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Think Like An Owner

The Think Like an Owner podcast seeks out conversations with small company owners and investors to learn how to acquire and run small companies, with a focus on search funds, micro private equity, and permanent capital.

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Juan Ruiz – Student-led Search Investing – Ep.136

My guest on this episode is Juan Ruiz. Juan is the founder of CommunEtA, the first-ever student-led search investment fund. The goal of the fund is multifold: provide exposure and training for students wanting to build a career in search, provide a grassroots investment option for searchers, and spread the word about search across the country. We start off the episode discussing a few student-run funds on the venture capital

Alexis Grant – Covering Company Exits at They Got Acquired – Ep.135

My guest on this episode is Alexis Grant. Alexis and I have gotten to know each other through our mutual interest in media and our two small but growing media companies. We share thoughts, ideas, and advice back and forth all the time, and I’m excited to finally record one of our conversations. Alexis founded a blog management company that was acquired by The Penny Hoarder, which then sold and

Kurt Leedy and Kyle Coots – The Three Methods to Grow Capital – Ep.134

My guests on this episode are Kurt Leedy and Kyle Coots, co-founders and managing directors at Miramar Equity Partners. Kurt and Kyle have an interesting vantage point in the search world being backed by a family office with an agnostic time horizon, allowing them to invest in the widest set of opportunities in search and parallel spaces. Our episode focuses on a concept they developed they call the three ways to make money, those being classic LBO, M&A-driven strategies,

Adriana Garcia Ceja – The Power of Role Models – Ep. 133

My guest on this episode is Adriana Garcia Ceja who recently launched a traditional search fund backed by Footbridge Partners, Pacific Lake, and others with a primary focus on the healthcare industry. Adriana brings a ton of experience to her search, including corporate development at Home Depot and a head of special products role at Applied Concepts, a search fund backed company, during her gap year in her MBA at

Mark Brooks – Building Transformative Teams – Ep. 132

My guest on this episode is Mark Brooks, Managing Director of Permanent Equity. Mark leads Permanent Equity’s post-close operations team, partnering with company leaders to overcome challenges and unlock growth. Mark is a really reflective person, which you can tell from his writing on Twitter. He’s thought very deeply about management and creating transformative teams, and this conversation is dense with value and insights. This episode is a fantastic dive

Sara Heston & Peter Kelly – Stanford Search Fund Study – Ep.131

I’m joined by Sara Heston and Peter Kelly. Together at Stanford, Sara and Peter, among other projects and teaching, assemble the Stanford Search Study that has been released every year on even years. The study is widely considered the go-to resource for learning about search funds and is often the first resource shared with folks considering the path. The first study in 1996 was only two pages long, and the

Jay Davis and Jason Pananos – Serial Acquisition Strategies and Holding Companies – Ep.130

My guests on this episode are Jay Davis and Jason Pananos. Jay and Jason acquired Vector Disease Control, which provides vector borne disease prevention and lake management services, in 2011. About 4 years after acquisition, they realized serial acquisitions complementary companies could be a powerful growth lever. And 14 acquisitions later, they sold the company in 2017 for a very successful outcome. Following the sale, they founded the Nashton Company

Nick Haschka – Reversing Course on a Holding Company – Ep.129

My guest on this episode is Nick Haschka, back for a third episode to provide an update on his early ambitions of a holding company, which have taken a slight turn. Two years ago, Nick and his partner Anupam Sharma acquired a commercial landscaping company Vargas Gardening. They added a manager and grew the business, but realized the road ahead was going to be substantially more difficult and so made

Andy Cagnetta – How Business Brokers See the M&A World – Ep.128

My guest on this episode is Andy Cagnetta. Andy is the CEO of Transworld Business Advisors, one of the largest business brokers in the country. The typical guest on Think Like an Owner is an owner operator often running a business they acquired, although not always. And therefore, the buyer’s side of a transaction is where we have spent the most time as a podcast. I wanted to hear the

Trilogy Search Series Ep.5: Kevin Knoepp and Zach Seely – Ep.127

Today I’m joined by Kevin Knoepp and Zack Seely. Zach acquired a healthcare software company called FSI in late 2020 with technical diligence help from Kevin, a software due diligence advisor and Trilogy operating executive. Our conversation doesn’t discuss the attractiveness of software as an investment, which it very much is, but rather on how to properly diligence software and operate and improve the business once acquired. We review common


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Each year I write an annual letter to readers and listeners to reflect on the evolution of the podcast and my personal growth.