Next Cohort: January 2021
What is the Acquisition Lab?
Our 8-week flagship program is designed to help you accelerate your search by pairing graduate-level instruction with “do-it-with-you” buy-side advisory service.
During the program, Acquisition Lab members will master the concepts needed to search for, identify, and ultimately acquire the right business for them.
To support your journey, the program provides both online and live learning, exposure to real-world examples and scenarios, and access to a community of acquisition entrepreneurs and M&A professionals. Our proven process is designed to help you run your search in an organized structure and evaluate deals quickly and effectively.
The 8-week program is designed to prepare members to:
- Effectively run a search and evaluate opportunities.
- Analyze financial statements and historical performance.
- Create deal flow, forecasts & stress-tests, and business plans.
We know buying a business in 8 weeks is unrealistic. This is why following the 8-week program, members get lifetime access to all online lessons and tools, the private online group, our professional network, and ongoing live search forum.
The Acquisition Lab utilizes a blended learning approach, combining online modules, live virtual workshops and digital tools. While online, self-paced learning reinforces the foundational knowledge required to buy a business, live virtual workshops help build the steps necessary to get you ready to acquire the right business for you.
Live, Instructor-Led Workshops
Each week, the cohorts will meet virtually with an Acquisition Lab coach to conduct workshops that are designed to move you further down the path of acquisition by preparing you as a buyer. These sessions also allow for an opportunity to address outstanding questions or concerns.
The majority of these workshops are facilitated by our lead instructor, Walker Deibel. There are also several one-on-ones with our coaches.
Online, Self-Paced Modules
Our online modules provide foundational instruction and are based and on our founder and lead instructor, Walker Deibel’s best-selling book, Buy Then Build: How Acquisition Entrepreneurs Outsmart the Startup Game. This text is used at multiple universities to teach Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition.
The online platform allows our members to learn at their own pace and revisit core lessons later, as their search evolves.
Digital Tools and Resources
Our tools, from thought-provoking worksheets and interactive evaluation workbook to financial analysis modeling tools, will accelerate your learning curve, effectively manage your daily metrics, take proper action to increase deal flow, and create professional forecasting and stress-testing materials as well as well-organized business plans.
The Acquisition Lab curriculum, including both online and live, instructor-led offerings, is enhanced with real-life examples and scenario-based exercises that bring the process of buying a business to life.
The Acquisition Lab is anchored in expert instruction.
Our practical curriculum utilizes real-life examples to bring the training into context and prepare you for your search. More importantly, it’s delivered by entrepreneurs who have actually done this.
Our program is focused on the reality of deal making. We discuss real-life examples and how to use practical tools to equip you with the knowledge and resources to navigate similar experiences.
Our learning platform provides access to over 20 hours of exclusive interviews with acquisition entrepreneurs, lenders, search fund CEOs, M&A Attorneys, and CPAs.
For example, the founder of Search Fund Accelerator describes how to run an effective search; Karen Davey explains how she acquired a whole franchisor, and the co-founder of Square unpacks creating an Innovation Stack inside your business.
These pre-recorded interviews provide key insights into the challenges faced, decisions made, and deals structured.
"Ask Me Anything" Sessions
Throughout the 8-week program, members are given the opportunity to have meaningful group discussions with AE Professionals, including brokers, bankers, and other acquisition entrepreneurs.
These “Ask Me Anything” sessions provide opportunities to gain insight from the individuals involved in real acquisitions.
Our network provides insights to personal understanding, getting an effective buyer profile together, and arming you with SBA pre-qualification.
The Lab has been designed intentionally to encourage the development of a personal support network of fellow acquisition entrepreneurs and M&A professionals.
Our 8-week program is conducted with small cohorts of no more than 23 people. This allows for relationships to develop based on the unique skills and experience that may be able to complement your acquisition journey.
This is not only a best practice in education and forum-based communities, but also builds an effective community of searchers at the root. Intimate sessions also holds members accountable to actually show up to the live sessions—you’re not lost among the sea of video chat classrooms.
The cohort experience is amplified by the private Facebook group to give you access to new materials and a wider community of active searchers and network of suppliers. In between live sessions members have a place to go for communal assistance and experience sharing.
At the conclusion of the 8-week program, members continue to have lifetime access to the Facebook group, the online curriculum, and the recordings of their live workshops.
Acquiring a business takes 18 months on average. The Search Forum was designed specifically to lessen the isolation individual searchers feel when evaluating deals, and provides guidance for deal structure.
It gives members the ability to discuss the real-life deals they are considering in real time.
Acquisition Lab Members get free lifetime access to Search Forum calls which occur every other week.
Application Process and Fees
In order to participate in the Acquisition Lab, you’ll complete a short five minute application. We will review applications and then invite qualified applicants to participate in a strategy call to explore how Acquisition Lab may be able to help you buy a business.
To participate in the Acquisition Lab, the fee is $3,800.
- 8-Weeks of live, instructor-led training and coaching
- Unlimited access to curriculum and tools on the Acquisition Lab Learning Platform
- Free lifetime access to the Search Forum
Although the price is anticipated to increase at the end of the year, it is purposefully priced lower than an MBA course or one month of a buy-side advisor fee
Acquisition LabMaster Acquisition Entrepreneurship
Live instruction and coaching
Online courses and tools
Lifetime Search Forum Access