TOMORROW NIGHT, on Tuesday, June 6, 2017 at 630pm, I will serve as moderator for the Boston Entrepreneurs’ Network (ENET), meeting with three speakers that I recruited on this subject, at the group’s Waltham location: Constant Contact, 1601 Trapelo Rd., 3rd Floor, Great Room, Waltham, Massachusetts (Exit 28, I-95/Route 128)
You are one of them…a dedicated entrepreneur, who has poured his or her heart and sweat into the venture. Does this single-minded dedication to launch and grow the business have to exclude thoughts of potential future exits? On the contrary, an exit strategy is an important element of the overall business strategy that describes the vision of how you will eventually capitalize on your investment. This is important because the decisions about how you structure and operate the business can have huge implications down the road.
Let us hear from experienced panelists, who have prepared companies and participated in successful exits that have come in various sizes and forms. They will talk about exit strategy planning and, just as important, what exits look and feel like in real life to an entrepreneur, an investor and M& A advisors.
630-730 PM Registration & networking
730-740 PM ENET Chairman’s announcements
740-755 PM E Minute – Up to 3 Startup companies’ presentations
755-845 PM – 3 or 4 expert speakers on the night’s topic
845-900 PM – Audience / Speakers Q & A
900-930 PM – Final networking including meeting speakers
Kerri Salls, founder of This Way Out Group LLC
Kerri Salls is entrusted by owners to reduce risk and maximize value, transforming an income generating business into a wealth producing asset owners can monetize, using exit planning as a framework. A thought leader in the field, Kerri is the host of the podcast Exit This Way, author of HARVEST Your Wealth, Don’t Murder Your Business, How to Manage a Gaggle of Advisors to Build Your All-Star Exit Team, and the home-study program: Selling Your Business for Maximum Profits, and co-author of Why Plan For Due Diligence in The Sale Of My Company? Her articles are published by the Alliance of Merger & Acquisition Advisors, M&A Source, the Exit Planning Exchange and numerous directories. Kerri received an MBA from Boston University in operations management and international marketing. After the Peace Corps, Kerri started her career at MITRE Corporation, Data General, and at Honeywell (on the first ATM project) and went on to manage projects from $10- 50M at Atex Publishing Systems, New England Business Systems and others before specializing in Exit Planning in 2005. She has written almost 20 articles in this field that include –
One Hidden Asset That Drives Your Company’s Value;
Growth Vs. Value: Not All Revenue Is Created Equally;
Attract The Attention Of Your Ideal Acquirer 5 Ways
Top 10 Questions To Start Thinking About Value Enhancement
Do You Want To Make The Most Money Possible When You Sell Your Business?
What’s Your Exit Strategy? One industry discussion
Peter Alternative, Partner, Mirus Capital Advisors
Peter brings 20 years of experience advising middle market, technology-based companies. He has been a financial advisor to both public and closely-held companies on divestitures, capital raising, recapitalizations, strategic acquisitions, mergers and cross-border transactions. He has managed and closed dozens of engagements with companies in numerous segments of information technology and professional services, with a focus on enterprise software. Peter has spoken to a number of executive groups, including Gartner Research Emerging Technology conference, the EO Birthing of Giants program at the MIT Enterprise Forum, The CFO Roundtable and The Financial Management Association on topics ranging from capital markets to mergers and acquisitions. He has been interviewed and/or published by a number of publications including The Daily Deal, Mass High Tech, Mergers and Acquisitions Magazine, CBS Marketwatch, MergerMarket and Tech Biz. Peter is also a guest lecturer at Bentley University. Before joining Mirus, Peter was a financial analyst for CFO Strategies, a Boston-based financial consulting firm that provides interim CFO services to venture-funded technology startups. Peter began his business career as a founding member of two entertainment startups. Peter is a member of the Entrepreneurs Organization, the Bentley University Executives Club and the Boston chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth, where he is its past President. Peter sits on several other boards holds Series 7, 63 and 79 FINRA certifications. Peter received an MBA with high distinction from Bentley University’s McCallum Graduate School of Business, and a BA in Political Science from Hobart College. See http://merger.com/selling-a-business/overview/
Christopher Crane, President and Chairman of Vartopia LLC, a high-tech SaaS provider, as well as owner of hotels and restaurants in York Maine.
Originally a math high-school teach, Mr. Crane became an entrepreneur in the early 80’s selling and programming Digital Equipment Corporation mini computers. Over the ensuing years’ Mr. Crane, with a partner, purchased many similar companies that were in financial difficulties and created a public company with five vertical market divisions called ASA International. In 1996, Mr. Crane left the company and purchased and ran TradePoint System, a supplier of software to the International Trade industry. In 2004 Mr. Crane sold TradePoint systems and then returned to ASA to help dismantle the public company and sell two of the company’s divisions.
