SEPTEMBER'S MUSINGS ON SEARCH, ETA, & MORE.

I write a monthly newsletter on Search, ETA, SMB, & more.


I thought I'd share an excerpt of the September edition I sent recently - sign-up at bit.ly/etamusings if want to get on the list (and I'll resend the full September edition later this week for new adds).


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And it's October aka the best month of year (Steve's birthday, fall foliage, heart of college football season, & more). While August was a slower month with the end of summer, September was definitely a busy month on both the searcher & investment side.


Recent investments


Traditional Search Investments:

U.S. - We backed Andrew Gebhart, a recent UCLA MBA graduate with a great technical background and a software focus. We also backed James Loo, a college swimmer-turned Deloitte consultant-turned Columbia MBA with a background and focus on healthcare.

Internationally - We invested with Davest Partners, two great searchers with private equity and SMB backgrounds in France, as well as Ryan Bernsmann, a military veteran in Australia who is working in coordination with Jake Nicholson's SMEVentures.

Currently Raising? Are you a traditional searcher currently raising? Know one? We'd love to meet - just reach out [redacted] Investments: We invested in several interesting deals this month:

Healthcare Software: We backed Tommy Jackson in the purchase of a clinical research software business. He's got a great story as he met the business during his original search, joined as COO for three years, and completed the acquisition and transition to CEO this month.

Green HVAC and Home Services: We supported Andrew Steuer in the purchase of a great Green HVAC business in the Southeast.

Content Management Software: We joined Zain Ishaq and Vadym Kononenko in acquiring a software business in the content management space

GovTech Software: We were part of the recapitalization of Munetrix, a leading analytics software business for municipalities and K-12s where Steve also joined the board of directors.

Have a self-funded or traditional deal that is looking for equity investment? We'd love to see it - just reply to this email.

Deal & Diligence Assistance: We continue to dig in and help on deal-level analysis, deal structuring and sourcing directly with searchers on a number of software, business services and gov-related deals. If we can be of help, please reach out.


Content & Community


Search & Acquire Podcast: Our non-profit Search & Acquire continues to focus on educational content for veterans exploring search. In partnership with our friends at Frontline Founders, we recently launched a podcast series "Recon Labs" that showcases the many sides of successful entrepreneurship for military veterans.

Recent ETA-focused episodes include an interview with Nick Vandam who recently closed on the acquisition of Midwest CATV, a telecom installation and maintenance company, where he is now CEO and President.

Nick's insight into his search - including the importance of building a personal relationship with the seller, as well as how hiring the right skilled labor, not customer demand, is the current limiter on growth in his business - are great lessons for anyone interested in ETA.


Small Business Operator's Guide: Congrats to Alex Bridgeman of "Think Like an Owner" podcast on the launch of the Operator's Playbook. Alex & I were lucky to get an early copy of this print magazine focusing on tools and best practices for SMB operators and there's a number of great pieces in there from friends of the newsletter such as John Wilson, Ayo Phillips, & more. Want to learn more about the story of the magazine - Tim Ludwig did a great interview with Alex Bridgeman here.


Podcasts: Steve was excited to join a number of podcasts this month including Kurty D Show, where his friend / entrepreneur / world-class connector Kurt Daradics interviews an eclectic group on personal fulfillment and overcoming what life throws your way. Steve also joined Acquiring Minds, where he discussed "Using Investors to Buy a Business with SBA" as well as the Let's Buy a Business podcast where he discussed investing in search funds.


Twitter: There was a lot of great ideas in the comments on Steve's thread on favorite publicly-traded conglomerates (for the IAC, Nelnet, IDT, Berkshire, SMB HoldCo fans out there). We've been enjoying the threads from Mitchell Baldridge, CPA who blends practical tax advice with common sense wisdom, as well as SMB Acquisition Attorney who has some great nuggets on the legal side.


Search Opportunities

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