What is LaunchPAD?
Our ETA (Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition) program, created by Grayscale, is specifically designed to support individuals seeking to get organized as entrepreneurs through acquisition, conduct a systematic business search, and successfully close & acquire their first small business.
Our entrepreneurs will gain the knowledge, skills, and tools necessary to properly develop an investment thesis that matches their experience and goals, conduct searches, negotiate and analyzing opportunities, to ultimately close on the right deal.
Our staff is committed to providing live trainings, exposure to real world examples, and access to experts at every stage of the acquisition process, to include transaction attorneys, accountants and industry experts.
What We Do
LaunchPAD places process and efficiency at the center of the search process. Through data-driven experimentation, we are constantly reevaluating what works and what doesn’t. Each of our entrepreneurs benefit from LaunchPAD's continuously growing body of knowledge after they join their cohort. We work closely with each searcher to build a strong pipeline of high-quality deals. We focus on individual mentoring, coaching and advising so each entrepreneur hones in on their best deal and efficiently navigates the transaction process to a successful close. By working closely together during the search and deal processes, we build trusting relationships that prove highly valuable when our entrepreneurs become owners. Here is how it works:
1. Getting Organized
Three intense weeks to learn, get organized, and launch your search, while creating close relationships with members of your cohort and the LaunchPAD team.
Learn To Search
The LaunchPAD experience starts with an intense 3-week Bootcamp during which the LaunchPAD team teaches you everything you need to know about our proprietary techniques, best practices and technologies. This will enable you to rapidly build your outreach engine and quickly connect with company owners.
Launch Your Search
LaunchPAD Bootcamp is not an academic exercise. Everything you learn is immediately put to use. By the end of Bootcamp, your search will be up and running. By your fourth week at LaunchPAD, you will start working with an assigned analyst who will play a key role on your team going forward.
During Bootcamp, you will get to know the other members of your cohort, and the LaunchPAD team even better than you would imagine. These bonds and relationships will grow and prove invaluable during your search and in the years that follow as an operator. The human aspect of LaunchPAD is hugely important, something that quickly becomes evident once you’re on board.
2. Build Your Outreach
Tailor Your search. Streamline Your Process.
A targeted, well-managed, and well-executed outreach is the key to search success. This requires mastering a complicated process: efficiently identifying companies in select industry niches and intelligently reaching out to owners and/or intermediaries. LaunchPAD has built up formidable experience, knowledge, and IP from over 10,000 hours of search experience (and counting) that, along with constant experimentation, give our searchers a clear advantage.
Build And Manage Your Team
LaunchPAD searchers manage their search and their team: an assigned analyst and a dedicated group of interns. We recruit top-notch analysts and interns from large pools of applicants. After searchers select their team, we provide them with an extensive training program to bring them up to speed. We are very proud of the prestigious jobs our analysts and interns have taken after learning and growing at LaunchPAD.
3. Think Like An Investor
Engage With Thought Partners
While informal interactions occur every day, each searcher has a weekly “check-in” with the LaunchPAD team to discuss industry niches, the search process and deals. While we won’t tell you what to do or where to focus, we will ask you questions and push you to evaluate opportunities critically and objectively.
Think Like An Investor
Thinking like a dispassionate investor does not come naturally. It is learned. It requires significant discipline, practice and patience. LaunchPAD coaches its searchers by helping them evaluate opportunities thoughtfully and efficiently. There is no point languishing on deals that don’t meet your standards when time could be better spent on more promising opportunities.
Trust The Process
Our searchers adopted this phrase, which captures the efficiency and effectiveness of LaunchPAD's processes: if you follow the playbook and work diligently, you will find a great company. You will also find one that uniquely fits your personality, experience and interests. Confidence in LaunchPAD's process should help you avoid any anxiety and pressure to “do a deal.”
4. Close Your Deal
Manage The Transaction & Closing
Transactions are fraught with complications. The LaunchPAD team works with our searchers to conduct thorough due diligence, negotiate appropriate terms, and create a solid plan for managing and growing their business. We also help our entrepreneurs manage the inevitable rollercoaster of emotions they experience as closing nears.
Work With Outstanding Deal Partners
LaunchPAD searchers work with outstanding partners throughout the transaction process. We pride ourselves on our close relationships with firms that provide legal, accounting, IT, HR, and risk management due diligence services. LaunchPAD has also built valuable relationships with experienced banking partners, giving our searchers certainty of close.
Keep The Engine Running
LaunchPAD works with its searchers to ensure that their outreach continues while due diligence on a specific opportunity is underway. Having other interesting opportunities to pursue gives our searchers the confidence to walk away from a deal if need be.
5. Transition To CEO
You Are Now At The Starting Line
Closing your deal is a momentous and important step in your journey. You are now a CEO. But the transition will be harder than you imagine. The first months are overwhelming as you simultaneously handle administrative details, adapt accounting systems, tackle HR issues and work through a slew of mundane but important tasks. At the same time, you will be taking the reins from the previous owner, managing operations and overseeing sales as you start leading the company. It’s the moment you will have been waiting for during months of searching, but the real work begins now.
Manage The Transition
LaunchPAD works closely with our searchers during the due diligence and closing phases so they are prepared to step in as CEO on day one. Since we know the challenges they will face, we spend extra time preparing our searchers for a smooth transition in advance. The LaunchPAD team and our diligence partners help our searchers tackle the more technical and administrative aspects of the post-acquisition rush so they can focus on managing the business.
Selection Process & Fees
In order to participate in the LaunchPAD program, you'll need to complete a short application. We will review applications and Invite qualified applicants to participate in a series of calls to determine how LaunchPAD may be able to help you acquire your first business.
To participate in the LaunchPAD ETA (Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition) program, the fee is $5,000
While there is a program fee, we have purposefully priced it lower than an MBA course or one month of a buy-side engagement fee.