlights: (9:36) ... How professional hockey led to the creation of the first big product of Todd's career(18:10) ... The creation of Capball, a meeting with Toys R Us, and a chaotic trip to pitch the product(29:03) ... The Michigan (Ross) MBA program, and the creation of Spirit ShopThis is the first part of a two-part series. We hope you enjoy our conversation.------------------------------------------------------------------------This episode is brought to you by Exitwise:  https://www.exitwise.comExitwise helps business owners create the exits they deserve by assembling the best teams of industry specific, M&A experts, who will help maximize the sale of each business.How Does It Work:1. Schedule A Call:  Schedule a call with one of our M&A Advisors and we'll walk you through the entire process of selling your business, from market valuations to M&A expert fees and from due diligence to the signing of your purchase agreement. We're here to answer any questions you may have.On this call, we'll want to learn about the history of the business, your financial performance, your management team and listen to your thoughts and requirements for selling the business so we can make sure to find the best M&A experts to help maximize your exit.2. Review Top Experts:  Once we've had a chance to process all your business information, we'll share with you, our top choices for investment bankers, M&A attorneys, and tax accountants to help maximize the sale of your business.We’ll present each M&A expert’s transaction history, estimated valuation range for your business and their fee structures. Then we’ll talk through the pros and cons of each choice to help you prioritize and make the best decisions.3. Negotiate & Hire:  Finally, when we've narrowed it down to your top choices, we'll negotiate your engagement letter with each M&A expert to make sure fees and terms are fair for everyone. We know what to look for and we know how to keep everyone incentivized for your optimal outcome.Once your M&A experts have been selected and you’re ready to move forward, we’ll collect signatures and get everyone to work.
Today I have a special guest friend and former personal mentor, Jeff Ma.Jeff is best known as a former member of the MIT Blackjack team who won millions in the mid 1990’s. Jeff's success was the basis of the main character of a New York Times bestselling book, “Bringing Down The House”, and the highly successful movie “21”. Because of his focus on data and analytics, Jeff's success at the blackjack table translated well into his prolific entrepreneurial career.Jeff and his teams built and sold Circle Lending to Virgin, Citizen Sports to Yahoo, and finally, tenXer to Twitter.  Jeff has worked as a consultant to the San Francisco 49ers, the Portland Trail Blazers and a major sports apparel brand, helping them to make better decisions using data and analytics. His most recent book, "The House Advantage: Playing the Odds to Win Big in Business"​ was a business bestseller and draws on his unique experiences at the table and in the sports world creating a truly accessible work about business analytics. Jeff is passionate about how data and better visibility into one's performance can make people better.In this week's episode Jeff discusses how his experiences at the blackjack table helped him build valuable companies and how he knew when to pick up his chips, leave the table and cash out.  A few highlights: (10:00) ... losing $100K in 5 minutes at the blackjack table (15:45) ... the analogy of blackjack to startup life and building a business - hanging around long enough to sell your company is no different than a card counter having enough chips to catch a hot streak.   (27:00) ...  why getting congratulated at the beginning of a founder journey may be the wrong message to send.  Raising venture capital shouldn’t always be the celebratory moment it often is for entrepreneurs  (43:00) ... acquisition values, and why they're often misreported and misunderstood in the mediaI hope you enjoy my conversation with Jeff Ma.------------------------------------------------------------------------This episode is brought to you by Exitwise:  https://www.exitwise.comExitwise helps business owners create the exits they deserve by assembling the best teams of industry specific, M&A experts, who will help maximize the sale of each business.How Does It Work:1. Schedule A Call:  Schedule a call with one of our M&A Advisors and we'll walk you through the entire process of selling your business, from market valuations to M&A expert fees and from due diligence to the signing of your purchase agreement. We're here to answer any questions you may have.On this call, we'll want to learn about the history of the business, your financial performance, your management team and listen to your thoughts and requirements for selling the business so we can make sure to find the best M&A experts to help maximize your exit.2. Review Top Experts:  Once we've had a chance to process all your business information, we'll share with you, our top choices for investment bankers, M&A attorneys, and tax accountants to help maximize the sale of your business.We’ll present each M&A expert’s transaction history, estimated valuation range for your business and their fee structures. Then we’ll talk through the pros and cons of each choice to help you prioritize and make the best decisions.3. Negotiate & Hire:  Finally, when we've narrowed it down to your top choices, we'll negotiate your engagement letter with each M&A expert to make sure fees and terms are fair for everyone. We know what to look for and we know how to keep everyone incentivized for your optimal outcome.Once your M&A experts have been selected and you’re ready to move forward, we’ll collect signatures and get everyone to work.
