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April 18, 2024

Recognizing Detroit's Smart Business Network Dealmaker Award Winners and 2024 Dealmakers Hall of Fame Class!

We celebrated the accomplishments of the 2024 class of winners April 18 at the Detroit Smart Business Dealmakers Conference. Together, they provide a strong picture of the Detroit business community....

By SBN Staff

April 4, 2024

How to Maximize PE Value Creation by Better Assessing Growth Potential in Due Diligence

Chief Outsiders Managing Partner, Private Equity, Slade Kobran outlines and approach to value creation that starts in due diligence....

By Slade Kobran

March 14, 2024

To Close Deals, Get Personal

LUXIT Group's Stephane Vedie on the impact relationships can have in M&A...

By Adam Burroughs

March 7, 2024

AI Trends for the Progressive CEO: Navigating the Transformative Landscape

Chief Outsiders' Ed Valdez and Angus Robertson rank the eight most important factors in the AI scene to pay attention to right now....

By Ed Valdez and Angus Robertson

February 9, 2024

Firing Sisters And Setting Up A Son's First LLC

Preferred Data Systems' Kelly Comeaux on life growing up in a family business. ...

By Adam Burroughs

January 18, 2024

Tune Your PE Growth Engine With These 4 Principles

Chief Outsiders columnist Jack Bowen outlines how to optimize portfolio-company performance and maximize growth opportunities....

By Jack Bowen

January 12, 2024

Financial Issues To Consider When Doing International Acquisitions

Gentherm closed two deals in July of 2022. One was a German multinational that added to the company's automotive space. The other was a domestic acquisition in China for its medical business. The deal...

By Adam Burroughs

December 7, 2023

Buyers, Take It One Deal At A Time

Stellex Capital Management's Shankar Kiru on the importance of approaching deals on a case-by-case basis....

By Adam Burroughs

October 27, 2023

The Search For Clean Deals

No deal is perfect, but Dan Weingartz, CEO of W&P Management, says that it's just gotten to where there needs to be cleanliness across everything — the financials, the strategy, the leadership and...

By Adam Burroughs

September 22, 2023

How Not Listening To Advice Benefitted SkySpecs

SkySpecs CEO Danny Ellis has raised a few rounds of funding — six in total — and has learned several lessons from the experience. "A lot of mistakes in the early days," Ellis says. "We probably over...

By Adam Burroughs

August 25, 2023

People On A Deal P&L

As Detroit Manufacturing Systems sets out to make acquisitions, people are top of mind, says then CFO, now EVP of Sales, Purchasing and Strategy Scott Cieslak. "One of the first things we had to do...

By Adam Burroughs

July 21, 2023

Lessons Learned From Selling A Business ... Twice

Bruce Milen, Chairman of the Board of Jax Kar Wash, first sold his business back in 1998 during a period of consolidation and roll ups. He had and took the opportunity to buy it back three years later...

By Adam Burroughs

June 23, 2023

Trust Your Gut And Get Good Advice

Kathleen Craig, founder and CEO Plinqit, has raised more than $10 million in venture funding for the SaaS fintech company, which licenses its software to banks and credit unions across the country....

By Adam Burroughs

May 26, 2023

Stifel Financial Corp.'s Greg Urban On The Mixed M&A Market and Its Culprits

Confidence in the macro environment is a significant driver of M&A activity in this uneven market, says Stifel Financial Corp Managing Director Greg Urban. "The availability of equity capital —...

By Adam Burroughs

April 26, 2023

Hall of Fame Roundtable Weighs In On Today's Deal Challenges

Valenti Capital's Sam Valenti III, along with MSX International's Fred Minturn, BELLE Michigan Impact Fund's Carolyn Cassin, and BDO Consulting Group's Robert Berdanier share their view on the current M&A climate. ...

By Adam Burroughs

March 31, 2023

Sylvester Hester On Partnership And Job Creation When Launching LM Manufacturing

LM Manufacturing President and CEO Sylvester Hester on launching the business, how the opportunity came about and the importance of being a job creator in Detroit...

By Adam Burroughs

March 3, 2023

Sybridge Technologies Acquires Cavaform, Inc.

SyBridge Technologies, provider of design and manufacturing solutions across multiple industries, announced it acquired Cavaform, Inc., a tight tolerance precision tooling and molding market. This...

By Dan Pender

March 3, 2023

Health Alliance Plan and CareSource to Partner in Michigan

Health Alliance Plan (HAP), a Michigan-based nonprofit health plan and CareSource, an Ohio-based nonprofit and managed care health plan with members in 7 states, are forming a joint venture to explore...

