A Different Kind of Exit.
I'm an investor-backed entrepreneur seeking to acquire one great business and continue the legacy of a great founder.
GREAT SUCCESSORS ARE AS RARE AS GREAT COMPANIES.
There is no shortage of buyers for a great business, but do they care about what you care about? There is far more at stake than a good price. What will happen to your employees, your culture, and your legacy? Will you sell to a private equity firm planning to merge your company with vaguely similar businesses or flip it like a house on HGTV? Or will you sell to a competitor who may deprive your company of the attention it needs to thrive or swallow it whole leaving your employees and culture behind? Maybe you'd like to transition to an employee and retain full ownership, but does your next-in-line have what it takes to take your business to the next level, or just maintain the status quo? The truth is there are more paths to exit than ever before, but few worth taking.
I'm staking my career on the belief that there's a better option; one that combines the flexibility, honesty, and transparency of a family succession with the capital and active involvement of veteran entrepreneurs-turned-investors. Leading the charge is a passionate, experienced succeeding entrepreneur in myself who is dedicated to the nights and weekends required to get up to speed and who will make it his life's work to see your company reach its greatest potential.
Every business is going to transfer; it's a matter of if, not when. Don't let life circumstances dictate the successor or the terms. Maybe you're ready to transition now or need a couple of years. Maybe you want to remain involved and share in future growth, or perhaps you're ready for the next phase of life. As Hillcreek's only investment, we will design a transition specific to your personal and financial priorities.
In a good transition, all parties win. I'd love to discuss how we can win together.
The Hillcreek Difference
Your business will be Hillcreek's sole investment. Upon close, I will relocate to your community and dedicate 100% of my time to running your business with the same passion and integrity as you have.
Integrity & Transparency
No Wall Street bankers, no used car salesmen. Our conversations will be honest and straightforward - from one entrepreneur to another. Our terms will be clear and we will honor our commitments.
We aren't a turnaround investment firm looking to "flip" your company or strip it for parts. Your business is already great, and my focus is building upon your foundation.
Deal terms that meet your preferences, lifestyle, and estate planning needs. We will get creative in pursuit of a great outcome for us both, including providing opportunities to share in the future success of your company (many business owners have benefitted immensely from a "second bite").
You can't tell the story of a small business without its employees. Individually and collectively, they are vital to the future success of the company. My desire isn't that they merely "survive" after acquisition, but thrive as they grow alongside the company.
Private equity firms can require 2-5 years of post-sale commitment under increased scrutiny. We'll work with you to define comfortable transition timeline that fits your desires while ensuring the business is set up for success.
Hi, I'm Austin
I am the founder and managing partner of Hillcreek Capital. I was born and raised in rural Arkansas by a family who valued character above all else. Left to entertain myself, I spent my free time building and fixing things, starting hobby businesses wherever I saw a need. Local business owners took notice and mentored me, developing in me a passion for entrepreneurship and an appetite for risk. This passion is what led me to found Hillcreek.
Prior to founding Hillcreek, I worked at a financial technology startup in Chicago, where I became the COO's right-hand man as we scaled exponentially (and profitably) to over 450 employees and half a million customers. Prior to this, I worked as a consultant helping large healthcare organizations implement and adapt to new technology. I credit my early career success to my integrity, curiosity, and willingness to do the jobs no one else wants to do. The most challenging and rewarding role I have played is that of a manager, and I believe deeply in the concept of servant leadership.
I earned my MBA from The University of Chicago Booth with concentrations in Entrepreneurship and Operations, during which I completed an extended internship with Tesla Motors. I earned my bachelor's degree from Harding University in Arkansas with majors in Finance and Accounting.
I recently got engaged to the love of my life, Caroline, and we are thrilled to embark on this entrepreneurial adventure together.
On the weekend, you might find me reading, playing the guitar, golfing, fishing, or watching the Arkansas Razorbacks. My Christian faith is the most important thing in my life; the driving force behind my desire to positively impact the world through business.
Who are my investors?
My investors comprise former business owners and operators with decades of experience and a passion for growing small businesses. Their investment models solely focus on backing talented human capital, and their investments in Hillcreek represent their belief in my ability to lead and grow the acquired company. Collectively, they have executed hundreds of successful small business transactions across dozens of industries - far more than any single private equity firm over the same time period, and with better outcomes. They will take an active role in the acquired company, serving as mentors and board members and using their broad networks to aid in scaling the company.
Click below to learn more
I'm looking for one great B2B software or services business with the following attributes:
Profitable for the last 3+ years
Annual revenue between $4-$50 million
At least $1 million of cash flow and margins above 15% (EBITDA)
Loyal, recurring customer base
Sales aren't highly concentrated among a small number of customers
People + Intangibles
Strong company culture
Middle management team committed to staying with the company post-acquisition
Excellent reputation in the local community
Seeking to retire, start a new venture, or reduce time commitment to focus on a narrower set of responsibilities (e.g., R&D, CTO, sales, etc.)
Looking to sell a majority stake in the business
All businesses are unique. Unsure if your business fits the criteria? Let's talk!
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