Today, I have a special guest, friend - home improvement entrepreneur, Brian Elias.  With just $5K in savings, Brian started and built 1-800 Hansons, a company selling replacement windows, siding and roofing in the Midwest. Brian built Hansons to more than $70M in sales and today Hansons is one of the top 10 home improvement companies in the US. In 2017 Brian sold the majority of his share in Hansons to a private equity firm, Huron Capital.Brian is a marketing genius who understands how to connect with people on a personal level and he is always willing to give back to his fellow entrepreneurs.  Today Brian and I chat about his decision to sell his business, how he prepared his business to maximize his sale price and his decision to roll some of his equity back into the business alongside his buyer in hopes of a second liquidity event.I hope you enjoy my conversation with Brian Elias.------------------------------------------------------------------------This episode is brought to you by Exitwise:  https://www.exitwise.comExitwise helps business owners create the exits they deserve by assembling the best teams of industry specific, M&A experts, who will help maximize the sale of each business.How Does It Work:1. Schedule A Call:  Schedule a call with one of our M&A Advisors and we'll walk you through the entire process of selling your business, from market valuations to M&A expert fees and from due diligence to the signing of your purchase agreement. We're here to answer any questions you may have.On this call, we'll want to learn about the history of the business, your financial performance, your management team and listen to your thoughts and requirements for selling the business so we can make sure to find the best M&A experts to help maximize your exit.2. Review Top Experts:  Once we've had a chance to process all your business information, we'll share with you, our top choices for investment bankers, M&A attorneys, and tax accountants to help maximize the sale of your business.We’ll present each M&A expert’s transaction history, estimated valuation range for your business and their fee structures. Then we’ll talk through the pros and cons of each choice to help you prioritize and make the best decisions.3. Negotiate & Hire:  Finally, when we've narrowed it down to your top choices, we'll negotiate your engagement letter with each M&A expert to make sure fees and terms are fair for everyone. We know what to look for and we know how to keep everyone incentivized for your optimal outcome.Once your M&A experts have been selected and you’re ready to move forward, we’ll collect signatures and get everyone to work.
Today I have a special guest, friend and prolific entrepreneur, Jay Adelson.Jay is a serial entrepreneur, having co-founded and built countless significant companies over the last 20+ years:  Founded Equinix (EQIX) in 1998, eventually helping drive to a successful IPO  Helped launch Digg, Inc. and providing initial business strategy, taking the role of CEO beginning in 2005 Co-founded Revision3, holding roles of CEO and then as Chairman until their sale to Discovery Communications CEO of SimpleGeo, and led the sale to Urban Airship in November, 2011 Co-founded Opsmatic, serving as Chairman and led the sale to New Relic in October, 2015 Currently serves as Chairman and Co-founder at Scorbit, a connected gaming company Currently a Co-founder and General Partner of venture firm Center Electric, LLC Jay's incredible entrepreneurial talents are second to none, so it comes as no surprise that in 2008, Time Magazine named Jay one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in the World.Jay shares some of the lessons he's learned so we can all be a little smarter when it comes time to sell our businesses someday. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Jay Adelson. ------------------------------------------------------------------------This episode is brought to you by Exitwise:  https://www.exitwise.comExitwise helps business owners create the exits they deserve by assembling the best teams of industry specific, M&A experts, who will help maximize the sale of each business.How Does It Work:1. Schedule A Call:  Schedule a call with one of our M&A Advisors and we'll walk you through the entire process of selling your business, from market valuations to M&A expert fees and from due diligence to the signing of your purchase agreement. We're here to answer any questions you may have.On this call, we'll want to learn about the history of the business, your financial performance, your management team and listen to your thoughts and requirements for selling the business so we can make sure to find the best M&A experts to help maximize your exit.2. Review Top Experts:  Once we've had a chance to process all your business information, we'll share with you, our top choices for investment bankers, M&A attorneys, and tax accountants to help maximize the sale of your business.We’ll present each M&A expert’s transaction history, estimated valuation range for your business and their fee structures. Then we’ll talk through the pros and cons of each choice to help you prioritize and make the best decisions.3. Negotiate & Hire:  Finally, when we've narrowed it down to your top choices, we'll negotiate your engagement letter with each M&A expert to make sure fees and terms are fair for everyone. We know what to look for and we know how to keep everyone incentivized for your optimal outcome.Once your M&A experts have been selected and you’re ready to move forward, we’ll collect signatures and get everyone to work.
