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July 11, 2024

Post-Capital-Raise Board Dynamics

By SBN Staff

Jason Wolfe of Wolfe LLC, Meredith Meyer Grelli of the Tepper School Of Business Carnegie Mellon, Free Market Health's Joe Cardosi and moderator Patrick Colletti of Net Health and CoSage delve into the essential steps for getting your management team board-ready, and explore the art of CEO leadership in the boardroom.

June 20, 2024

Getting Deals Done Regardless Of Interest Rates

American Environmental Partners Brad Domitrovitsch on how he gets deals done despite interest rates.

May 9, 2024

Economic Realities Change Buying Criteria, Seller Outlook

Louis Plung & Co. Partner Tony Montanaro on the conditions in today's market and how they're impacting both buyers and sellers.

April 10, 2024

Pitsburgh Deal Activity: Increased scrutiny on forecasts in a volatile market

While the primary impetus for this change in buyer perspective stems largely from the pandemic and other macroeconomic factors like interest rate increases and complex geopolitical conditions, we expect that this aspect of buyer assessment will become a regular step in the deal process for the foreseeable future.

March 7, 2024

It's Complicated: Earnouts And Their Impact On A Deal

The full Pittsburgh Smart Business Dealmakers Conference Kickoff panel offer their takes on the earnout's role in a deal — for better and worse.

February 21, 2024

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

Here are the Pittsburgh Dealmaker of the Year Award honorees and Hall of Famers we're recognizing this year!

January 11, 2024

When It Comes To Assessing Culture, Listen To Your Gut

HB Global's Bob Whalen on the critical importance of culture in a deal and how to assess it.

December 1, 2023

Level Agency's Patrick Patterson Raises The Growth Bar

Level Agency's Patrick Patterson on the management buyout, how he connected with his PE backers and what it took to close the deal, what life is like with a PE partner and the agency's plans for the future.

November 3, 2023

Ven Raju On Investor Opportunities In Pittsburgh

After years of investing in early-stage companies in the SaaS, robotics, Internet of Things, health and fin tech spaces, Ven Raju has taken his talents from New York to Pittsburgh where he now heads

October 6, 2023

Interest Rates Effect Strategy, But Multiples Remain Insulated

Interest rates have an impact on a variety of factors — not just in M&A, but in business in general. That's causing businesses to develop strategies to minimize the impact of those rising rates to

September 1, 2023

Wellist Founder Ashley Reid On The Importance Of Perspective

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.

August 4, 2023

To Maximize Value, Prepare

David Nicholson, Vice Chairman of Polyconcept North America has, over 15 years, gone through three private equity buyouts of the business and has done multiple strategic acquisitions within the

June 29, 2023

Funding To Cross The Valley of Death

In 1985, Sanjiv Singh worked on the first autonomous ground vehicles to operate outdoors. By 2010, he led a team that demonstrated the first autonomous full-scale helicopter flight. Now he's with Near

June 2, 2023

Estate Tax Planning Considerations for Contemplated M&A Transactions

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

May 5, 2023

How Communication Breakdowns Can Kill Deals

CE Consulting Group's Gary Cerrone spoke during the Smart Business Dealmakers Conference about a deal that almost didn't get done in part because of a communication breakdown.

April 21, 2023

Finding Opportunity In Disruption

Defiant Capital Group Founder Jonathan Dane on launching the firm, his perspective on how the investor mindset has changed over the years since, and offers tips on post-business investment life.

March 24, 2023

Working Capital’s Vital Role in M&A

Tony Montanaro, partner in the forensic, litigation & valuation department at Louis Plung & Company, on working capital’s role in an M&A transaction.

March 10, 2023

Pittsburgh Deal Pulse: The Role of the Rollover

MelCap Partners David Shibley looks at trends and deals in the Greater Pittsburgh M&A market over the month of February.

February 24, 2023

Is The Sky Falling In 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

Avoid Just-In-Time Raises By Planning Ahead

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 Gabriela Isturiz Turns Investor with The Fund XX

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

Deal Pulse Pittsburgh: Earnouts Increase In Popularity

Given today’s challenging economic environment, earnouts will likely remain an important feature in M&A deals.

