Our first Capital Strategies event of 2015 was held on February 17, in Louisville, Kentucky. Despite competing with the biggest snowstorm Louisville has seen in more than 10 years, there were over 50 people at the event to learn more about capital planning and exit strategies for growing businesses.
Our co-sponsor and host, Andy McKay, head of Investment Banking, Hilliard Lyons, did a masterful job moderating the first panel discussion, which covered how a company should prepare itself to enter the market for capital, how to prepare for an exit or buy-out, recent market trends, the diversity of financial products available including senior debt, mezzanine debt, private equity, venture capital, etc., as well as the situations where each type of capital is appropriate.
I was part of this Capital Providers panel, joined by Jonathan Blue, chairman and managing director, Blue Equity, John Sweeney, managing director, Investment Banking, Hillard Lyons and Jerry Henderson, National Industry Partner, Manufacturing & Distribution Practice, BKD, LLP.
Carolyn Galiette, senior managing director, Ironwood Capital, moderated the Management panel, which included Bob Saunders, serial entrepreneur and former venture capitalist, Gerald J. Plappert, CPA, ABV, CGMA, chief financial officer, Andrew Elliot Group, Vince Tyra, president and chief executive officer, ISCO Industries and Dann Glick, co-founder and executive vice president, Hillsdale Furniture. The panelists shared their personal experiences raising capital and their unique perspectives on how to grow or sell a business, practical plans to prepare a business for a sale, what to look for in a capital provider or transaction partner and the importance of high quality accounting and legal services – before, during & after transaction. A key part of the discussion covered lessons learned: what each of these highly experienced business owners might have done differently in raising or utilizing capital.
A big thank you to Andy McKay and the Hilliard Lyons team for their outstanding organizational efforts on this event, to our panelists, who generously shared their invaluable insights, and to our attendees, who braved very challenging weather conditions!
Next up: Rochester, New York on March 12th. If you’re in the area, please join us.