Today I have a special guest and friend who's been through an IPO and sold his last company to Microsoft.Stephen Cox created his first success as an early employee at PurchasePro, a B2B eCommerce platform, which went public in 1999. Steven followed that up by building TakeLessons, an online music lessons platform to help other musicians and educators connect with students in person and online. Steven, his team and his investors did not find instant success with Take Lessons, but they never gave up.And 14 years later, having raised 19 million from 14 different investors in three rounds, his company TakeLessons became one of the largest live educational sites on the web and was purchased by Microsoft in 2021. Steven Cox shares how he was able to earn, in his words, the emotional equity to convince his board to increase the equity share for some key employees and co-founders of TakeLessons who are not only instrumental in building the take lessons business, but who are critical in making the sale to Microsoft happen.Today's episode is for founders who may find themselves needing to ask investors and their board for a bigger piece of the pie for key employees or themselves to get everyone aligned around the sale of a business.  I hope you enjoy my conversation with Steven Cox. ------------------------------------------------------------------------This episode is brought to you by Exitwise:  https://www.exitwise.comExitwise helps business owners create the exits they deserve by assembling the best teams of industry specific, M&A experts, who will help maximize the sale of each business.How Does It Work:1. Schedule A Call:  Schedule a call with one of our M&A Advisors and we'll walk you through the entire process of selling your business, from market valuations to M&A expert fees and from due diligence to the signing of your purchase agreement. We're here to answer any questions you may have.On this call, we'll want to learn about the history of the business, your financial performance, your management team and listen to your thoughts and requirements for selling the business so we can make sure to find the best M&A experts to help maximize your exit.2. Review Top Experts:  Once we've had a chance to process all your business information, we'll share with you, our top choices for investment bankers, M&A attorneys, and tax accountants to help maximize the sale of your business.We’ll present each M&A expert’s transaction history, estimated valuation range for your business and their fee structures. Then we’ll talk through the pros and cons of each choice to help you prioritize and make the best decisions.3. Negotiate & Hire:  Finally, when we've narrowed it down to your top choices, we'll negotiate your engagement letter with each M&A expert to make sure fees and terms are fair for everyone. We know what to look for and we know how to keep everyone incentivized for your optimal outcome.Once your M&A experts have been selected and you’re ready to move forward, we’ll collect signatures and get everyone to work.
Brandon started in investment banking at Goldman Sachs and then jumped to private equity to learn the tricks of the trade. After graduating from Harvard Business School, Brandon not only started a company, but he also worked in strategy and in M&A roles in multiple industries. Ultimately, Brandon discovered his life changing opportunity as an independent sponsor by purchasing and rolling up dental practices in the Midwest.Five years later, after building up a significant business, Brandon and his partner were approached by a much larger organization to be acquired. For many independent sponsors, buying a business takes incredible skill, patience and persistence.  Success does not happen overnight, and it takes real sacrifice.  Brandon's story is one of systematic and tireless pursuit of improving his personal business skillset while diligently searching for his big opportunity. We hope you enjoy our conversation with Brandon Halcott. ------------------------------------------------------------------------This episode is brought to you by Exitwise:  https://www.exitwise.comExitwise helps business owners create the exits they deserve by assembling the best teams of industry specific, M&A experts, who will help maximize the sale of each business.How Does It Work:1. Schedule A Call:  Schedule a call with one of our M&A Advisors and we'll walk you through the entire process of selling your business, from market valuations to M&A expert fees and from due diligence to the signing of your purchase agreement. We're here to answer any questions you may have.On this call, we'll want to learn about the history of the business, your financial performance, your management team and listen to your thoughts and requirements for selling the business so we can make sure to find the best M&A experts to help maximize your exit.2. Review Top Experts:  Once we've had a chance to process all your business information, we'll share with you, our top choices for investment bankers, M&A attorneys, and tax accountants to help maximize the sale of your business.We’ll present each M&A expert’s transaction history, estimated valuation range for your business and their fee structures. Then we’ll talk through the pros and cons of each choice to help you prioritize and make the best decisions.3. Negotiate & Hire:  Finally, when we've narrowed it down to your top choices, we'll negotiate your engagement letter with each M&A expert to make sure fees and terms are fair for everyone. We know what to look for and we know how to keep everyone incentivized for your optimal outcome.Once your M&A experts have been selected and you’re ready to move forward, we’ll collect signatures and get everyone to work.
