September 1, 2023
By Adam Burroughs
Wellist Founder and CEO Ashley Reid discusses growing into the company's national presence, what outside board seats have taught her about running her own business and the evolution of the company's fundraising.
June 2, 2023
The landscape of estate tax planning is set to undergo a significant change in the coming years, as the estate tax exemption is set to revert to pre-2018 levels at the end of 2025. This means that
February 24, 2023
3 Rivers Capital's Rob Carskadden, Continuim Equity Partners' George Pilafas, Metz Lewis Brodman Must O'Keefe's John Lewis and SDI Companies' Scott Kiger offer their predictions on what changes occurring in 2023 will be the most impactful.
February 10, 2023
IRA record keeping and technology solutions provider IRALOGIX has raised an $11 million expansion of its Series B in 2021 and $22 million Series C in 2022. Founding Partner Joe Hipsky spoke on the Smart Business Dealmakers Podcast about those raises and some things, looking back, he might do differently.
January 27, 2023
Serial entrepreneur and early-stage investor Gabriela Isturiz, who founded two high-growth technology companies that she sold to Fortune 500 companies, recently co-founded The Fund XX, which makes
January 13, 2023
Given today’s challenging economic environment, earnouts will likely remain an important feature in M&A deals.
December 16, 2022
Rising inflation and interest rates, as well as a looming recessionary period, continue to be top-of-mind for dealmakers. The economic uncertainty caused by these issues has led to modest M&A volatility. However, valuations for high-quality businesses remain lofty.
November 18, 2022
Interest rates have become a greater challenge, leading private equity to counter by increasing the portion of equity placed into deals to better manage the cost of debt.
November 4, 2022
Project Olympus' Kit Needham on the areas where fist-time entrepreneurs stumble when seeking their earliest funding rounds.
October 21, 2022
The Pittsburgh M&A market has faced the same, if not worse, headwinds as the broader U.S. Deal volume for the nine months ended September 30, 2022 was 25.6 percent lower than the same time period in 2021, while September 2022 deal volume was 50 percent lower than September 2021. Still, Pittsburgh saw the closing of several noteworthy transactions.
September 9, 2022
The L’Herbier family was at a crossroads six years ago. The owners of Air Duct Maintenance, Kevin and Debbie L’Herbier, were looking to retire and had to decide what to do with the company they started back in 1996. They approached their children, Dan and Lauren L’Herbier, to see if they had interest in taking over leadership. After a brief period, the siblings decided to begin the succession process. It didn’t go as quickly as everyone had hoped, however.
August 12, 2022
Nollapelli founder Allison Howard talks with the Smart Business Dealmakers Podcast about how she created Nollapelli and prepared the company for early-stage investing.
July 14, 2022
Nadyli Nuñez, executive director, Ascender, has guided hundreds of early-stage entrepreneurs through her incubator, co-working programs, and numerous early-stage investments to position them for add-on capital as part of their growth journey from scale-up to the middle market. She has a detailed, hands-on approach to ensure the success of her clients.
June 30, 2022
Huntington's Dan Griffith and Jim Altman, Loretta Benec (formerly with The ExOne Company), IPEG Industrial Group's John Erkert and McGuireWoods' Penny Zacharias on the power of strategic planning in M&A.
June 2, 2022
George J. Howe Co.'s Len Caric on why creating win-wins is critical for the acquisition process.
May 19, 2022
Co-Pilot Co-founder and CEO Matt Spettel on launching the company, what he learned through fundraising, and what it's like going through a rebrand when investors are involved.
May 6, 2022
Conco Systems Ed saxon, along with Babst, Calland, Clements and Zomnir's Kevin Wills, Stellex Capital's Mike Livanos, and BDO USA's Robert Berdanier, spoke at this year's Pittsburgh Smart Business Dealmakers Conference about the factors that impact a deal and how to address them.
April 13, 2022
Matt Mastarone, president and CEO of TTG Imaging Solutions, spoke on the Smart Business Dealmakers Podcast about brokering a deal despite supply-chain issues. Hit play above to catch the full conversation.
March 18, 2022
Tony Montanaro, a partner with Louis Plung & Company, spoke on the Smart Business Dealmakers Podcast, about Q of E reports, and offers a look at deals from a buyer's perspective: what they like to see in diligence that speeds a deal to close, and what they don't like to find — problems that could mean they walk away.
November 24, 2021
Medical Packaging Inc.'s Andrew Bartels along with McCormack Capital Advisors’ Bob McCormack, and Herbein + Company’s Tom Bakaitus, Jr. and Beth Bershok, break down the deal and the obstacles sellers faced during COVID to get transaction done.
August 19, 2021
David Iwinski, managing director at Blue Water Growth, talks about the supply chain issues between U.S. and Chinese companies, how they’re affecting M&A transactions and offers strategies for rooting out supply chain risk ahead of, and during, a transaction.
