Smart Business Aspire Conference: A day for dealmakers

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There’s no doubt about it — Northeast Ohio is a dealmaking town. Tracing its roots back to the days of John D. Rockefeller, the region’s legacy of big industry, banking and venture capital continues to this day.
In a nod to the past — and as we look forward to the future — on May 18, 2016, Smart Business will present the inaugural ASPIRE Conference in Cleveland, Ohio. We’ll bring together entrepreneurs, business owners, and top leaders with deal-makers, investors and advisers for a daylong conference to discuss issues in the M&A and business investment world. Together, we’ll aspire to make Northeast Ohio a stronger business region.
The Cleveland ASPIRE Conference features keynote presentations from successful entrepreneur Nicholas Howley, founder and CEO of TransDigm, and savvy financial business leader Walter Bettinger, president and CEO of Charles Schwab. Both will share lessons learned.
This will be a different kind conference than Northeast Ohio has previously seen as the entire dealmaking community has come together to bring ASPIRE to life. It will present exciting keynote speakers, informative breakout sessions, and opportunities throughout the day to network while focusing on four key areas that any entrepreneur thinking about jumping into the M&A or dealmaking world needs to understand:

  • Buying a business: Do you know what it takes to effectively buy a business? Have you thought about valuations, the importance of a strong management team, and why market share and competitive differentiation matters? You’ll hear from experts and business leaders who have grown through acquisition.
  • Selling a business: When is a good time to sell? Do you understand how private equity values your business? Have you made those critical checklists of what to prepare? You’ll learn from entrepreneurs who have divested assets or sold their company and the experts who have helped them.
  • Raising capital: Where does the money come from? We’ll discuss ways to finance your business — from friends and family to angel investors and early-round finance, we’ll explore options such as bank financing, venture capital and private equity. You’ll hear from those who have raised capital and others who have provided it.
  • Liquidity events: What happens once you’ve taken money off the table? We’ll dive deep into the subject and discuss how to spark these all-important events, plus what comes next after the deal is done.

Join us at the ASPIRE Conference. Learn more or register for the May 18 event today at