Larry is a recognized industry expert in the field of Customer Experience and the author of two books, Managing Forward and recently published Innovating Analytics. Larry founded ForeSee Results to provide multichannel customer satisfaction analytics and analysis to clients worldwide in a variety of industries including retail, government, healthcare, finance, education and more. Larry grew the company from inception to a successful exit at the end of 2013.  In this episode, Larry tells the story of an extremely complicated dual sales process - preparing the company for IPO while also negotiating with a Private Equity firm on a full sale of the business.  Listen to hear how Larry managed both paths, and how the story eventually turned out.We hope you enjoy our conversation with Larry Freed.------------------------------------------------------------------------This episode is brought to you by Exitwise:  https://www.exitwise.comExitwise helps business owners create the exits they deserve by assembling the best teams of industry specific, M&A experts, who will help maximize the sale of each business.How Does It Work:1. Schedule A Call:  Schedule a call with one of our M&A Advisors and we'll walk you through the entire process of selling your business, from market valuations to M&A expert fees and from due diligence to the signing of your purchase agreement. We're here to answer any questions you may have.On this call, we'll want to learn about the history of the business, your financial performance, your management team and listen to your thoughts and requirements for selling the business so we can make sure to find the best M&A experts to help maximize your exit.2. Review Top Experts:  Once we've had a chance to process all your business information, we'll share with you, our top choices for investment bankers, M&A attorneys, and tax accountants to help maximize the sale of your business.We’ll present each M&A expert’s transaction history, estimated valuation range for your business and their fee structures. Then we’ll talk through the pros and cons of each choice to help you prioritize and make the best decisions.3. Negotiate & Hire:  Finally, when we've narrowed it down to your top choices, we'll negotiate your engagement letter with each M&A expert to make sure fees and terms are fair for everyone. We know what to look for and we know how to keep everyone incentivized for your optimal outcome.Once your M&A experts have been selected and you’re ready to move forward, we’ll collect signatures and get everyone to work.
Shane Bliemaster has the interesting perspective of working for three companies that were acquired, the last of which was his own.   He went through his first M&A transaction as an employee of Peanut Labs, which was acquired by e-Rewards in 2010. Then he was part of the founding team of MoviePass, which was acquired in 2017. And finally, his last exit was as the founder of Marketing Supply Company, which he sold to Phenomenon in 2021.Now because of Shane's previous experience with M&A, he decided to sell this last business without hiring an investment banker.  In today's conversation, we'll explore how he made that decision, any advice he has for our fellow founders that might be in a similar position, and in hindsight, did he make the right call?We hope you enjoy our conversation with Shane Bliemaster.------------------------------------------------------------------------This episode is brought to you by Exitwise:  https://www.exitwise.comExitwise helps business owners create the exits they deserve by assembling the best teams of industry specific, M&A experts, who will help maximize the sale of each business.How Does It Work:1. Schedule A Call:  Schedule a call with one of our M&A Advisors and we'll walk you through the entire process of selling your business, from market valuations to M&A expert fees and from due diligence to the signing of your purchase agreement. We're here to answer any questions you may have.On this call, we'll want to learn about the history of the business, your financial performance, your management team and listen to your thoughts and requirements for selling the business so we can make sure to find the best M&A experts to help maximize your exit.2. Review Top Experts:  Once we've had a chance to process all your business information, we'll share with you, our top choices for investment bankers, M&A attorneys, and tax accountants to help maximize the sale of your business.We’ll present each M&A expert’s transaction history, estimated valuation range for your business and their fee structures. Then we’ll talk through the pros and cons of each choice to help you prioritize and make the best decisions.3. Negotiate & Hire:  Finally, when we've narrowed it down to your top choices, we'll negotiate your engagement letter with each M&A expert to make sure fees and terms are fair for everyone. We know what to look for and we know how to keep everyone incentivized for your optimal outcome.Once your M&A experts have been selected and you’re ready to move forward, we’ll collect signatures and get everyone to work.
