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A.J. Gordon runs Gordon Aluminum in Schofield, WI, a company that was founded by his grandfather, passed to A.J.’s father, and eventually to A.J. himself. The company has a fascinating story told in great detail that includes machines breaking down, closing business lines, multiple recessions, and a lightning strike that set fire to their offices a…
 
I interview many folks with unique backgrounds and Jared is among the most unique. Jared worked at NASA, then McKinsey, got his MBA at Harvard, then alternated between working at McKinsey and Teach for America, ran for governor of Arkansas, and last year became the CEO of Assist Services. Assist is a Portland based transportation company for underp…
 
My guest today is Collin Hathaway. Collin runs a small micro private equity fund in Seattle, WA called Skylight Capital and has developed a strong core competence in plumbing, HVAC, roofing, and other home services businesses. He also has one of the most interesting stories I’ve heard of getting into micro private equity. During the episode we talk…
 
My two guests for this episode are Ryan Lechner and Nico Gimenez who have raised a traditional search fund together as partners called Bonsai Group and are a few months into their search. I’ve had searchers with partners on the podcast before, Sam Rosati being a great example, but I haven’t had them on the podcast before together. What made this ep…
 
My guest is Brian Vanderheyden who ran a search from Chicago starting in 2015 and 2 years later in 2017 acquired a company called Richmond Alarm Company in Richmond, VA. Richmond Alarm was founded 73 years ago and Brian acquired the business from the founder’s two sons who had taken over the business from the father. During the episode we talk abou…
 
My guest today is Scott Picker. Scott was born and raised in Oregon and went to college at Washington State University where he majored in agriculture education and horticulture, before starting Aspen Creek Landscaping in Sherwood, Oregon. Over the last 20 years, Scott has built a 55 employee landscape construction and maintenance company focused o…
 
Most of the investors I’ve had on the podcast aren’t interested in consumer businesses, which is precisely why I wanted to talk to a consumer focused investor. Enter Ben Rudman. Ben is the founder of Charis Consumer Partners, a consumer focused independent sponsor, and has a passion for consumer businesses that is hard to resist. In this conversati…
 
My guest today, Mason Myers, has spent the last 10 years building an incredible investment vehicle called Greybull Stewardship. With Greybull, Mason has acquired 11 portfolio companies with an evergreen fund structure with opportunities for LPs to add or withdraw capital only every four years. This structure gives Greybull a very long time horizon …
 
My guest today, Joel Blake, has a fascinated story about how he became an owner of a manufacturing sales company called Marketing Technologies. Before acquiring, Joel first worked for the company as an employee before he and another partner took over the business from the two retiring owners. Joel calls this model entrepreneurship through apprentic…
 
I’ve done a few search fund focused episodes, for instance last week’s episode focused on life during a search. In this episode exploring search funds, Betsy Brandt joins me to talk her preparation in launching her search fund, Forest Park Capital. I wanted to hear more about how a search fund is planned, the benefits of an MBA program, how capital…
 
I continue exploring search funds and with this episode I talk with a searcher who is in the middle of the process and thus is experiencing it’s ups and downs live. My guest, Jules Brenner, runs a self-funded search called Manufacturing Succession and as the name implies is focused on acquiring a manufacturing company. Jules has an interesting back…
 
Trish Higgins was the guest on my very first podcast episode and was kind enough to share her time with me when I had no downloads, no show, and no website. Funny enough, that first episode is still my most downloaded episode to date. A lot has happened since then and I’m very excited to have Trish on the show for a second episode. In this episode,…
 
I’m continuing to focus on specific themes within small company investing and this episode focuses on owner outreach during a search. My guests for this episode are JR De Agostini and Max Artz from Peterson Partners who ran their own search and are now running the search investment fund at Peterson. Our conversation covers how to craft your message…
 
I’ve wanted to record a few episodes that focus on specific themes, industries, and strategies around acquiring small companies and this episode is the first in a few to come. My guest today is an anonymous Twitter account named Defensive Capital who I’ve gotten to know over the past few months. True to the account’s name, he works in supply chain …
 
My guest Ali Aydar has a fascinating background. Today he’s the CEO of Sporcle, an online trivia business, but earlier he worked in various venture backed companies playing the finite game and decided to play the infinite game at Sporcle instead. He is the first business owner on the podcast and we talk about operating a business through tough time…
 
My guests today come from the recently created ESOP holding company called Empowered Ventures which today owns TVF, a textiles company in Indianapolis. Chris Fredericks is the President of TVF and Empowered Ventures and will be joined by Spencer Springer full time once Spencer’s MBA program with Northwestern is wrapped up. During this episode we ta…
 
My guest today is Greg Geronemus. Greg and his partner David Rosner founded a search fund named Footbridge Partners after their time at Harvard Business School and acquired a tour operating company called smarTours. Four years later they sold smarTours to a private equity firm and raised a fund to invest in other searchers. Greg and David take a mo…
 
