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 mash you together with other businesses vaguely resembling yours, or "flip" your business like a house on HGTV? Or will you sell to a competitor who may deprive your company of the attention it needs, or swallow it whole leaving your employees and culture behind? Perhaps 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. A structure that prioritizes what matters to you. A succession plan based on your desired involvement and what's best for the long-term health of the business. And a passionate succeeding entrepreneur who will devote his career to reaching your company's greatest potential.
Maybe you're ready to sell 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. I'd love to discuss what's important to you and how we can strap rocket boosters to your business.
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 suits your needs while ensuring the business is set up for success.
Hi, I'm Austin
I am the founder and managing partner of Hillcreek Capital. Growing up in rural Arkansas, I spent my free time building and fixing (or breaking) things and starting hobby businesses wherever I saw a need. I fell in love with commerce - nothing beat the feeling of the first sale. Local business owners challenged the ideas that bigger is always better and that growth should be pursued at all costs. They showed me the impact that small businesses could have on a community and I dreamed of one day embarking on my own entrepreneurial journey. I founded Hillcreek as an answer to this call.
Prior to founding Hillcreek, I worked at a financial technology startup located in Chicago, where I became the COO's right-hand man as we scaled exponentially to over 450 employees and half a million customers. Though my work spanned people, process, and technology, my most fulfilling work involved hiring and managing a team. Prior to this, I worked as a consultant helping national 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; qualities reflective of my upbringing.
I earned my MBA from The University of Chicago Booth with concentrations in Entrepreneurship and Operations, during which I interned on Tesla's analytics team. I earned my bachelor's degree from Harding University in Arkansas with majors in Finance and Accounting.
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. 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. Their individual decisions to invest in Hillcreek are the result of a rigorous vetting process and represent a belief in my ability to lead and grow the acquired company. They will take an active role in the acquired company, serving as mentors and board members and using their vast 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!
(Consider making drop-downs for more efficient use of space)