Professional Manager to Entrepreneur to Investor



Most of us, when we think about entrepreneurship today, we envision founders who’ve built businesses from the ground up and taken them to new heights. People like Gates, Jobs or Zuckerberg often spring to mind. We watch shows like Shark Tank and envision unknown founders getting their big break by getting investment from famous founders who’ve already made it big. But in reality, entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship comes in a wide range of forms. Some entrepreneurs buy established businesses, some, like today’s guest are brought in by the owners to take a business to the next level and in the process become owners themselves.

– Will Daly is currently the Operating Partner at Periscope Equity and a Founding Partner at Flanner Hall Partners, both private equity investment firms investing in high growth ventures. Prior to becoming an investor Will served as Co-President, COO and CFO for Barcodes Inc, N. America’s leading provider of barcode, mobile computing and RFID technologies.
– Will is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business.
– Will…Thrill, welcome to the show – What’s the Lowdown?
– First, give us a quick couple of minutes on your background and how that lead you down the path towards Barcodes.
– I want to do a deep dive into how private investment firms in this space operate. Can you start by giving us an overview of how firms like yours identify businesses and then go about placing executives in those businesses?
– Tell us about Barcodes and exactly where the business was at the time that you got involved. What was the negotiation like and what were the key points that were important to you? What kind of stake is typical for a manager coming into a situation like this?
– Did the business require additional investment when you came on board? If so, how did you get the firm to stump up the cash?
– You were at Barcodes and during that time the company went through 2 exits where you and the management team stayed in place. What was that experience like and what did you learn during the 1st exit that you were able to apply during the next one?
– What role did the different PE firms play while you and Dan were growing the business? Were there opportunities you were able to take advantage of or constraints that held the business back at times as a result of this structure?
– How does one even get on the radar screen of PE firms to be considered for this opportunities like this?
The Real Lowdown Segment
– Did you have any sway or influence during the exit process or was that completely outside of your control?
– How might you have run the business differently if you and Dan had full control of the business?
– What mistake or mistakes did you make that stood out to you during this process?
– You’re now on the other side of the fence investing in businesses and people – what are you looking for in the businesses and the people you want to run the companies?

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