December 16, 2022

Deal Pulse Pittsburgh: M&A Key To Corporate Strategies Despite Uncertainty

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.

December 1, 2022

To Win The Deal, Get Creative

Hartwood Point's Ben Rizzo, Continuim Equity Partners’ George Pilafas and RDX/Navisite’s Buddy Flerl on best practices in winning the deal.

November 18, 2022

Deal Pulse Pittsburgh: Rising Interest Rates Impact Private Equity

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

Pitch perfect: The need for newbie entrepreneurs to improve their talk track

Project Olympus' Kit Needham on the areas where fist-time entrepreneurs stumble when seeking their earliest funding rounds.

October 21, 2022

Deal Pulse Pittsburgh: M&A Outlook in a Volatile Economy

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 23, 2022

Len Caric on hiring mistakes

Serial entrepreneur Len Caric on what he learned from his first job, how mentorship has impacted his career, change as a motivator and work/life balance.

September 9, 2022

Family Business Succession is a Slow, Steady Process

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

Engineered From Personal Need, Nollapelli Is Ready To Grow

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 29, 2022

Distinguish yourself in a deal

Tecum Capital's Stephen Gurgovits, Citizens M&A Advisory's David Dunstan, Matthews International Corp.'s Richard Beard and Aon's Bill Coleman on building a successful acquisition engine.

July 14, 2022

Ascender Lifts Early-Stage Entrepreneurs

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

The Advantage of Strategic Planning in M&A Transactions

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 17, 2022

Founders helping founders

Ilana Diamond on launching 412 Ventures, its investment thesis, and how their collective experience as founders might give them an advantage.

June 2, 2022

Listening is key to uncovering overlooked opportunities

George J. Howe Co.'s Len Caric on why creating win-wins is critical for the acquisition process.

May 19, 2022

When to incorporate investor feedback and when to ignore it

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

Factors that can trip-up a deal

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

TTG Imaging Gets Deal Done Despite Supply-Chain Hiccup

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 on what exactly a Q of E means for a seller

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.

February 25, 2022

Bold predictions for the 2022 M&A year

Will 2022 bring us a recession? The best deal year ever? Or the end of working from home? Predictions abound as the Dealmakers Roundtable kicked off this year's Pittsburgh Smart Business Dealmakers Conference.

January 27, 2022

Stephen Vitale finds opportunity in chaos

Pyrotecnico's Stephen Vitale talk about his busy M&A year, one that saw the company acquire five businesses.

November 24, 2021

How reading and research helped Andrew Bartels sell Medical Packaging Inc.

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.

October 15, 2021

Protect your blindside in a deal

Jim Nickel and Steve Bigari, along with Jeffrey Ford, Dale Killmeyer and Ryan Olsta offer tips on how acquirers can avoid the blindside risks in a deal.

September 17, 2021

Put your best foot forward in a sale

Charles McIlvaine, along with Dick Hollington, Chris Farmakis, and Patrick Fodale, offer a deep dive into how to make sure you’re checking the right boxes before you go to market — during the deal and post-close.

August 19, 2021

Supply chain issues and the threats they present in M&A

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.

July 16, 2021

De-risking the de-SPAC transaction

There’s a lot of talk about SPACs, blank-check companies that raise money to fast-track a private company into the public market. What doesn’t get discussed as much is the de-SPAC transaction — the second part of that process.

June 11, 2021

Ryan Green continually adjusts his model to find success

Gridwise co-founder Ryan Green continues to evolve his business, using customer feedback and adjusting to the market to find success.

April 30, 2021

Chuck Mattera on integration during a pandemic

How Chuck Mattera navigated the nearly $3 billion Finisar integration during a pandemic.

April 23, 2021

Post-COVID capital trends to watch

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 see IP differently

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.

March 18, 2021

Support, trust go a long way in M&A deals

For anyone considering selling a business, those who have been there say whatever you’re thinking the due diligence process is, both in terms of volume and depth of the requests, it’s more.

February 19, 2021

Blue River’s Sara Clevenger explores M&A’s Tumultuous year

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 on the surprising strength of M&A through the pandemic

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

How outside deal pros helped Arnie Burchianti find needle-in-a-haystack buyers

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 puts people first when acquiring

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

CMU’s Lynn Banaszak: Priorities are shifting, but innovation interest remains strong

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

Jay Katarincic shares the methods behind early stage VC investing

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

Babst Calland’s Chris Farmakis: The deal picture should be clearer by summer

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 bets on himself — and Gecko Robotics

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.

