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[Private Equity Series] Acquiring Bootstrapped SaaS Companies with Kevin McArdle of SureSwift Capital
Kevin McArdle is the Founder and CEO of SureSwift Capital, a private equity firm that buys and builds SaaS companies. SureSwift gives dream exits to SaaS Founders and through their uniquely entrepreneurial approach, they have acquired–and grown–over 30 companies in five and a half years. A few of their companies include ChargeStripe, Mailparser, MySiteAuditor, and many more.
Before founding SureSwift, Kevin worked at Cerner Corporation, a global healthcare IT firm. In his 15 year tenure at Cerner, Kevin held positions in sales, sales leadership, operations, general management, and client management, eventually becoming one of the youngest Vice Presidents in the company’s 35-year history.
Andrew Youderian is the Founder of eCommerceFuel, an amazing community where eCommerce store owners can help each other grow their stores and build deeper relationships. After a few years in the investment banking world, Andrew decided he’d had enough and decided to quit and start his first eCommerce business.
He has sold numerous eCommerce stores over the years, which have collectively generated millions of dollars, and he has experience bootstrapping stores, seven-figure business exits, and SEO community building.
John Corcoran is a recovering attorney, an author, and was a former White House writer and speechwriter to the Governor of California. Throughout his career, John has worked in Hollywood, the heart of Silicon Valley, and ran his own boutique law firm in the San Francisco Bay Area catering to small business owners and entrepreneurs.
John has been the host of the Smart Business Revolution Podcast since 2012 where he has interviewed hundreds of CEOs, founders, authors, and entrepreneurs, from Peter Diamandis and Adam Grant to Gary Vaynerchuk and Marie Forleo.
John is also the co-founder of Rise25 Media, a company that connects B2B businesses with their ideal clients, referral partners, and strategic partners. They help their client generate ROI through their done-for-you podcast service.
How a Chicago Startup is Getting Big Competitors to Collaborate and Democratize Data with Jimmy Zollo of Collaborata
Jimmy Zollo is the Co-Founder and CEO of Collaborata, a Chicago-based company serving the insights and marketing-research space. Collaborata helps companies find, shape, and buy expert-led multi-client research projects. It helps companies get expert market research that can help a company grow and innovate, and they connect research clients and suppliers to market research. They are the first-ever platform that allows brands to share research costs and insights, and they have been featured in Business Insider, BuiltInChicago, Greenbook, Market Research World.
Jimmy is also the Co-Founder of Joe & Bella, a service that provides older adults with the full array of products they need, and they offer their services for residents of care communities, their families, and caregivers.
Previously Jimmy helped drive the initial growth of Grubhub, one of Chicago’s most successful tech startups ever. He helped develop Grubhub’s industry-leading restaurant network, traveling across the country to launch new markets and grow existing ones.
Before Jimmy focused on tech, he worked in the sports industry, having worked for the Chicago Sky, then the Bulls, selling his favorite sport in his favorite city.
Lance Graulich is the Founder and CEO of ION Franchising, an industry-leading franchise, consulting, and development group. They represent over 650 franchise brands and business opportunities within 90 different categories.
Lance helps prospective entrepreneurs find their perfect franchise free of charge and he also helps independent business owners create a franchise system. He started in a family business on Wall Street after receiving his economics degree. He joined TGI Friday’s franchise in Arizona as a key executive and was vital in the rapid growth of the over $225 million organization.
Lance was a multi-unit, multi-state franchisee of Wingstop and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. He has created countless startup brands and is one of the industry-leading donut experts. He is the Founder of the doughnut chain Pinkbox Doughnut in Las Vegas.
As a business start-up expert with more than 25 years of experience, Lance has served as President of various franchise advisory councils and boards advising emerging franchise brands. He has also helped a multitude of companies grow efficiently and effectively, and he routinely provides advisory services to private equity firms covering the restaurant industry
[Top Black Business Leader Series] Racial Inequality and Appalling Silence with Robert Wallace of BITHGROUP Technologies
Robert Wallace is a speaker, author, and a consultant with over 40 years of business experience spanning engineering, energy, and IT. He has a true rags-to-riches story that began in the Baltimore Projects amidst poverty and racial segregation before overcoming obstacles to establish three companies: BITHGROUP Technologies, Bithenergy, and EntreTeach.
Robert shares his innovative strategies for success in his books and workshops, which includes one of his books, Black Wealth: Your Road to Small Business Success. He partners with many different types of clients across a range of industries and some of his clients include Bank of America, Dartmouth College, IBM, Salvation Army, NIH, Toyota, Verizon, University of Pennsylvania, and many more.
[Venture Capital & Chicago Series] How to Use Data and KPIs to Drive Important Decisions with Haley Kwait Zollo, Principal at Starting Line
Haley Kwait Zollo is Principal at Starting Line, a Chicago-based, thematic early-stage venture capital fund focused on investing in consumer services and products that are cheaper and better. They’ve invested in companies like Cameo, Catch Co, SpotHero, and many more.
Before joining Startling Line, Haley was VP of Strategy and Business Operations at Mac & Mia and was Manager of strategy and analytics at Trunk Club. She began her career as a Transaction Services Associate at KPMG.
[Top Agency Series] How to Rebuild a Brand like RadioShack, Pier1, and Linens N Things with Rudy Mawer of ROI Machines
Rudy Mawer is the CEO and Founder of ROI Machines. ROI Machines is a digital marketing agency that helps companies get tens of thousands of leads with paid ads by setting up everything that a company needs from funnel design, development, copywriting much more. They help multiple 7 to 8 figure businesses generate over $150 million per year.
Rudy is also the CEO of Pier1, an online retail and home store chain specializing in imported home furnishings and decor. Pier1 is part of the Retail E-commerce Venture’s holdings, where Rudy is an investor and advisor. Tai Lopez and Alex Mehr run Retail E-commerce Ventures and their holdings include Pier1, RadioShack, Dressbarn, Stein Mart, Franklin Mint, Linens ‘n Things, and many more.
Before founding ROI Machines, Rudy was an elite sports nutritionist and trainer. He worked with Hollywood celebrities, elite athletes, NBA players, WWE, gold medalists, and more.
Ray Edwards is a famous copywriter, best-selling author, and keynote speaker. His direct response campaigns have resulted in an estimated $100 million in sales, and he has worked with high-profile clients such as Tony Robbins, Jack Canfield, and Mark Victor Hansen. Ray is currently a copywriting consultant and the Founder of the Copywriting Academy Coaching Program and the Ray Edwards Copywriting Agency. He is also the host of the top-ranked podcast, The Ray Edwards Show.
Ron Popeil is a unique inventor and a legend of sales infomercials and direct response marketing. Over the last 40 years, Ron’s products have pulled in more than $2 billion in sales. He has created innumerable products and infomercials, such as the Showtime Rotisserie, the Chop-O-Matic, the Veg-O-Matic, and many more.
Ron is still going strong with his latest product, the 5-in-1 fryer which can cook a 15 pound turkey in 46 minutes.