Tweet this event
If you use Twitter and would like to tweet this event, here are my 5 tweets and re-tweets that you are welcome to re-tweet or use for your own tweets about this event –
@IEEEbostonYP Join @BostonENET 6/6/17: M&A and Successful Exits RSVP http://boston-enet.org/event-2314327?utm_source=TwitterIEEEbostonYP&utm_campaign=060617 … #BosENET #MergersAndAcquisitions #M&A #startups
@KerriSalls peter alternative chris crane @attorneyadelson on #M&A Successful #Exits @BosENET 6/6 @constantcontact https://ctt.ec/d3TJ4+
@KerriSalls speaks on building #startup #value for successful #exits #M&A @BosENET Tue 6/6 -630pm @constantcontact https://ctt.ec/d3TJ4+
@attorneyadelson moderates for 3 speakers on #merger #M&A Successful #Exits @BosENET 6/6 @constantcontact https://ctt.ec/d3TJ4+ #startups
Hopefully, this meeting on building value in your startup company, M&A and successful exits will be helpful to entrepreneurs in small and early stage companies I represent. Hope to see you at Constant Contact 630pm tomorrow night!
My Continuing role as ENET Chairman and frequent speaker & moderator…
I remain active in ENET, a Waltham and Cambridge based non-profit group, affiliated with IEEE, that aids tech and life science founders, entrepreneurs, small and early stage companies, and people who invest or work in those companies. www.boston-enet.org
A member of the ENET Board since 2002, I have served as Chairman of this non-profit group since 2009. In May 2015, I was elected to my fourth 2-year term as ENET Chair. During the period of my leadership, ENET’s annual program has grown from 10 meetings per year to 19 for 2015-16 year just completed: 10 meetings in Waltham, and 9 in Kendall Square Cambridge, plus our annual cruise of Boston Harbor to end the program year. Each meeting has three or more speakers on a subject of interest to entrepreneurs and company founders, in life science, tech and other areas of New England’s innovation economy. Each meeting also has ample networking time before and after the presentations to allow entrepreneurs to meet each other and later meet with the speakers
On January 30, 2016, at a ceremony at the national meeting of IEEE-USA in Las Vegas, NV, the President of that organization Peter Eckstein (pictured below) presented me with the IEEE-USA professional achievement award for “extreme dedication and contributions to the IEEE entrepreneurial community”. For more information on that award, see LINK: http://www.boston-enet.org/IEEE-USA-Professional-Achievement-Award
Besides my work as ENET Chair, I have organized and moderated three of ENET’s meetings of the current 2016-2017 program year and five (5) meetings in the 2015-16 program year, just completed.
Five weeks ago, on March 21, 2017, I was meeting organizer and moderator for ENET’s meeting at Cambridge location at Pivotal Labs just outside Kendall Square. We had 50 in attendance for our presentation on “Sales Models – Online, Inside, and Field Sales – How and When to Choose a Sales Model for Your Startup”.
On March 21, our first focus will be to help the founders with the question of how and when to choose a sales model for your startup company. In that early stage the goal should be to start to generate sales as soon as possible, with a minimum viable product. This is the first phase of customer discovery and validation, to establish an impactful value proposition. As Jack Derby (one of our speakers) has written ” At the outset, just focus on selling some stuff for the simple purpose of having customers who are paying you money and from whom you can learn the following:
- Why they bought your product
- How they are using those same products
- What do they want to see in the future, so that …
- You have the ability to work closely with these early customers and determine the financial value that they receive at their companies.
The company will next want to determine a scalable selling platform and a cost-effective sales model. We will then have focused on the different sales models on which our three speakers were each expert. Our three March 21 ENET speakers are pictured and named below.
- Jack Derby is Head Coach and President @ Derby Management,a 25-year-old boutique management consulting firm, focuses its expertise in three primary services for its 400+ customers: Business & Strategic Planning; Sales & Marketing Productivity Improvement; Senior Management Development Coachin www.derbymanagement.com/ He is an active angel investor and past Chairman of Common Angels, rebranded to Converge Venture, as well as a major figure in the New England entrepreneurial landscape having served as the Chair of the MIT Enterprise Forum, Association for Corporate Growth and number for profit and non-profit boards. He has also taught as MIT and Tufts, where students at the latter voted him “Teacher of the Year.”
- Mark Ruthfield, Vice President of Sales, Executive Team @t Zafus, which empowers B2C marketers to maximize customer lifetime revenue..https://www.zaius.com/ Mark is a Sales Business Leader, Executive Management Team Leader, Corporate Officer with over 20+ years of business experience in leading technology companies in start-up, turn-around, and accelerated growth situations.
- Liz Cain, VP Go-To-Market @ OpenView Venture Partners – Building repeatable and scalable customer acquisition models, Liz has worked in many areas of a software as a service company including technical support, event and customer marketing, sales operations, client/account management and inside sales. I currently oversee OpenView Go-to-Market practice delivering recruiting, market insights and marketing/sales strategy services to our portfolio.
