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©2014, HelloWorld® – Confidential
Matt Wise
CEO of HelloWorld
Gabe Karp
Partner at Detroit Venture Partners

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Dia02 05 fireside_chat_gabekarpmattwise_5secretsgettingacquired

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  • 8. ©2014, HelloWorld® – Confidential Matt Wise CEO of HelloWorld Gabe Karp Partner at Detroit Venture Partners

Editor's Notes

  1. Invite attendees to follow the discussion on Twitter
  2. Matt Wise, CEO of HelloWorld – give a 60-second bio, specifically referencing your experience with acquisitions. Detroit-based mobile engagement platform HelloWorld (formerly ePrize) has been involved in 6 acquisitions in the past 2 years -- buying 4 smaller startups, being acquired themselves by a PE firm, and then spinning off an internal division into its own company. Gabe Karp, Partner at Detroit Venture Partners - give a 60-second bio, specifically referencing your experience with acquisitions. Detroit Venture Partners has seeded dozens of early stage tech companies to help rebuild Detroit. Led efforts on multiple acquisitions, venture financings, credit facilities, and ultimately the sale of the company to a large private equity firm. In this presentation, we will provide insight on both ends of the acquisition process, from seeking out qualified startup candidates to making your company look appealing for a buy. They’ll reveal 5 essential tips to consider during this grueling process, highlighting ways to ensure a seamless transition by mitigating potential pitfalls.
  3. Copy: We’re looking at company AND pedigree We look for good BS on your resume Smart leadership We’ll take a great team over a great product any day Great ideas actually are quite common. The rarity is the ability to execute. We look for leader/team who can blast through obstacles and get shit done Many startups will hit an inflection point as they begin to stretch beyond the skill level of its entrepreneurial founders. Failing to recognize that you’ve hit an inflection point (or failing to take action when you do recognize) is one of the more common reasons why startups fail. You need to be able to speak to the financial community; ideally, you have someone on your team who’s done it before
  4. Copy: You need an elevator pitch; must be quickly understood [Insert example of pitches that go on for 30 minutes; at the end, you’re still confused] Your business prop has to be 9-year-old simple Don’t explain what you do, show us your passion! I’ve sat through many pitches where 20 minutes in none of us know what the company actually does
  5. Copy: Growth rate? Who cares! Margins and profitability Market demand and future potential Three factors: stratospheric growth rate, less about profit, less about perception, hyper growth phase. Groupons of the world, stratospheric, Amazon; then companies with great margins and profitability (gross margins) like Marketo still lose money; future potential. What is the product and relative size of market. Don’t say things like, “this is going to be bigger than the internet.” That’s unappealing If you’ve got a co-founder who’s abrasive, leave him back at the office.
  6. Copy: Be buttoned up Prove your point with metrics Show that company is run by measurement Spreadsheet jockeys - instills confidence Demonstrate deep understanding of your industry– how it’s evolved to current state and where it’s going Understand your competition (If I know about a competitor of yours that you don’t, you don’t have your shit together) Have compelling reasons why you’ll defeat them
  7. Copy: May be a cliché but…network! Everyone knows someone. Get an investment banker; get on the radar Lay the seeds long in advance. Sell the category, say what you'll do in the category, report back on a regular frequency, show how you’re slaying it. Pitch what you plan to do and then check in months later to say, “look what we did”