June 11, 2021
Gridwise co-founder Ryan Green continues to evolve his business, using customer feedback and adjusting to the market to find success.
April 23, 2021
As buyers and sellers look to transact, Mark Guterman, managing director of loan syndications for First National Bank, and Martin McCormick, managing director and head of FNB Mezzanine Finance for F.N.B. Corporation are seeing capital trends starting to take shape.
April 16, 2021
BlueTree Allied Angels’ Sreekar Gadde urges entrepreneurs to stop think about IP only in terms of protection, and instead create a holistic strategy to maximize long-term value.
February 19, 2021
Blue River's Sara Clevenger looks back at M&A’s interesting 2020, and looks ahead, discussing what changes in perceptions and approaches could color 2021.
January 22, 2021
Metz Lewis' George Thomas offers his assessment of the M&A market — what it looked like in 2020, and what he expects it will look like in 2021.
December 22, 2020
Arnie Burchianti talks about the importance of surrounding yourself with people who have strengths where you have weaknesses.
October 14, 2020
Pineapple Payments' Jon Halpern on his company’s acquisition and integration process, and how learnings are being shared between acquirer and acquiree.
June 26, 2020
Despite the uncertainty, investors are still very interested in preserving their deal pipelines — continuing to build on the promise of the portfolio of ideas already in development, says Lynn Banaszak, executive director of the Digital Transformation and Innovation Center at Carnegie Mellon University.
May 21, 2020
With early stage investing, it’s not about hitting every single time in order to have a successful fund, says Jay Katarincic, managing director of venture capital firm Draper Triangle. That's because it's often more art than science.
May 20, 2020
While deals are still getting done, many have been pushed backed. However, we likely won't know until summer whether those delayed transactions come back to life, says Babst Calland's Chris Farmakis.
April 24, 2020
Jake Loosararian turned down an offer for Gecko Robotics in 2015 and stuck with the principles of why he started the company. He shares how that decision has paid off.
March 18, 2020
The more time you spend selecting the right acquisition and utilizing a thorough diligence process, the more likely you are to get better returns down the line, says Mastech Digital President and CEO Vivek Gupta. Based on his past experience, he provides advice for other buyers.
March 6, 2020
A recession isn’t on the horizon, thanks to factors like consumer spending, PNC Chief Economist Gus Faucher predicts. The U.S., though, may see slower growth in 2020. The X factor, however, could be an external shock like the coronavirus.
February 19, 2020
While there's a level of unawareness of how employee stock ownership plans truly work, grassroots efforts and education are starting to pay off with business owners. Kevin McPhillips of the Pennsylvania Center for Employee Ownership explains how.
February 18, 2020
Gregory D. Cessna wonders if the ease of information sent through digital portals can bog down deal due diligence. He provides some tips for right sizing the due diligence for your next deal.
February 4, 2020
The market for technology companies and disruptive startups remains red hot in Pittsburgh. Innovation Works' Rich Lunak shares what he's seeing in terms of valuations and deal flow.
January 22, 2020
Jamie Van Buren estimates he’s bought about 20 businesses over the course of his career, but today he truly enjoys mentoring young presidents and CEOs on buying companies and strategic initiatives to help the acquired company grow.
January 16, 2020
John Roppo has found preparation critical to the sale process. The long-time CFO, who recently started his own consulting firm, gives some tips to help companies prep for sale and focus on what they can control.
January 7, 2020
Until a decade ago, MSA Safety hadn’t been very successful with its acquisitions. But that changed when the safety equipment manufacturer started taking an intentional approach to integration that's spearheaded by the right deal quarterback.
January 2, 2020
Smart Business Dealmakers spoke with Tecum Capital’s Stephen Gurgovits Jr., S&T Bank’s Brian Dobis and Innovation Works' Rich Lunak about what they anticipate for the 2020 dealmaking climate.
December 17, 2019
Pittsburgh’s efforts to grow its regional health-tech and life science startup sector haven’t paid off as much or as quickly as city and business leaders would like. But Ariel Precision Medicine CEO and co-founder Jessica Gibson believes there’s still a path forward with more collaboration.
December 5, 2019
Entrepreneurship through acquisition or search fund can be less risky than starting a company from scratch, and GT Entrepreneurs is one of a handful of firms that help experienced operators find successful businesses. VP of Operations Robert Septak shares how the firm works.
November 27, 2019
In Gary DeJidas' mind many acquisitions are overpriced today, which is why GAI Consultants buys cautiously in an uncertain economy. The chairman and CEO also gives his perspective on ESOPs after 27 years under that ownership structure.
November 21, 2019
Hayden Cardiff approaches raising capital the same way he approaches building a product — with a lean startup methodology of build, measure and learn. The Idelic CEO discusses the company's growth and how he's applying what he's learned.