There were speaker slides from my March 21, 2017 panel. Also, Liz Cain was a wonderful substitute for Emmanuelle Skala, VP Sales & Customer Success @ DigitalOcean, you can view the slides of the three speakers plus those from Emmanuelle at LINK: http://boston-enet.org/event-2314313
On January 17, 2017, I was meeting organizer and moderator for ENET’s first meeting at Cambridge location at Pivotal Labs just outside Kendall Square. We had 100 in attendance for our presentation on “Compensation and Equity for Early Stage Leadership Teams”.
It’s been said that 70% of the investment decision of an early-stage company is the team. That’s so because so often everything goes wrong and only great teams can respond to competitors, markets, funding environments, staff departures, PR disasters and the like.
Yet, how do your build that early stage leadership team to attract investment if you don’t have the cash to pay competitive salaries and benefits? That’s was the conundrum of our ENET presentation on January 17th. Our 3 speakers discussed use of startup equity as a key weapon of choice to recruit needed talent to build you’re A-team. We discussed allocation of equity and vesting in both tech and medical device companies with an all-star panel. Unfortunately, we do not have slides from this presentation but videos were taken of each speaker that we hope to post soon at the ENET website.
Our speakers that night (pictured below) were –
- Andy Palmer. Co-Founder/CEO @ Tamr (aka CueBall)http://www.tamr.com/the-simple-truth-happy-people-healthy-company/ is an angel and seed investor and serial entrepreneur who specializes in accelerating the growth of mission-driven startups.
- Katie Rae, Managing Director @ Project 11, a pre-seed venture fund investing in tech-driven startups. Katie is Co-Founder, Chairman @ Startup Institute, teaching people how to join great startups and be effective on day 1, and Chairman of Techstars Boston.
- Nancy Briefs, Entrepreneur in Residence @ M2D2 UMASS Lowell and Angel Investor with MA2. For 5 years and into 2016, Nancy was CEO @ InfoBionic. Her career includes 30 years as an Entrepreneur, CEO, Angel Investor, Independent BOD Member and Business Advisor.
There were no speaker slides from my March 17, 2017 panel. However, there is video for each of the speakers from this event. You can view the videos at LINK: http://www.boston-enet.org/event-2314292
Several months earlier, on September 6, 2016, I was meeting organizer and moderator for the kick-off meeting to ENET’s 26th year. For that meeting in Waltham, our subject was “What builds the most value in a tech or medtech startup Company? It was a great evening for ENET where our founders of startup companies heard first about defining the value proposition of your company’s product or service.
- Do you fix a problem that has real and measurable consequences to inaction?
- Is this problem a top priority to your target customer?
- Is the market significant?
- Is the market underserved?
Then, our audience heard about key means of building value in your company after that value proposition is established to attract angel investment in tech and life science companies. Then, finally about building value for an exit / liquidity event.
Our speakers on September 6, 2016 (pictured above), were
- Marguerite A. Piret, President & CEO, Newbury Piret & Company, Inc., http://www.newburypiret.com/ a Boston M&A firm, with Marguerite twice nominated for “Woman Deal Maker of the Year” for her work building value in companies to successful exits,
- Jordan Leef, Healthcare VC and Director, The BioBreak Organization http://www.biobreak.org/ a life sciences investor and director of an organization that brings together executives across med tech and life science fields, and
- Walter M. (Jerry) Bird, President, MassVentures, http://www.mass-ventures.com/ the President of one of the most successful VC/angel firms that invests exclusively in Massachusetts startup companies.
For links to the meeting write up I prepared and the speaker slides from that meeting, LINK: http://www.boston-enet.org/event-2289358
Additionally, in prior years, I’ve moderated and/or spoken at a number of ENET panel presentations, including presentations on the following subjects:
- “Building and Using Board of Directors and Boards of Advisors”, April 2015 (moderator),
- “Founder Agreements and Stock Vesting – Building a Team, Protecting yourself, Managing expectations ”. February 2015 (moderator & speaker)
- “Entrepreneur Success Stories ” , September 2014 (moderator),
- “Raising Money from CrowdFunding” , May 2014 (moderator),
- “Ready, Set, Launch. Knowing when you’re ready & How to start a company” , September 2013 (moderator),
- “Bootstrapping 101: Alternative Ways to fund a Startup without an Angel or VC”, November 2012 (moderator)
- “Seed and Angel Financing” , October 2012 (moderator),
- “Getting Stuff for Free”, April 2012 (moderator),
- “Transforming Your Idea into a Successful Company”, September 2011 (speaker and moderator),
- “Get Going! Launching a Successful Business”, September 2010 (moderator),
- “Licensing Technology”, February 2010 (moderator),
- How to Select and Retain Management for your Startup Company”, February 8, 2008 (speaker and moderator)
- “Getting Initial Money to go from Nothing to Something”, October 2007 (speaker and moderator)
- “Strategic Alliances and Partnerships: to build, finance, and develop early stage companies”, November 2006 (speaker and moderator)
- “Building Boards of Advisors and Boards of Directors”, March 2006 (moderator)
- “Protecting Your Intellectual Property”, January 2006 (speaker)