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 Harvard.
We talk extensively about lessons learned at Home Depot, including the many mentors she’s had along the way, how to be an entrepreneur in a big company, picking the right search fund model for you, getting hands on experience prior to searching, and how we can encourage more women to become searchers.
(2:37) – What are your considerations when looking at different options in your Search?
(5:13) – What factors did you weigh when looking at investors?
(7:33) – What advice did you get from people to help you prepare mentally for Search?
(9:23) – What motivates you to be so interested in the healthcare industry?
(11:05) – What was your experience like working at the corporate level at Home Depot?
(18:14) – Being Entrepreneurial in a Big Company
(20:19) – Where are the similarities you see in service, retail, and healthcare?
(22:13) – What observations did you make in hiring, training, and management from Home Depot that could be applied in an acquired healthcare business?
(26:07) – Where do you draw the line in a Search when it comes to a culture that might be too far gone?
(30:40) – What was your experience like at Applied Concepts?
(35:15) – What challenges did you encounter as a woman in a male-dominated industry?
(37:44) – What will it take to balance the cohort of Searchers?
(42:37) – Who are some female role models that you admire?
(44:16) – What are you most excited about in your first year as a Searcher?
(45:37) – What College class would you teach if it could be on anything?
(46:27) – What’s a strongly held belief you’ve changed your mind on?
(48:42) – What’s the best business you’ve ever seen?
Think Like an Owner Sponsors:
Live Oak Bank — Live Oak Bank is a seasoned SMB lender providing SBA and conventional financing for search funds, independent sponsors, private equity firms, and individuals looking to acquire lower middle-market companies. Live Oak has closed billions of dollars in SBA financing and is actively looking to help more small company investors across the country. If you are in the process of acquiring a company or thinking about starting a search, contact Lisa Forrest or Heather Endresen directly to start a conversation or go to www.liveoakbank.com/think.
Hood & Strong, LLP — Hood & Strong is a CPA firm with a long history of working with search funds and private equity firms on diligence, assurance, tax services, and more. Hood & Strong is highly skilled in working with search funds, providing quality of earnings and due diligence services during the search, along with assurance and tax services post-acquisition. They offer a unique way to approach acquisition diligence and manage costs effectively. To learn more about how Hood & Strong can help your search, acquisition, and beyond, please email one of their partners Jerry Zhou at [email protected]
Oberle Risk Strategies– Oberle is the leading specialty insurance brokerage catering to search funds and the broader ETA community, providing complimentary due diligence assessments of the target company’s commercial insurance and employee benefits programs. Over the past decade, August Felker and his team have engaged with hundreds of searchers to provide due diligence and ultimately place the most competitive insurance program at closing. Given August’s experience as a searcher himself, he and his team understand all that goes into buying a business and pride themselves on making the insurance portion of closing seamless and hassle-free.