Josh has been the founder and CEO of five tech companies, which sold for a combined value of over 200 million. He's an internationally recognized expert on innovation and the author of four books on the subject. Josh is an accomplished venture capitalist as founding partner of both Detroit Venture Partners and his latest firm, Mudita Venture Partners.In today's episode, Josh goes deep into his entrepreneurial journey at ePrize - a desperate search for investment, mid-stream offers, a recapitalization of the business, a well thought succession plan, and an incredible exit.  Josh also highlights his experiences with both highly qualified & specialized bankers, as well as one banker that cost him several million dollars in his first exit.We hope you enjoy our conversation with Josh Linkner.------------------------------------------------------------------------This episode is brought to you by Exitwise:  https://www.exitwise.comExitwise helps business owners create the exits they deserve by assembling the best teams of industry specific, M&A experts, who will help maximize the sale of each business.How Does It Work:1. Schedule A Call:  Schedule a call with one of our M&A Advisors and we'll walk you through the entire process of selling your business, from market valuations to M&A expert fees and from due diligence to the signing of your purchase agreement. We're here to answer any questions you may have.On this call, we'll want to learn about the history of the business, your financial performance, your management team and listen to your thoughts and requirements for selling the business so we can make sure to find the best M&A experts to help maximize your exit.2. Review Top Experts:  Once we've had a chance to process all your business information, we'll share with you, our top choices for investment bankers, M&A attorneys, and tax accountants to help maximize the sale of your business.We’ll present each M&A expert’s transaction history, estimated valuation range for your business and their fee structures. Then we’ll talk through the pros and cons of each choice to help you prioritize and make the best decisions.3. Negotiate & Hire:  Finally, when we've narrowed it down to your top choices, we'll negotiate your engagement letter with each M&A expert to make sure fees and terms are fair for everyone. We know what to look for and we know how to keep everyone incentivized for your optimal outcome.Once your M&A experts have been selected and you’re ready to move forward, we’ll collect signatures and get everyone to work.
On today's episode we hear from Rick Marini.  Rick is a serial entrepreneur with 25 years of operating and investing experience in the technology space. He founded and successfully sold 3 companies (Tickle, BranchOut and Talk.co). He is an active angel investor in 50 tech start-ups including 17 unicorns (including Snapchat, Reddit, Opendoor, and AngelList).  In 2018, Rick was named a "Top 50 Angel Investor" by Forbes. Rick is also the Co-founder & Managing Partner of Catapult Capital - a private equity firm that focuses on transactions in the Internet, advertising, media, consumer and broader technology sectors. Full buyouts include Grindr and JibJab. Rick currently serves as the COO of Grindr and on the Board of Directors for JibJab.Rick was the Founder & CEO of BranchOut, the largest professional network leveraging the social graph with more than 800 million professional profiles. BranchOut raised $49 million in funding from Accel, Redpoint, Mayfield, Norwest and Floodgate. In 2014, BranchOut was acquired by a publicly-traded recruiting company.Rick was Founder & CEO of Talk.co, an enterprise messaging app. In 2014, Talk.co was acquired by Hearst Corporation. Rick ran the Digital Innovation Group at Hearst from 2014-2016.In 1999, Rick co-founded Tickle.com, one of the largest social media sites on the Internet. In 2002, Tickle won the “Rising Star” Webby Award as the fastest growing site on the Web. Tickle grew to more than 200 million registered users and was a top 20 Internet site. In 2004, Monster Worldwide acquired Tickle for $100 million.Beyond Rick's depth of knowledge and experience, he is an amazing human being - he generously gives his time to coach and mentor early-stage companies and is a huge advocate for new founders looking for advice, support, and investment in Silicon Valley.------------------------------------------------------------------------This episode is brought to you by Exitwise:  https://www.exitwise.comExitwise helps business owners create the exits they deserve by assembling the best teams of industry specific, M&A experts, who will help maximize the sale of each business.How Does It Work:1. Schedule A Call:  Schedule a call with one of our M&A Advisors and we'll walk you through the entire process of selling your business, from market valuations to M&A expert fees and from due diligence to the signing of your purchase agreement. We're here to answer any questions you may have.On this call, we'll want to learn about the history of the business, your financial performance, your management team and listen to your thoughts and requirements for selling the business so we can make sure to find the best M&A experts to help maximize your exit.2. Review Top Experts:  Once we've had a chance to process all your business information, we'll share with you, our top choices for investment bankers, M&A attorneys, and tax accountants to help maximize the sale of your business.We’ll present each M&A expert’s transaction history, estimated valuation range for your business and their fee structures. Then we’ll talk through the pros and cons of each choice to help you prioritize and make the best decisions.3. Negotiate & Hire:  Finally, when we've narrowed it down to your top choices, we'll negotiate your engagement letter with each M&A expert to make sure fees and terms are fair for everyone. We know what to look for and we know how to keep everyone incentivized for your optimal outcome.Once your M&A experts have been selected and you’re ready to move forward, we’ll collect signatures and get everyone to work.
