Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition Program

Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition Program

STEVEN KAPLAN

NEUBAUER FAMILY DISTINGUISHED SERVICE PROFESSOR OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND FINANCE, CHICAGO BOOTH; KESSENICH E.P. FACULTY DIRECTOR, POLSKY CENTER FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND INNOVATION

Steven conducts research on issues in private equity, venture capital, entrepreneurial finance, corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate finance. He has published papers in a number of academic and business journals and testified to the US Senate Finance Committee and the US House Financial Services Committee about his research. He is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and an associate editor of the Journal of Financial Economics. At Chicago Booth, Steven teaches advanced MBA and executive courses in entrepreneurial finance and private equity, corporate financial management, corporate governance, and wealth management. BusinessWeek named him one of the top 12 business school teachers in the country. He serves on the board or advisory board of Accretive Health, Columbia Acorn Funds, Morningstar, Sandbox Industries, the Illinois Venture Capital Association, and the Kauffman Fellows Program. Steven received an AB from Harvard College and a PhD from Harvard University.

BRIAN O’CONNOR, MBA ’08

ADJUNCT PROFESSOR OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP, CHICAGO BOOTH

Brian O’Connor is the Founder and Managing Partner of NextGen Growth Partners (“NGP”), a lower-middle market private equity firm that partners with talented entrepreneur-operators to acquire and build great companies in growing industries. The firm was founded in 2015 on the belief that there is significant opportunity for value creation when fundamentally sound small businesses are led by the best and brightest entrepreneurial-minded operators.

Prior to founding NGP, Brian served as co-CEO and Head of Business Development of Innflux, a hospitality-focused IT service company, where he oversaw sales / marketing, business development, M&A and investor relations functions. Innflux was sold to strategic buyer Thing5 in January 2015, after 3.5 years of significant growth. Brian became involved with Innflux after acquiring the business, through his search fund Fellowship Capital Partners (“FCP”) in 2011. Full bio here

MARK AGNEW, MBA ’06

ADJUNCT PROFESSOR OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP, CHICAGO BOOTH

Mark is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, teaching a class called “Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition”. Mark rejoined Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria in 2011 after working there in high school and led the company through significant growth for almost a decade. When Mark was CEO and President, the company employed more than 4,000 people and operated 58 company-owned locations throughout Chicagoland and Phoenix, along with an eCommerce company Tastes of Chicago. Lou Malnati’s was ranked as a top workplace eight years in a row by the Chicago Tribune.

Prior to joining Lou Malnati’s in 2011, Mark spent five years as a Vice President at Dixon Midland Company, a Chicago-based private investment firm. In his role at Dixon Midland, Mark helped source platform and add-on investments as well as provide hands-on operational duties at portfolio companies. Before Dixon Midland, Mark was a private equity Associate at Glencoe Capital specializing in basic industries and an investment banking Analyst at Deutsche Bank with an emphasis on leveraged finance and MA.

Mark has a BS from Cornell University and an MBA with honors from the University of Chicago. Mark resides in Winnetka with his wife Carolyn, and their four children Molly, Elinor, James and Henry.

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