April 24, 2020

Metz Lewis’ John Lewis: Caution is the new normal

John Lewis expects employers to remain cautious in terms of deal activity, long-term commitments and employee compensation during this unprecedented time.

March 18, 2020

Vivek Gupta: A deliberate deal process will pay off for buyers

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

PNC’s Gus Faucher doesn’t see a U.S. recession in the near future — even with global concerns

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.

March 6, 2020

Pittsburgh 2020 Dealmaker of the Year Awards

Smart Business Dealmakers recognized some top deals and dealmakers in the Pittsburgh region at the Smart Business Dealmakers Conference on March 5. Here are the 2020 Dealmaker of the Year Award winners.

February 19, 2020

Kevin McPhillips: Taking an interest in employee ownership

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: How much due diligence is too much?

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

Rich Lunak on the hot technology market in Pittsburgh

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 coaches newly minted CEOs on buying and growth

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: Before the sale, focus on what you can control

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

MSA develops a better integration formula

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

A forecast of what to expect for 2020 Dealmaking in Pittsburgh

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 23, 2019

Pittsburgh 2019 Dealmaking Year In Review

With 2019 just about over, we’re taking a look back at some of what we learned this year.

December 17, 2019

Jessica Gibson on raising capital from inside a health-tech startup

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

GTE buys companies with a unique model: entrepreneurship through acquisition

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

Gary DeJidas on staying conservative in today’s market and an inside look at an ESOP

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

Pitt Ohio spinoff Idelic iterates quickly, including during fundraising

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

Tom Lombardo: Invest in your exit strategy upfront

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

Confluence’s Mark Evans builds trust to gain backing to take over a larger company

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

Thar Process’ Lalit Chordia: How to find the right investors or buyer

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

Fifth Season expands its vertical farming, stays focused on capital efficiency

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

Buddy Flerl on today’s hectic and fatiguing deal market

Veteran dealmaker Buddy Flerl talks about what he’s seeing in the market and his approach to dealmaking.

October 10, 2019

Tecum Capital’s Matt Harnett: Investors should work on the business, not in it

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

Angel Investing: The Power Of Group Intelligence

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

Pitfalls And Best Practices For A Successful Acquisition

S&T Bank's Brian Dobis shares his perspective on three pitfalls and best practices when acquiring companies.

September 24, 2019

Family Offices Are On The Rise in Pittsburgh

Ann Dugan, who founded and led the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence at the University of Pittsburgh for 30 years says more Pittsburgh-area families putting together a family office.

September 20, 2019

Gregory Cessna On Why Due Diligence Drives Post-Deal Synergies

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

As Gus Gear grows, Sarah Palya eyes taking on investors

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 Opens As Manufacturing Innovation Hub

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

How Chuck Mattera Transformed II-VI With Acquisitions

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.

September 6, 2019

Dawn Fuchs Coleman On Selling The Family Business

Former Weavertown Environment Group CEO Dawn Fuchs Coleman talks about selling the family business and her journey from executive to coach and investor.

August 28, 2019

How Krystal Biotech went from founding to IPO in 18 months

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

Pitt's Big Idea Center guides first-time entrepreneurs

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

Cinderella Story: How Michael Blair Built Deka Lash

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

CMU’s Farnam Jahanian on talent development and regional investment

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

Family Offices: Education And Focus Are Critical To Success

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

Mark DeSantis steers RoadBotics through rapid growth

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

IPEG Industrial: Lessons from a strategic mid-market buyer

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.

July 8, 2019

Get your house in order long before a sale

Gordon & Rees Scully Mansukhani partner Craig Heryford discusses what business owners need to do to have their company ready to sell — before an offer comes in the door.

July 2, 2019

Buying in a frenzied market

PNC Mezzanine Capital's Doug Brosius Brosius shares his insights into what is driving these high valuations and how they are impacting his approach to deals.

June 25, 2019

For Stonewood's Kenn Moritz, patience, flexibility drive success

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

UPMC Enterprises invests in its own disruption

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.