The Smart Business Dealmakers Conference 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 (previously known as ASPIRE)
The Smart Business Dealmakers Conference 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 (previously known as ASPIRE)
- Corporates join VCs to fill pipeline for Pittsburgh tech investment >
- Tom Lombardo: Invest in your exit strategy upfront >
- Buddy Flerl on today’s hectic and fatiguing deal market >
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 M&A Roundtable: 2020 And Beyond
A trio of Pittsburgh’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.
9:30 A.M. - 10:15 A.M. Why Deals Fail and How to Minimize the Impact
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. Anatomy Of A Sell-Side Deal: A Case Study
An entrepreneur and panel of M&A advisers peel back the curtain for a special inside look at how the deal came together to sell his company. The group will share best practices used, as well as how to identify — and overcome — common pitfalls for structuring, negotiating and closing middle-market M&A transactions.
9:30 A.M. - 10:15 A.M. Transaction Preparedness: 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.
10:45 A.M. - 11:30 A.M. Building Strong Capital Stacks: Understanding Different Financing Needs For Different Growth Stages Of Your Business
As your company matures, your financial needs change. Join a group of business owners, leaders, and experts as they break down how to identify, assemble, and deploy capital to 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. Understanding Family Business Dynamics: An Owner's 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.
11:30 A.M. - 12:00 P.M. Networking
12:30 P.M. - 1:00 P.M. Luncheon Keynote: Rooney On Rooney
Dan Rooney was one of the most influential sports executives of his generation, shaping the Pittsburgh Steelers into one of the NFL’s great franchises. As a business leader, philanthropist and author of the famous Rooney Rule, he was known for his core values and willingness to listen to those who disagreed with him.
Jim Rooney — co-owner of Rooney Consulting and author of the best-selling book, “A Different Way to Win: Dan Rooney’s Story" — will discuss growing up in the Steelers organization, what it was like working with his father, and how the Rooney Rule has shaped modern sports.
Conference attendees can buy copies of the book and have them signed by Jim later in the afternoon.
1:30 P.M.-2:15 P.M. Overcoming Common Mistakes Made During Acquisitions: Best practices and pitfalls
Do you know what it takes to buy a business? Join a panel offinance-minded entrepreneurs, experts and investors as they share their frontline experiences buying businesses and structuring acquisition deals.
1:30 P.M.-2:15 P.M. The M&A Lifecycle: 360-degree dealmaking
From the buy-side to the sell-side, if you’re a dealmaker it’s likely you’ll be raising capital, making acquisitions, experiencing liquidity events, and selling your company. Join a panel of entrepreneurs, investors and advisors as they take you on a journey across the M&A lifecycle.
2:30 P.M.-3:15 P.M. Integrating Operations: Culture, Advisors, Management Team.
After the deal is done and the ink has dried what does the new company look like… and what’s your role? Join a group of serial acquirers, investors and experts as they share their experiences.
2:30 P.M. - 3:15 P.M. What’s Next? Critical Decision-Making in 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.
3:30-4:30 P.M. Cocktail Reception & Awards presented by Henderson Brothers
Join us at the cocktail reception presented by Henderson Brothers to recognize the 2020 Dealmaker of the Year Award Winners.
This year's class includes:
- Michael Finke, M*Modal
- Greg Lignelli, System One
- Bill Mueller, Fi360
- Dietrich Stephan, PhD, NeuBase Therapeutics, Inc.
- Austin Webb, Fifth Season
4:30 P.M. Adjourn