The Smart Business Dealmakers Conference (formerly ASPIRE) connects thousands of local dealmakers - from middle-market CEOs to top investors and lenders to leading M&A advisers. With sessions ranging from raising capital to buying and selling companies to alternative asset investing, our conference covers the breadth of the M&A landscape. To experience Dealmakers, take a look inside last year's event.
VISIT PREVIOUS EVENT WEBSITES: 2018
The Smart Business Dealmakers Conference (formerly ASPIRE) connects thousands of local dealmakers - from middle-market CEOs to top investors and lenders to leading M&A advisers.
With sessions ranging from raising capital to buying and selling companies to alternative asset investing, our conference covers the breadth of the M&A landscape.
To experience Dealmakers, take a look inside last year's event.
- Park Place's Entuity Deal Marks Shifting Strategy >
- How MCM Capital Looks At Acquisitions >
- What to do when a deal turns from a 'yes' to a 'no' >
See Detailed Agenda
7:30 A.M. Registration, Coffee & Networking
8:00 A.M. Breakfast Is Served
8:15 A.M. Kickoff & Introductions
8:30 A.M. - 9:15 A.M. Dealmakers’ Roundtable: The good, the bad & the ugly
Three of Northeast Ohio’s top CEOs and dealmakers share firsthand experiences on how to identify opportunities, structure deals and integrate operations. They will offer insight and advice on how to face — and handle — unforeseen challenges, manage the due diligence process, and take advantage of the golden opportunities that accompany any M&A transaction.
9:30 A.M. - 10:15 A.M. Building Buyer-Ready Businesses
If you want to grow through acquisitions, you need to get your corporate house in order. Join a conversation of entrepreneurs and M&A experts as they discuss ways to not just be prepared to buy companies but also how to best identify target organizations and conduct effective due diligence.
9:30 A.M. - 10:15 A.M. Unlocking the Value of Your Business: Planning ahead to achieve your goals
When it comes to selling your company, if you don’t prepare in advance you will be doomed to either run into trouble or leave money on the table. A roundtable of entrepreneurs, private equity leaders and experts discuss how to unlock hidden value and achieve your financial goals when it’s time to sell.
10:45 A.M. - 11:30 A.M. Strategic Capital: Raising capital to fuel your organization’s growth
Financiers, business owners, and M&A experts challenge the conventional norms by exploring where to seek out, secure and incorporate capital into your company to finance accelerated growth.
10:45 A.M. - 11:30 A.M. Entrepreneurship, Mentoring & Investing After Liquidity
You’ve sold your business and taken money off the table … so, what’s next? Serial entrepreneurs discuss life after selling their businesses and how investing in and serving as mentors for scale-ups and other growing companies helps pay it forward.
11:40 A.M. - 12:00 P.M. KJK Entrepreneur Pitch Session
Four early-stage “scale-up” organization entrepreneurs will present information about their future business plans in front of a panel of expert judges. This interactive Q&A session will explore each organization’s financial and operational structure. It will result in one entrepreneur being selected to receive an investment to help accelerate the growth of his or her company. The judging panel will unveil its selection at the end of the day.
12:00 P.M. Lunch
12:30 P.M. - 1:15 P.M. Luncheon Keynote - Case Study: 1871
Smart Business Publisher Dustin Klein sits down with Betsy Ziegler, CEO of Chicago-based incubator 1871, to explore why it has become the most successful example of a public/private partnership in America. The discussion will tackle how an ecosystem that includes entrepreneurs, incubators, venture capitalists, private equity firms, and M&A advisers sets a national example for how public/private partnerships like 1871 can impact local economies, generate accelerated job creation, spur business hypergrowth and change a region’s fortunes.
1:30 P.M. - 2:15 P.M. A Deep Dive on the Buy-Side
Join a group of entrepreneurs and M&A experts as they share lessons learned — what’s worked and what hasn’t — with acquisitions. The conversation will include a 360-review of several successful — and not-so-successful — deals.
1:30 P.M. - 2:15 P.M. Targeted Sales: How to determine to whom to sell your business
Active investors, entrepreneurs and business owners explore a key question any owner wrestles with when it comes to selling the company: To whom should I sell? They’ll explain how to conduct a detailed analysis of strategic buyers, private equity, investors, and even your management team, to identify the best fit for your company’s future.
2:30 P.M. - 3:15 P.M. Financing Sources: Lessons learned from raising more than $15 billion in growth capital
Four of the region’s top dealmakers discuss lessons learned from growing businesses, working with financing sources and creating value. These entrepreneurs and corporate executives will discuss the current market conditions for raising capital and describe how they financed their acquisitions, operations and expansions. Their stories and experiences include traditional bank financing, friends and family capital, venture capital, private equity, public equity, debt … and everything in between.
2:30 P.M. - 3:15 P.M. Pre-, During and Post-Liquidity: What you need to know
When it comes to the most important M&A transaction of your business life, most people are woefully unprepared. Entrepreneurs, wealth managers and M&A advisers take a look at best practices and mistakes made when preparing for — and completing — liquidity events.
3:30-4:30 P.M. Cocktail Reception & KJK Entrepreneur Pitch Session Winner
Connect with the sponsors, speakers, host committee and attendees as we recognize the KJK Pitch Session Winner Announced.
4:30 P.M. Adjourn