Ron & Joe worked for ADP for 30~ years then helped spin-out a new public company called CDK Global where we spent 3 years. When we left in 2018, Joe was running North American Operations and Ron was running Corporate Development. Joe was managing $1.5B~ in revenue, combined we acquired 40~ companies for over $2B, started many internal ventures, built relationships with a hundred plus companies and looked at hundreds more. We also started making private investments in 2015
As you would expect we did some things well and had a few areas we would have liked a “do over”. The good news for people we are working with is we learned from all the experiences (good & bad) and have built our company based on those experience.
In 2015 we formed Summerset Ventures and started investing in early stage companies currently having about 10 active investments. What we found was lots of smart people with good ideas, that really could use help to accelerate their business and help get them to their end game along a straighter path than they would most likely have taken. In that we are a bit like an accelerator, but we come in at a later stage and have lots of operational experience.
We found that there really isn’t a book to help you and until you have bought / integrated and sold a bunch of companies you really need people that have been there and done it to help you will not maximize value. There are articles and books, but our take is they are either so academic or superficial they don’t help. We believe you need a plan, and people you can talk to and help you steer through the experience.