By Dan Pender

March 3, 2023

TriMas Announces Agreement to Acquire Weldmac

TriMas announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire the operating net assets of Weldmac Manufacturing Company, a designer and manufacturer of high-performance, complex metal fabricated...

By Dan Pender

March 3, 2023

Simon Sports Acquires Halifax Mooseheads Junior Hockey Team

Simon Sports, a division of Simon Group Holdings in Birmingham, acquired the Halifax Mooseheads hockey team, which plays in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Terms of the deal were not disclosed....

By Dan Pender

March 3, 2023

Pet Supplies Plus Acquires 20 Loyal Companion Pet Stores

Pet Supplies Plus, the largest independent pet retailer in North America with over 660 stores in 41 states, and Wag N' Wash, the emerging grooming, self-wash, and natural pet food franchise, are...

By Dan Pender

March 3, 2023

Overcome Buy-Side Arrogance, Or Risk Overpaying

Atlas Holdings Partner Ramzi Hermiz and Lorient Capital Vice President Doug Shinkle on de-risking a deal from the buy-side....

By Adam Burroughs

February 3, 2023

Functional Fluidics Looks To Expand Market For Unique Platform

Functional Fluidics CEO Patrick Hines spoke on the Smart Business Dealmakers Podcast about his company, its progress and fundraising....

By Adam Burroughs

January 6, 2023

Airspace Link Creates Drone Navigation Highway

In four short years, Detroit startup Airspace Link went from a couple founders and a few employees to recently raising $23 million in a Series B to aid its global expansion. It started with a $100,000 convertible note, a $3 million pre-seed, a $10 million Series A and now the global expansion raise. Michael Healander, co-founder, president and CEO, is a drone pilot enthusiast who envisions the positive impact drones could provide to economies and quality of life. His company is creating a roadmap in the sky for drones of all types and sizes. ...

By Dan Pender

December 9, 2022

Value Proposition Tops List In Battery Solutions' Deal Prep

Battery Solutions CFO Craig Fishel on preparing for his company's sale earlier this year to Retriev Technologies....

By Adam Burroughs

November 11, 2022

A Lifetime of Succession for Ideal Group

It may have been out of necessity, but Frank Venegas Jr. began the succession process at a very young age for daughter, Linzie, and son, Jesse. Linzie said she was in a playpen in her father’s office, because they didn’t have the money for sitters and her parents worked long hours. It may have been a hardship then, but its paying dividends today as both Linzie and Jesse have taken over leadership of the company....

By Dan Pender

October 7, 2022

Duolingo Acquires Gunner

Duolingo, Inc., a mobile learning platform, announced it has acquired Gunner, a design and animation studio based in Detroit. Duolingo uses animation in its learning apps to drive engagement, keep...

By Dan Pender

October 7, 2022

Funding options for health care companies

Lawrence, Evans & Co.'s Neil Johnson spoke on funding options for health care companies. ...

By Adam Burroughs

September 2, 2022

Adjust your sale approach to new market realities

MiddleGround Capital's John Stewart, Doeren Mayhew's Aaron Partridge and Matthew Gurwin on how new market realities require sellers to be more prepared in order to maximize their company's value in a sale. ...

By Adam Burroughs

August 5, 2022

Life Remodeled CEO Chris Lambert On The Heart Of Fundraising

Life Remodeled CEO Chris Lambert on the organization's mission and accomplishments, as well as his approach to fundraising....

By Adam Burroughs

July 6, 2022

The economy's impact on deal readiness

Honigman's John Kanan, Wälzlager Industriewerke Bulle A.G.'s Kal Beidas, MSX International's Fred Minturn, Aon's Vipul Patel and BDO Consulting Group's Robert Berdanier discuss economic uncertainty and its impact on deal readiness. ...

By Adam Burroughs

June 2, 2022

It’s All About Partnerships and Pitch Decks for Rambus

Mykolas Rambus is a serial entrepreneur who founded and sold two previous companies, including Wealth-X, where he served as CEO until its 2016 sale for more than $20 million. Most recently, Mykolas raised early-stage rounds of capital in 2021 to build out Hush, a company that offers cybersecurity services. Though the capital raise process went well, Mykolas talks about how better pitch materials would have made for a smoother raise. ...

By Dan Pender

May 6, 2022

A Look at The Detroit Region's Home-Grown M&A Market

During the Roundtable at this past week's Detroit Smart Business Dealmakers Conference, Mykolas, along with Huntington Bank's Ronald Majka, Huron Capital's Brian Demkowicz, and Ideal Group's Linzie Venegas shared their personal stories as they explored what’s driving activity in region, and why they believe Detroit is a great place to do business. ...

