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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.
My guest on this episode is a person who writes anonymously on Twitter under the pseudonym Clearing Fog. We connected a few months ago on Twitter and in this episode we talk about his career in investment banking and private equity, why he writes anonymously and his thoughts on writing publicly, and what he’s thinking about next.
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.
This is my second episode hearing from investors on how they are adapting their companies, this time with Justin Turner from Traction Capital Partners.
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.
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.
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.
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.
My guest 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 unique. For one, it’s one of very few search funds I’ve seen run by two searchers instead of one, and two, they are continuing to look for further acquisitions.
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 community that resonates with small, midwest business owners.
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.
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.
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.
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 Capital.
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 interesting to them.
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.
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 permanent capital vehicle, which is what made them so interesting to me.
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 as the CEO.
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.
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 permanent equity.
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