ETA Insider

ETA Insider

ETA INSIDER PODCAST

ETA INSIDER PODCAST

Produced by the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Chicago Booth, the ETA Insider Podcast series features all things related to entrepreneurship through acquisition. As one of the only podcasts on ETA, this podcast explores perspectives from different types of searchers (incubated, traditional, and self-funded), insights from recent, successful exits, advice from current operators, and reflections from search fund investors. The ETA Insider Podcast is hosted by Brian O’Connor, MBA ’08.

Search for “Entrepreneurship through Acquisition” on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Soundcloud to tune in.

New episodes for the 2023 season are released at the end of each month.

Diverse Perspectives in ETA: Building Resumes and Teams for Success
Episode 63

Diverse Perspectives in ETA: Building Resumes and Teams for Success

This month’s episode of the ETA Insider Podcast features Clement Lucas, Principal of Relay Investment, a diverse firm based out of Boston that focuses on ETA investments. Clement’s unique perspective as a former operator is a value add to his team and the searchers Relay works with. Clement shares with Brian how diversity is beneficial within your resume in addition to the team you build. He also shares advice and mistakes that both searchers and operators can make and insights into the future of ETA. Released August 31, 2023

Risk in ETA from an Investor’s Point of View
Episode 62

Risk in ETA from an Investor’s Point of View

This month’s episode of the ETA Insider Podcast features Jan Simon, the Managing Partner of Vonzeo Capital, a Professor of the Practice of Management in Entrepreneurship at IESE, and the Academic Director of its International Search Fund Center. Jan’s expertise and research focuses on investment strategies, mergers and acquisitions, and entrepreneurial acquisitions. Prior to working in the investment world, Jan spent four years in the Special Forces. In his conversation with Brian, Jan discusses how to think about market inefficiencies, performance persistence, stage-appropriate capital, and risk-adjusted returns in ETA.  Released July 31, 2023

From Sponsored Searcher to Operator: Creating Your Own Path with ETA
Episode 61

From Sponsored Searcher to Operator: Creating Your Own Path with ETA

In this episode of the ETA Insider Podcast, Brian interviews Nick Oberhouse, MBA ‘20, CEO of DAWGS (Door and Window Guard Systems, Inc.). After graduating from Chicago Booth, Nick partnered with NextGen Growth Partners (NGP) to acquire a business, eventually acquiring DAWGS in October 2021. DAWGS serves municipal and commercial property owners by securing their buildings with DAWGS’ patented steel security system. Nick discusses how he transitioned from a background in consulting to a career in ETA, how he navigated building long term relationships with businesses during the global and economic uncertainty of the pandemic, why he chose an incubated/sponsored search as his search method, and how he maintains a symbiotic relationship with the original founder of DAWGS. Released June 30, 2023

Live from the Harper Center: Next Steps in the ETA Journey Post-Exit
Episode 60

Live from the Harper Center: Next Steps in the ETA Journey Post-Exit

This special edition, live episode of the ETA Insider Podcast features Brian Vanderheyden, MBA ‘14, Founder and CEO of Glass Lake Holdings. When Brian joined the podcast in 2020, he was CEO of the Richmond Alarm Company, which he acquired in July 2017 out of his search fund. In this episode, recorded live at the Chicago Booth Harper Center in front of an audience of students and alumni, Brian discusses his recent exit, including the process of working with a bank and choosing between financial and strategic buyers. Brian also fields questions on life post-exit from the live audience, discussing his introspection process on his next steps and how to design his work/life balance through his next endeavor.  Released May 31, 2023

Combining Passion with Expertise: Advice on Operating
Episode 59

Combining Passion with Expertise: Advice on Operating

This episode features Mia Jackson, CEO of Vital Care Industries, a medical surgical supplies manufacturer. With a background in operations, supply chain, and finance, Mia discusses how acquiring Vital Care Industries combined her expertise with her passion for healthcare. In this episode, Brian interviews Mia on her career in entrepreneurship through acquisition, her advice to future searchers on how to strategically prepare to operate during the search, and the importance of building networks throughout the search process and as an operator. Released April 28, 2023

Reflections on Serial Acquisitions and Long-Term Growth
Episode 58

Reflections on Serial Acquisitions and Long-Term Growth

Brian interviews Jason Pananos and Jay Davis, cofounders of the Nashton Company, on their careers in entrepreneurship through acquisition. Jason and Jay discuss how they developed a serial acquisition strategy, the benefits of long-term growth, and how their experience with ETA has informed how they think about investing today. Released March 31, 2023

Navigating the Partner Led Search
Episode 57

Navigating the Partner Led Search

Addie Epstein and Ashley Quisol, principals and cofounders of Benton Place Partners, join Brian to discuss their journey into entrepreneurship through acquisition. Addie and Ashley share their search philosophy and highlight the importance of playing to your strengths, how to market yourself to business owners, and lessons learned from the ups and downs of searching. Released February 28, 2023

Examining ETA’s Growth Potential in Frontier Markets
EPISODE 56

Examining ETA’s Growth Potential in Frontier Markets

Santiago Perez Teuffer, Managing Partner at Cerralvo Capital – a search fund investment firm based in Mexico City – discusses his journey into the world of ETA as well as his current work at Cerralvo as the firm approaches its third fund. The conversation revolves around the compelling future of ETA in new frontier markets in Europe and Asia, and Santiago shares his insights on navigating these international opportunities for both entrepreneurs and investors – including the top countries for search fund activity and growth rate. Released January 31, 2023

Listen to episodes from past seasons here.

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