November 13, 2019
Prior to a sale, it’s critical to professionalize your company, whether that means planning, education or just a better understanding of its value. And as with any strategy, that may require an investment to bear fruit, says Adams Manufacturing President and CEO Tombardo.
November 5, 2019
Mark Evans has found transparency to be his most powerful tool when working with private equity owners. That's how he was able to convince his new PE firm to help Confluence buy the larger, publicly traded StatPro.
October 31, 2019
With growth comes the need for funding, says Lalit Chordia. The CEO of Thar Process, who sold two of his other companies in 2009 and 2016, shares his philosophies for raising capital and exiting a business.
October 22, 2019
Vertical farming is capital intensive, which is why Fifth Season co-founder and CEO Austin Webb relies on his financial analyst and investment banking background to help manage the funding for the startup, which has raised over $35 million to date.
October 18, 2019
Veteran dealmaker Buddy Flerl talks about what he’s seeing in the market and his approach to dealmaking.
October 10, 2019
The PE firm’s founding partner shares his insights into how Tecum Capital manages the investments in makes in its more than 40 portfolio companies.
October 2, 2019
Former American Eagle President Don Morrison, who now mentors entrepreneurs as chairman of deal flow for BlueTree Allied Angels, talks about angel investing, scaling startups and what entrepreneurs should be looking for when it comes to investors.
September 27, 2019
S&T Bank's Brian Dobis shares his perspective on three pitfalls and best practices when acquiring companies.
September 20, 2019
The CEO of Consumer Fresh Produce says the work that’s done before the deal paperwork is signed is often the most critical to long-term success.
September 19, 2019
Sarah Palya had limited business experience when she started Gus Gear. She’s had to learn as she goes, and now she feels her medical device startup is ready to jump to the next level, including possibly taking on investors.
September 11, 2019
Mill 19 recently celebrated its grand opening as the new home to key leaders in Pittsburgh’s manufacturing industry, including Carnegie Mellon University’s Manufacturing Futures Initiative, the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute and Catalyst Connection.
September 11, 2019
Since Chuck Mattera joined II-VI Inc. in 2004, the manufacturer has completed more than 20 acquisitions. And he’s embarking on the largest deal yet as he works to close the acquisition of Finisar Corp. — a similar-sized company with annual revenues of $1.3 billion.
August 28, 2019
CEO Krish Krishnan is an experienced biotech executive. But even he didn’t expect to go from self-funding Krystal Biotech to IPO in 18 months.
August 21, 2019
Babs Carryer, director of Pitt's Big Idea Center talks about Pittsburgh’s startup ecosystem, raising capital and the Big Idea Center.
August 16, 2019
When Michael Blair and his wife Jennifer founded Deka Lash in 2011, the reaction from Pittsburgh was raised eyebrows and roadblocks. Today, he has 60 franchise locations across the country.
August 7, 2019
Carnegie Mellon President Farnam Jahanian is a glass half full kind of guy. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t see challenges ahead for those who want to leverage entrepreneurship and innovation to create wealth in the Pittsburgh region.
August 1, 2019
As family offices take an increased interest in direct investing, focus and education are keys to success, says Ann Dugan of the Family Office Exchange.
July 23, 2019
RoadBotics CEO Mark DeSantis shares his experience building RoadBotics from the ground up, including rapid two-year growth since it got its first customers.
July 17, 2019
John Erkert has helped IPEG Industrial Group buy three industrial companies and sell another over the course of six years to build a global business in the plastics-processing, waste recycling and industrial heat-transfer markets.
June 25, 2019
The PE firm's president talks about the importance of staying flexible during dealmaking and why the fewer owners in a deal, the better.
June 20, 2019
Officially created five years ago to create health care innovations that improve the lives of patients in meaningful ways, UPMC Enterprises encompasses the $130 million a year that UPMC lays out for corporate venture investments and R&D.
June 13, 2019
The founder of the oil and gas industry business knew he needed help moving his company forward. But nothing prepared him for what's involved in selling a business.
June 11, 2019
3 Rivers Capital co-founder Dale Buckwalter shares his thoughts on how to make returns in the current market of high valuations.
June 4, 2019
After buying the smaller Hermes Investment Management, the Federated Investors CEO quickly moved to adopt Hermes' investment strategy of factoring in environment, social and governance criteria.
May 28, 2019
Andrew Wiechkoske has never had the unfortunate experience of having a deal fall apart at or near the finish line, even though he’s worked at PNC since 2008 and completed more than $1 billion
May 21, 2019
CEO C.J. Handron talks about how he brought Diamond Kinetics from the lab to the ball diamond with the help of Pittsburgh’s early-stage community.
May 16, 2019
A year into the Crazy Mocha acquisition, the benefits of the deal are finally falling into place for the coffee roaster that wanted a growing retail empire.
May 7, 2019
Yvonne Campos is an accomplished businesswoman who built and sold a successful market research and strategy firm. In all her experiences, though, she was never asked to participate in a deal or invest