Sometimes in life you get to do amazing things with amazing people. Like startups, for example, where you bond with people you never forget. People who had your back when times got tough and celebrated with you when things went well.
If you’re lucky, your startup might even get Acquired, which is usually every entrepreneur’s dream. Here at Acquire, we were fortunate to live through that experience when our previous startup, Bizness Apps, was Acquired by a private equity firm in 2017.
Although we’d accomplished something great together, it also meant our time was ending. Letting go was hard. The ups, the downs, the laughter, the tears – you name it, we went through it, and letting go was hard. Getting Acquired was a proud achievement but a bittersweet moment for us all.
Now we’re delighted to be getting the band back together to help entrepreneurs with zero experience sell their businesses. Too many believe acquisitions happen when Google shows up at your door with a check. Such optimism is rarely rewarded and can do more harm than good.
The reality is most startups don’t get Acquired, usually due to a lack of experience, knowledge, resources, or all of the above. We were fortunate enough to ride the startup journey from start up to exit and we’re hoping to help others do the same.
An acquisition is a proud and gratifying moment – a monument to the hard work and determination you’ve put into building your business. Too few entrepreneurs get even a taste of this experience, which can hinder the next generation of builders from doing what they love.
Today, we’ve reunited to cut weeds and build bridges, to terraform a new entrepreneurial landscape where founders meet buyers on equal footing.
Let me introduce you to the people determined to help get your business Acquired…
Front man: Andrew Gazdecki
“Hey guys, wanna get the band back together?”
Serial entrepreneur, Andrew Gazdecki, is the founder of Acquire.
Andrew has been building businesses since his teens. He’s had two businesses Acquired, one of which was a mobile app-building platform called Bizness Apps.
What’s Andrew’s secret to great entrepreneurship? True grit: to succeed, you need to be passionate, diligent, and enjoy the hell out of what you do.
Andrew is the recipient of Inc Magazine’s 30 Under 30 Award, a member of Forbes Technology Council, and a mentor in the startup community.
Acquire is Andrew’s response to the outdated, asymmetric, and inefficient acquisition process – one that can hinder or deter founders from selling up and moving on.
Shredding lead guitar: Kevin Shrage
“Man, you’re onto something with Acquire. I’m in.”
A founder of two successful businesses, one of which was Acquired and one he still runs (BrandArrow), Kevin is a marketing beast with over 15 years of experience.
Like Andrew, Kevin has been building businesses since a teenager. From vinyl-wrapping to lawnmowing, mobile marketing to acquisitions, Kevin’s flair for entrepreneurship means he instinctively knows the right growth levers to pull.
After graduating in Business Management, Kevin found his niche in digital marketing and helped Andrew grow his previous business from $0 to $10 million ARR. Since then, Kevin’s been helping brands connect with customers through his digital marketing agency, BrandArrow.
Kevin joins MicoAcquire as a consultant and leads growth and brand for the team.
Slappin’ bass: Stephen Heisserer
“There’s a real need for the acquisition space to evolve. Let’s do this!”
Stephen and Andrew go way back. They both attended Chico State and Stephen was one of Andrew’s first hires at Bizness Apps.
Like Andrew, Stephen majored in Business, and after exchanging views on entrepreneurship discovered they had a lot in common. Shortly afterwards, Andrew invited Stephen aboard Bizness Apps to help design mobile apps for his growing roster of small businesses.
Stephen then led the product team as the business scaled to over 20 million monthly active users. Their friendship continued to blossom over time, becoming a powerful catalyst for the success and subsequent acquisition of Bizness Apps.
Today, Stephen is excited to reunite with the old team on Acquire and will again be the strategic force behind product, helping Acquire become the world’s most trusted acquisition marketplace.
Jammin’ on keyboards: Brian Cross
“The important thing is transparency – getting buyers and sellers in the same place.”
Brian studied entrepreneurship and then turned to finance after discovering his love of systems and spreadsheets.
After an introduction from Andrew’s wife, Michelle, Brian joined Bizness Apps as CFO in 2015 and began integrating timely, accurate financial systems and automated reporting.
Among Brian’s chief accomplishments was handling due diligence for the Bizness Apps acquisition. When the team split, he became Head of Finance for the private equity firm that Acquired Bizness Apps and helped their portfolio double in size.
Since then, Brian has consulted for software companies of all sizes, from pre-revenue to $1 billion. When asked to reunite with the old crew, Brian couldn’t have been more thrilled to join a fun, cohesive team again.
Brian joins Acquire to help pull back the curtain on the acquisition process and create fair financial systems that result in frictionless acquisitions.
Bangin’ on drums: David Morton
“Let’s build something so good the industry won’t know what hit ‘em.”
David graduated in Computer Science and Engineering in 2002, just as the dotcom bubble burst. At that time, only the military were hiring so his first job was engineering military smart cards that identified Service personnel and encrypted their personal data.
When the economy recovered, David got a job in Silicon Valley working for Jeff Burton (co-founder of Electronic Arts). He later joined gaming startup CrowdStar to build their flagship game that grew to over 8 million players per day.
David also founded a language-learning gaming company, and raised funding for a smart water bottle that tracked how much you drank. After leaving the hardware space, a friend who worked at Bizness Apps invited David to meet Andrew.
At that time, a vendor was overcharging Andrew for a service David could build from scratch. Once built, Andrew wasted no time in appointing David as tech lead for the biggest mobile marketing company in the world.
Today, David is delighted to rejoin Andrew’s dream team to build a powerful, feature-rich marketplace that gives buyers and founders a supportive space for closing deals.
Strummin’ rhythms: Chris Roper
“Buyer and seller stories deserve equally happy endings.”
Chris has spent the best part of a decade writing about technology, finance, and investment.
After scoring his first copywriting gig for billion-dollar green-tech firm, Octopus Energy, Chris has since covered the myriad ways technology reimagines or disrupts industries for the better. His words have appeared in Forbes, Entrepreneur, Yahoo! Finance, and MSN Money.
In 2017, Chris started a copywriting business and Andrew was one of his first clients. At that time, Andrew had sold Bizness Apps and founded Altcoin (later sold to BnkToTheFuture). Together, they produced compelling, helpful content on everything from blockchain to SaaS to entrepreneurship.
In the years that followed, Chris wound down his copywriting business to become Head of Communications at a fintech startup, retaining Andrew as his one and only client.
Chris now leaves that role to lead content at Acquire and is thrilled to have the opportunity to work for Andrew full-time.
Well, that’s us!
Now we want to hear from you.
What do you want from Acquire? How can we make it easier for you to get Acquire’d, or even buy a business?
Whether you’re a founder or a buyer, we’d love to hear your feedback.
Email us now at email@example.com and tell us your stories and entrepreneurial aspirations for the future.
Together, we’ll do our best to help you achieve them.