This is my second episode hearing from investors on how they are adapting their companies, this time with Justin Turner from Traction Capital Partners. For more background on Justin and Traction, I recommend listening to our earlier episode, episode 4, with Justin and their associate Peter Bell. In this episode, Justin talks about how his two portf…
 
I recorded this episode with Mikel Berger from Little Engine Ventures and another with Justin Turner from Traction Capital Partners to hear from investors on what’s going on in their companies today. I asked Mikel what he’s seeing in his portfolio companies, community, and what he’s been advising his companies to do. I hope this helps you when look…
 
My guest on this episode is Michael Girdley who is chairman and head of strategy of Dura Software, a holding company that acquires small software companies based in San Antonio. Michael is also a co-founder of Geekdom Fund, a small venture firm, and a co-founder of Codeup, a coding bootcamp in San Antonio. I’ve had guests from software on the show …
 
My guest on this episode is Will Schoeberlein. Will started his career in investment banking and private equity before taking a leap to Southeast Asia to work on startups and software. He finished his time in Asia in Japan where he met his wife and he has since developed a small company acquisition thesis on the Japanese market. In the episode we d…
 
My guests on this episode are Lui Pangiarella and Akram Sabbagh from Second Squared, an emerging search fund accelerator looking to bring the search fund model to Australia for the first time. The three of us discussed educating the marketplace, the mindsets of investors and owners in Australia compared to other countries, how they view themselves …
 
My guest on this episode is Sam Rosati who, along with his brother Joey, ran a search fund called Pursuant Capital in the Tampa area and acquired a waste management broker called Alpha Dumpsters. There are a couple pieces about Sam and Joey’s story that are unique. For one, it’s one of very few search funds I’ve seen run by two searchers instead of…
 
My guest, Mikel Berger, is the co-founder and partner of Little Engine Ventures, along with co-founder Daryl Starr. Little Engine Ventures is a very unique investment firm in the already unique world of small company investing. They have a strong regional focus of companies within a 2 hour drive of Lafayette, IN and are building a firm, brand, and …
 
My guest on this episode is Tim Ludwig, managing partner of Ohana Capital in San Diego. Tim is a search fund investor through Ohana and has extensive experience, having invested in 75 deals over his career. More recently, Tim has been investing in companies directly rather than investing in searchers through a fund. During our conversation, we cove…
 
My guest on this episode is Andy Ellis, a managing partner of Localize Capital in Pittsburgh which, as the name suggests, focuses on investing in companies and entrepreneurs around the Pittsburgh area. Little known fact about me, I used to live in Pittsburgh as a young kid and was extra excited for this conversation because of that. Andy grew up in…
 
My guest today is Kevin Graham, an Australian native living in Thailand running a web hosting company called Site Arrow, which he uses as his acquisition vehicle to buy other web hosting companies. The topic of software in micro private equity has come up more and more often and has been a recent focus of mine to learn more about, and Kevin was ver…
 
This space has some of the most unique backgrounds and my guest on this episode is no exception. David Krock joined a band as their drummer coming out of high school, did not go to college, and wound up starting a recording studio which led him on a path to entrepreneurship and micro PE investing, which he does today through his firm Sunset Coast C…
 
This episode is unique and is a joint episode with Karen Spencer from Searchfunder, Walker Deibel, and myself, and is something I'm calling "Author's Chat." I recently sent out a survey to see what content listeners and readers might enjoy hearing most and many of them said that conversations with authors of books relevant to micro PE would be inte…
 
My fifth guest of the show is Nick Haschka, an MIT graduate living in San Francisco focused on buying small private companies through his firm Cub Investments, along with two other partners. Together, they recently purchased a business called The Wright Gardner which provides interior plant leasing and maintenance services to companies in the bay a…
 
Today I'm chatting with Peter Bell and Justin Turner from Traction Capital Partners in Tacoma, WA, just south of Seattle. Peter and Justin both reached out over Twitter and the more I learned about their firm, the more interesting to me it became. Traction is a small private equity firm that blurs the lines between a private equity fund and a perma…
 
This is my first conversation on this podcast with more than one person. I'm meeting with the team from Searchfunder.com, an online community dedicated to search funds and the various parties involved. A search fund is the smallest form of micro private equity I've found thusfar and is typically one entrepreneur seeking out a company to buy and run…
 
My conversation today is with Mike Boyd. Mike is originally from Brisbane, Australia and currently lives in Singapore where he runs one of the leading car rental comparison websites in the world - Vroom, Vroom, Vroom, among other portfolio companies. He has been an entrepreneur for virtually his entire life, starting at a very young age. Mike built…
 
For the first conversation of the podcast, I'm meeting with Trish Higgins who, along with her husband James Higgins and brother-in-law Palmer Higgins, run Chenmark Capital in Portland, Maine. Chenmark Capital acquires and operates small companies for the long term using their own capital, with no intention of selling - a perfect example of permanen…
 
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