The CED Team caught up with the Vice President of Corum Group, Jeff Brown, to discuss the event and its relevance to local entrepreneurs.
The CED Team: Tell us a bit more about the workshop - what will participants learn?
Brown: We go through trends and valuations for various software markets, factors that are driving currently high valuations, and move into discussing the right way to prepare for and carry out selling your company.
The CED Team: How did this event develop? Why bring it to Raleigh/Durham?
Brown: The Merge Briefing is an outgrowth of the “Selling Up, Selling Out” conference that has been ongoing since 1991—more technology executives have attended that conference than all similar conferences combined. That’s a half-day conference, a deep dive into the nuts and bolts of growing and selling a company. We’re planning to bring “Selling Up, Selling Out” to Durham in the first half of 2013.
The CED Team: Okay, makes sense. The Triangle area is experiencing a rapid growth in entrepreneurs who are preparing for funding events in the next 12-18 months. Is there a particular audience that would gain value from this event? Is it open to anyone interested in learning more about M&A?
Brown: The audience for the Merge Briefing is primarily CEOs, investors and executives of software companies who are considering an M&A process at some point in the future—sometimes in the very near term, but most often at some point in the next three years. However, it is a great opportunity even for early-stage companies, because it gives a entrepreneurs a great overview of what they need to be thinking about in advance of testing the marketplace—how to begin with the end in mind.
The CED Team: Right - we hear so frequently from investors and successful entrepreneurs that early preparation - networking with investors, pitching their business, recruiting, etc. - helps immensely down the road. Obviously this translates into preparation for acquisition or a merger. When running these events, do you see success down the road? What's the current state of those who attempt to complete an M&A process with no preparation?
Brown: Selling your software or related technology company is the most important transaction of your life, but something we find at these conferences is that software CEOs, who think very systematically about most things, often don’t have the knowledge they need in order to successfully carry out a transaction.
You don’t know what you don’t know, and the Merge Briefing provides a great opportunity to benefit from others’ experience before you start. 80% of all self-managed M&A processes fail, and these failures sometimes end up destroying the value of the company itself, so it’s critical to get educated.
The CED Team: Where can those interested go to register? Is there a cost associated with the event? Where's the event held?
Brown: The event will be held in the American Underground Classroom on Thursday, November 8, from 9:30 - 11 AM. There is a $35 fee associated with the event. A full agenda and registration information is available online.