Mar 23, 2023 | 2 min read

How to Sell Your Startup with Mark Achler

By: Patrick Emmons

How to Sell Your Startup with Mark Achler

Between confidentiality agreements, polite manners, and ego, it can be difficult to get a real story of what selling a company is like. Breaking that taboo was the inspiration for Exit Right, a book co-authored by today’s guest Mark Achler, Managing Director at MATH Venture Partners.

In this episode, Mark shares the hard-earned lessons captured in Exit Right about key actions that lead to successful exits. He makes the case for viewing these transactions not as a moment in time but as an opportunity to build relationships and value over a long time horizon. Mark emphasizes the need to deeply understand the rationale for the transaction, the value of maintaining empathy for all stakeholders, and why trust is everything.

  • (01:36) – MATH Venture Partners
  • (04:23) – Exit Right: how to sell your startup
  • (10:29) – FAIR framework for successful acquisitions
  • (18:53) – Start early & build relationships
  • (21:03) – Mark’s empathy rules
  • (25:40) – Upcoming debt apocalypse
  • (28:52) – Are economic interests aligned?
  • (31:25) – The inevitable economics of trust
  • (39:00) – Widening your lens beyond a single deal

About Our Guest

Mark Achler is the Managing Director at MATH Venture Partners, an early to growth-stage venture capital fund focusing on technical and digital companies. Mark is a faculty member at Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management in entrepreneurship and innovation and co-authored Exit Right with Mert Iseri. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history and economics from Purdue University.

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About Patrick Emmons

If you can’t appreciate a good sports analogy, movie quote, or military reference, you may not want to work with him, but if you value honesty, integrity, and commitment to improvement, Patrick can certainly help take your business or your career to the next level. “Good enough,” is simply not in his vernacular. Pat’s passion is for relentlessly pushing himself and others to achieve full potential. Patrick Emmons is a graduate of St. Norbert College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Mathematics. Patrick co-founded Adage Technologies in 2001 and in 2015, founded DragonSpears as a spin-off dedicated to developing custom applications that improve speed, compliance and scalability of clients’ internal and customer-facing workflow processes. When he is not learning about new technology, running a better business, or becoming a stronger leader, he can be found coaching his kids’ (FIVE of them) baseball and lacrosse teams and praising his ever-so-patient wife for all her support.

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