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Think Like An Owner

The Think Like an Owner podcast seeks out conversations with small company owners and investors to learn how to acquire and run small companies, with a focus on search funds, micro private equity, and permanent capital.


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Viewing Topic: Search Funds

Lacey Wismer – Getting More Women in Search – Ep. 37

My guest on this episode is Lacey Wismer. Lacey runs her recently started search investment fund called Hunter Search Capital and has been conducting research on female searchers and unique challenges they encounter while seeking and operating a business. We talk extensively about women in search along with how she’s seen the model grow over her career, alternative models in search, constructing a searcher’s board, and how she’s instilling entrepreneurial

Rich Jordan – Buying a Small Plumbing Business – Ep. 36

Rich bought a home service plumbing business only a few short weeks ago in Pennsylvania. During the episode we talk about Rich’s first few days in the business getting his hands dirty, fighting off competing offers for his plumbers from competitors, and a few moves he’s done to grow revenue 60% in only 8 weeks of ownership.

Mark Sinatra – Going Off-Playbook as CEO – Ep. 35

My guest, Mark Sinatra, raised a traditional search fund with a partner in 2006 after graduated from Wharton and a year and a half later acquired an HR company called Staff One HR. I’ll let him tell the full story but there were significant ups and downs running the company including moving the company from Southern Oklahoma to Dallas, managing staff turnover of roughly 85% during that move, and losing their biggest customer who was 30% of their revenue.

Ryan Lechner & Nico Gimenez – Searching with a Partner – Ep. 31

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.

Brian Vanderheyden – Owner of Richmond Alarm Company – Ep. 30

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.

Joel Blake – Entrepreneurship through Apprenticeship – Ep. 26

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 apprenticeship and it’s a major topic of our discussion.

Betsy Brandt – Preparing to Search – Ep. 25

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.

Jules Brenner – Life as a Searcher – Ep. 24

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.

JR De Agostini & Max Artz – All About Owner Outreach – Ep. 22

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.

Defensive Capital – Searching in the Defense Industry – Ep. 21

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 in the defense industry and our conversation focuses on opportunities for entrepreneurs and searchers in the industry.

Clearing Fog – Ep. 18

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.

Greg Geronemus, Footbridge Partners – Ep. 17

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.

Will Schoeberlein, Golden Southeast – Ep. 13

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. 

Sam Rosati, Pursuant Capital – Ep. 11

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.

Tim Ludwig, Ohana Capital – Ep. 9

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.

Author’s Chat: Walker Deibel & Searchfunder.com

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.

Nick Haschka, Cub Investments – Ep. 5

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.

Team from Searchfunder.com – Ep. 3

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.

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