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 (formerly known as ASPIRE).
VISIT PREVIOUS EVENT WEBSITE: 2019
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 (formerly known as ASPIRE).
- 2020 Forecast: What To Expect For The Year In Dealmaking In Detroit >
- Huron Capital’s Brian Demkowicz Shares His Secrets To Good Dealmaking >
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. M&A Roundtable: 2020 and Beyond
A trio of Detroit’s top dealmakers share their 2019 deal experiences, provide their outlook on whether the M&A market will remain competitive in valuations again in 2020, and offer insight into other aspects of M&A transactions which might change in 2020. Presented by Chemical Bank/TCF. Main Ballroom.
9:30 A.M. - 10:15 A.M. Why Deals Fail and How To Minimize the Impact: Pitfalls to avoid when making acquisitions
Buying a company isn’t as simple as one thinks. There’s an art to identifying acquisition prospects, conducting due diligence, negotiating price, and closing the deal. Hear from a group of veteran C-Suite executives and M&A advisors as they offer best practices from the frontlines of dealmaking for pre-transaction planning and the close… and why some deals just can’t get done.
9:30 A.M. - 10:15 A.M. The Softer Side of the Sell-Side: Communications and Internal Prep
When you’re selling your business, identifying who to bring into the loop and what to tell them can be complicated. Join a group of entrepreneurs who have been through the experiences and share what worked… and what didn’t.
9:30 A.M. - 10:15 A.M Family Business Dynamics: An owners’ view.
Family-owned businesses have their own unique dynamics—from multiple shareholders to complicated succession plans. Hear from a group of current and former family business owners and their M&A advisors as they discuss how they navigated the most difficult questions.
10:45 A.M. - 11:30 A.M. Financing Your Business: Understanding different capital needs for your company.
As your company matures, your financial needs change. Join a group of business owners, leaders, and experts as they discuss how to identify, assemble, and deploy the right type of capital to make acquisitions and fuel growth.
10:45 A.M. - 11:30 A.M. Thinking of Selling Your Company? An Entrepreneurs Perspective on the Liquidity Event
When it comes to the most important decision a business owner will make, how you approach the pre-planning and execution may be the difference between success and failure. And then, what does life look like after the deal?
10:45 A.M. - 11:30 A.M. Transaction Audits: How to prepare your company for any type of deal
No matter what type of M&A transaction you’re looking to do, being prepared comes down to three areas--your finances, operations, and people. A group of entrepreneurs and experts offers a deep dive into how to make sure you’re checking the right boxes before you go to market with a deal… including the importance of cybersecurity assessments.
11:30 A.M. - 12:00 P.M. Networking
12:00 P.M. Lunch is Served
12:20 P.M. - 1:10 P.M. Luncheon Keynote Conversation With PathNorth Founder Doug Holladay
Success to Significance. Business leaders run at full speed for most of their careers but are they truly happy? Join our keynote speaker as he explores the importance of unleashing happiness by understanding how to transform success in the boardroom into significance in life.
1:30 P.M. - 2:15 P.M. Building an Acquisition Pipeline: Serial acquirers’ playbook for success
When you’re growing through numerous acquisitions, having a clear strategy of the types of companies you’re looking to buy and where to find them can mean the difference between growth and stagnation. Hear from a group of serial acquirers and advisors as they discuss how they built and work successful deal pipelines.
1:30 P.M. - 2:15 P.M. Lessons from the Sell-Side Trenches: Alignment and understanding different types of buyers.
When you’re selling a business, who you sell it to matters. Join a group of c-suite executives, private equity leader, and experts as they discuss how to understand the strategic goals of strategic and financial buyers… and what that means for you.
2:30 P.M. - 3:15 P.M. Building Strong Capital Stacks: Raising Capital for the Growth Stages Of Your Business
A group of entrepreneurs and M&A advisors will share their thoughts on different ways to assemble and raise capital to grow a business.
2:30 P.M. - 3:15 P.M. What’s Your Best Exit? Exploring Different Types of Liquidity Events.
Once you’ve decided it’s time to sell the company, activities move into high gear—including determining what your life will look like after the liquidity event. Join a group of entrepreneurs and experts as they explore the sell-side and the importance of maximizing—and preserving—wealth from the sale. Presented by Wells Fargo Commercial Banking.
3:30 P.M. - 4:30 P.M. Cocktail Reception & Awards
Join us at the cocktail reception to recognize the 2020 Smart Business Dealmaker Award Winners!
This year's class includes:
- Casey Askar, Askar Brands
- Tom Bomberski, Billhighway
- Jan Garfinkle, Arboretum Ventures
- Tim Peterson, Arboretum Ventures
- Jon Sobel, Sight Machine
4:30 P.M. Adjourn