Today, Itai Ben-Gal joins the podcast to talk about how he took his passion for home audio and video to build, scale, and eventually sell iRule to a strategic investor.  You'll learn how he raised capital through a variety of channels - angel funding, venture capital and strategic investors, navigated a complicated sale, and how he and his business partner managed a very complex earn-out.  He even talks through how he used his iRule exit to "accidentally" start his next company, Nerdy Bunny.Itai has some of the best personal and professional advice we’ve ever heard for our fellow founders going through and M&A process - we hope you enjoy the conversation with Itai.------------------------------------------------------------------------This episode is brought to you by Exitwise:  https://www.exitwise.comExitwise helps business owners create the exits they deserve by assembling the best teams of industry specific, M&A experts, who will help maximize the sale of each business.How Does It Work:1. Schedule A Call:  Schedule a call with one of our M&A Advisors and we'll walk you through the entire process of selling your business, from market valuations to M&A expert fees and from due diligence to the signing of your purchase agreement. We're here to answer any questions you may have.On this call, we'll want to learn about the history of the business, your financial performance, your management team and listen to your thoughts and requirements for selling the business so we can make sure to find the best M&A experts to help maximize your exit.2. Review Top Experts:  Once we've had a chance to process all your business information, we'll share with you, our top choices for investment bankers, M&A attorneys, and tax accountants to help maximize the sale of your business.We’ll present each M&A expert’s transaction history, estimated valuation range for your business and their fee structures. Then we’ll talk through the pros and cons of each choice to help you prioritize and make the best decisions.3. Negotiate & Hire:  Finally, when we've narrowed it down to your top choices, we'll negotiate your engagement letter with each M&A expert to make sure fees and terms are fair for everyone. We know what to look for and we know how to keep everyone incentivized for your optimal outcome.Once your M&A experts have been selected and you’re ready to move forward, we’ll collect signatures and get everyone to work.
Ben Lewis has had two significant exits that we cover in Episode 1 of Cashing Out.  The first was Tapjoy, an extremely successful mobile ads platform doing more than $100M in revenue, which Ben sold to Offerpal in 2010.  There was a big internal debate of whether Ben and his co-founder should sell the business when they did, and what ultimately happened with the business.Ben's next business was called Karma Science which was a social commerce app focused on helping people give meaningful gifts from their mobile phones. Karma was acquired by Facebook just hours before Facebook went public in 2012 - there are a ton of learning that came out of that experience, and there are a few great Mark Zuckerberg stories, as well.------------------------------------------------------------------------This episode is brought to you by Exitwise:  https://www.exitwise.comExitwise helps business owners create the exits they deserve by assembling the best teams of industry specific, M&A experts, who will help maximize the sale of each business.How Does It Work:1. Schedule A Call:  Schedule a call with one of our M&A Advisors and we'll walk you through the entire process of selling your business, from market valuations to M&A expert fees and from due diligence to the signing of your purchase agreement. We're here to answer any questions you may have.On this call, we'll want to learn about the history of the business, your financial performance, your management team and listen to your thoughts and requirements for selling the business so we can make sure to find the best M&A experts to help maximize your exit.2. Review Top Experts:  Once we've had a chance to process all your business information, we'll share with you, our top choices for investment bankers, M&A attorneys, and tax accountants to help maximize the sale of your business.We’ll present each M&A expert’s transaction history, estimated valuation range for your business and their fee structures. Then we’ll talk through the pros and cons of each choice to help you prioritize and make the best decisions.3. Negotiate & Hire:  Finally, when we've narrowed it down to your top choices, we'll negotiate your engagement letter with each M&A expert to make sure fees and terms are fair for everyone. We know what to look for and we know how to keep everyone incentivized for your optimal outcome.Once your M&A experts have been selected and you’re ready to move forward, we’ll collect signatures and get everyone to work.
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