By Adam Burroughs

April 8, 2022

M&A Human Capital Strategies

Aquila Equity Partners' Gary Lewis, along with Purple Squirrel Advisors' Carrie Schochet, Lockton Companies' Quinn Damon, Mission Veterinary Partners' Matthew Davis, Industrial Opportunity Partners' Philip Fioravante talk about lessons learned and best practices from growing portfolio companies in a labor-challenged environment....

By Adam Burroughs

March 11, 2022

Even for the best entrepreneurs, raising capital is always harder than it looks

Bloomscape Founder and CEO Justin Mast spoke with Dickinson Wright's Zan Nicolli about his venture and the process of raising capital from investors....

By Adam Burroughs

February 18, 2022

The material impact of ESG on M&A

Ancora's David Sowerby, MASCO's John Sznewajs and Cendrowski Corporate Advisors' Harry Cendrowski, talk about ESG, the M&A landscape, where corporations and private investors have made the biggest changes, and what to expect next. ...

By Adam Burroughs

January 14, 2022

Preparedness leads to best outcome when selling a family business

JAWOOD Founder Lynn Mustazza, along with PNC Bank's Jacob Taylor, PNC Wealth Management's Daniel Hoops and UHY Corporate Finance's Dan Sporka talk about plotting the future of a family business....

By Adam Burroughs

November 17, 2021

Doing double diligence during COVID

TGI Direct's Monica Weaver, Dickinson Wright’s Bill Rosin, Emagine Entertainment’s Paul Glantz and Huntington National Bank’s Eric Dietz talk about transacting during the pandemic, as well as adjustments buyers should make when acquiring a company during disruptions....

By Adam Burroughs

October 20, 2021

A look at the cyberthreat environment

Che Bhatia, along with Aon’s William Shortt and Kathy Weaver, and KeyBank’s Gregg Bach and Christopher Naso, explore cybersecurity and its impact on M&A....

By Adam Burroughs

September 17, 2021

Anatomy of distressed investments

James Loughlin, Mike Teplitsky, Robert Berdanier, Robert Diehl Jr., and Vlad Slapak dive into investing in distressed companies, as well as how to analyze your company’s people, operations, and finances to understand if you need to restructure....

By Adam Burroughs

August 13, 2021

How to secure a premium value for your company

Tom Zucker, Mark Jones and Art Anton discuss the factors that most often lead to securing a premium valuation....

By Adam Burroughs

July 16, 2021

David Sowerby on business owners’ post-exit popularity

David Sowerby, managing director and portfolio manager at Ancora, has some words of wisdom for eager, soon-to-be investors....

By Adam Burroughs

June 25, 2021

Brian Rassel: People make the deal

Brian Rassel, a partner at Huron, on his approach to analyzing the people aspect of a deal....

By Adam Burroughs

May 28, 2021

Paths to public: Mina Sooch on reverse merger vs IPO

Mina Sooch explains how the reverse merger process she took taking Ocuphire Pharma Inc. public compares to her prior IPO experiences....

By Adam Burroughs

March 5, 2021

David Brophy says organize the venture world!

David Brophy, Professor of Finance, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, talks about the venture capital ecosystem and what its continued growth means for Michigan, the Detroit region, and the scale-up community that’s looking for growth capital....

By Adam Burroughs

January 22, 2021

Carolyn Cassin on the good news/bad news of venture funding for women

Carolyn Cassin, BELLE Michigan Impact Fund founder and general partner talks about the challenges women entrepreneurs face and how her fund is designed to help....

By Adam Burroughs

December 22, 2020

The Softer Side of the Selling: Communications and Internal Prep

Jerrad Beauchamp, Andy Billman, Chris Meso and Tom Zucker explore the softer side of sell-side communications and internal deal prep....

By Adam Burroughs

November 24, 2020

Kathleen McCann sees a tale of two economies

Is it the best of times? Or is it the worst of times? The answer, according to Kathleen McCann, executive chairman of United Road Services and executive partner at Nonantum Capital Partners, is both....

By Dustin Klein

October 16, 2020

Why Deals Fail

Deals can fail in the early stages. But if you can recognize the red flags and get out early from a bad deal, you won’t waste your time and money....

By Adam Burroughs

June 12, 2020

Early-Stage Entrepreneurs Need To Focus On Creativity, Mitigating Risk To Close Deals

The landscape for showcasing early-stage companies to potential buyers and investors has changed dramatically in the face of COVID-19, says David Weaver, chief investment officer at City Side Ventures....

By Dustin S. Klein & Mark Scott