A podcast series featuring all things related to search funds and entrepreneurship through acquisition. Hosted by Brian O'Connor, Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business and Managing Partner of NextGen Growth Partners.
Celebrating an Exit at T Base Communications
Brian chats with Trevor Lwin, MBA ’12, about his round trip ETA journey. Trevor discusses his introduction to the model during his time as an executive MBA student at Chicago Booth, his keys to a successful partner search, advice on intermediaries, and his experience operating T Base, a proprietary software company that converts documents for people who have vision impairments. Trevor also goes into detail about his recent sale of T Base to Thompson Street Partners and what he has planned next.
Family Business Lessons for ETA Searchers and Operators
Jamie Shah, MBA ’13, joins the podcast to talk about family enterprise and her experiences after joining her family’s company Chem-Impex Intl. Jamie shares the entrepreneurial roots of her father and the laboratory science product supplier, Chem-Implex Intl., that he started from scratch. Jamie discusses her role within the business and the operational strategies and impulses that guide her work as she tries to support growth within the company. Jamie also shares advice for searchers approaching family-owned businesses and the unique strengths and potential complications of working within a family-owned business, whether a member of the family or joining a family firm.
Celebrating a Growth Recapitalization at Applied Data Corporation
Brian is joined by frequent podcast guest, Shamus Hines, MBA '15, and Chicago Booth professor Steve Morrissette, MBA '90, to discuss the exciting growth recapitalization of Shamus’ company Applied Data Corporation (ADC). Shamus talks about ADC’s switch to providing their clients with a SaaS platform and the recapitalization that will allow ADC to enter a new growth stage. Professor Morrissette recounts his history with Shamus from the classroom, where as a student, Shamus actually introduced him to the ETA model. And later, how Professor Morrissette served as an investor and advisor in Shamus’ initial purchase of ADC in 2017.
Reid Tileston's Self-Funded Search "An A+ in Diligence"
Reid Tileston, MBA '15, and Brian O'Connor discuss the in depth, and often, involved diligence efforts that Reid went through in purchasing Giddings Hawkins, a company that he acquired through a self-funded search. Reid is a one of a kind guest and his stories are impactful and, at times, humorous-from daily cold showers to racing up skyscraper stairs and cleaning Southern Wisconsin's grease traps. Reid's stories from his first year as an operator cover a number of lessons about assessing risk and what to do as an operator when faced with a worst-case scenario. He also provides honest advice for entrepreneurs considering the self-funded route.
Update on the ETA Journey: New Operators During Covid 19
On this episode of the ETA podcast Brian re-visits (previously featured on the 2018 episode Navigating Your Search) Booth alums Jessica Markowitz, MBA '13 and Trista Engel, MBA ’13. Jessica and Trista give an update on their acquisition of Paragon Legal, a San Francisco-based legal services firm, and their quick transition from searchers to new operators to business leaders during a pandemic. Jessica and Trista also discuss some lessons on building a great partnership, their focus on a culture of integrity, advice for entrepreneurs considering ETA amid a pandemic, and the landscape for women in ETA.
Creating Better Products and Businesses-Jerry Callahan's Inventive Entrepreneurship
“Well there’s gotta be a better way to do this!” This is the rallying cry of HeatWorks CEO Jerry Callahan, MBA ’88. From cardboard point of purchase displays, to summer bbqs, and hot showers, there is a good chance one of Jerry Callahan’s ideas has made your life easier. Jerry graciously visits the pod to talk about his successful career developing and improving products and companies through invention and acquisition.
Great information, very helpful resource for aspiring ETA entrepreneurs
Great show for EtA!
Feedback for host: beware rambling questions... less is more. Let guest speak