About Buy Then Build

Despite the popularity of entrepreneurship, we still haven't engineered success into starting up. Acquisition entrepreneurship changes that.

Buying an existing company provides a profitable infrastructure from which to build your own company, without worrying about the startup phase. Buy Then Build was created as a passion project to underscore the trends at this unique time in history. Namely:

  • With jobs not being able to keep up with college graduate demand, entrepreneurship has never been more important. We have entered the Entrepreneurial Economy.
  • Buying one of the largest 4% of companies in the US can be done relatively easily and relatively affordably. Never before has capital been so available.
  • The retiring baby boomers own more businesses than any generation in the history of mankind. It’s estimated that $10 trillion in business value will need to change hands.


Buy Then Build was created to help entrepreneurs see that there is another way.

Although not every startup idea should be executed in a Buy Then Build model, most probably should.

I struggled to find great information about how to buy an existing business after graduating with my MBA in 2004. After over a decade of starting, buying, and selling companies, I decided to write Buy Then Build and help potential entrepreneurs understand the why and how of acquisition.


Walker Deibel cofounded three startups and has acquired seven companies, and exited two. He holds an MBA from the Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis where he received the Declaration of Achievement in Entrepreneurship from the Skandalaris Center of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Walker is a Certified M&A Advisor and former SEC licensed stock broker. Walker has also produced almost a dozen films and had premieres at some of the world’s most prestigious festivals, including Sundance, SXSW, and Toronto International Film Festival. He is the author of Buy Then Build: How Acquisition Entrepreneurs Outsmart the Startup Game released fall 2018 by Lioncrest Publishing. He lives in St. Louis, Missouri with his beautiful and intelligent wife and three resourceful and creative children.