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In this Entrepreneur Spotlight we are focusing on another startup that was selected as one of the 6 finalists for the 2016 AccelerateBaltimore program – Fusiform, Inc. Fusiform, Inc. develops a software solution for use in making the design and fabrication of orthotic devices better and faster. Fusiform, Inc. is located in Oakland, Maryland, and was founded in 2015.
We interviewed Param Shah, Co-Founder and CEO of Fusiform to learn more about his company, their product, and how they are transforming the medical world.
1. How did your team meet and when did you first see the need for improvements of orthotic devices?
The story of Fusiform begins in a rural village in India. In high school, I started an international nonprofit called the Lotus Life Foundation (www.lotuslifefoundation.org) which provides orthotic and prosthetic medical devices to children with disabilities in rural India. Our ultimate goal is to remove the stigma surrounding disability in India.
Harris Charalambous joined Evergreen Advisors in April of 2016 as Vice President in the CFO Advisory Practice, and will be responsible for helping to expand the CFO Advisory Practice, focusing on the Baltimore and surrounding Maryland areas.
Evergreen Advisors is a Proud Sponsor of The Salvation Army of Central Maryland Annual Gala on April 19th. The 12th Annual Compassion in Action Gala will be held at the Baltimore Museum of Industry. Last year, The Salvation Army celebrated 150 years.
In this Entrepreneur Spotlight we are focusing on another one of the startups selected for the 2016 AccelerateBaltimore program – ClassTracks. ClassTracks is a blended learning platform for foreign language classrooms that helps teachers and students spend less time on drills and more time on communicating and speaking the language. The company was founded in 2014 and is currently based in Baltimore, working out of the ETC (Emerging Technology Centers).
We interviewed Lida Zlatic, CEO and one of the three co-founders of ClassTracks, on how she got the idea for this startup and what types of challenges and successes she and the team are experiencing.
1. Where did the idea for ClassTracks come from?
I’ve always been interested in tech, and as a middle school Spanish teacher in Baltimore City I was really interested in using my knowledge and interest to help my students. The math teacher in my building was using blended learning (blending online and in-person learning to create a more personalized experience for each student) and having a lot of success, so I was curious to try it in my classroom. As I learned more about blended learning, I realized that the foreign language classroom was a perfect use case: students could use technology to more efficiently learn the vocabulary and grammar, and teachers could spend class time engaging students in practice that builds communication skills with the building blocks they learned online. The problem was that there was no platform that would do what I just described efficiently for a foreign language classroom. I quit teaching and, by chance, went to a startup weekend education where I pitched my idea and met my two co-founders: Jamel and Thierry. Jamel was a foreign language teacher that had encountered the same problem and had come up with the same idea. Thierry was a brilliant engineer who wanted to apply his skills to solve a big problem in education using technology.
Loople Mobile LLC, one of the 6 startups participating in the ETC’s AccelerateBaltimore program, is an app providing user-verified information in real time about what all of the local bars and restaurants are like and what to expect. The app currently serves the Baltimore area, specifically Fells Point, Canton, Federal Hill, and Towson.
We interviewed Philip DiMuro, Founder and CEO of Loople, to learn more about the mobile app and how they are best serving their client base.
1. How did you come up with the name “Loople?”
The name Loople only came as a result of constantly brainstorming to find something that was unique, engaging, and memorable. We thought about what our product did; keeping others in the loop with what was going on in their area. Playing on the word “loop” lead us into discussing how we helped our users, and this reminded us a lot of being like a search engine, similar to Google. By combining these two words we discovered “Loople” and the name stuck immediately!
Harkins Builders, Inc. is one of the top multifamily and commercial construction management companies in the Mid-Atlantic. Headquartered in Howard County, Maryland, Harkins generates annual revenues of $250 million and has built over 800 projects during its 50-year history.
“Lessons from Legends” is a series of shared stories from the Merrick School of Business at the University of Baltimore. Students, alumni and friends have the opportunity to learn from Baltimore’s most influential and successful business leaders about their experiences, career paths, successes and challenges.
Past Legend Appearances Include:
- David S. Cordish, chairman of The Cordish Company
- Thomas S. Bozzuto, chairman and CEO of Bozzuto Group
- M.J. “Jay” Brodie, former President of the Baltimore Development Group
- Gino Gemignani, SVP at Whiting-Turner Contracting Company
- Edward St. John, chairman and CEO of St. John Properties
Join Dick Lombardo and Rick Kohr on April 18th starting at 5pm at UB’s Town Hall as Dick shares about his time with Harkins Builders and what led him to his success as a master in business.
Evergreen Advisors Board Member and Founding Partner of Blu Venture Investors has been named as one of the 2016 Crab Trap Judges for the 1st Annual Maryland Crab Trap in Gaithersburg, MD.
Evergreen Advisors is pleased to announce that Rick Kohr, CEO, will be serving on the judging panel for Ernst & Young’s Maryland Entrepreneur of the Year Program.
EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year has been celebrating entrepreneurs for 30 years and has been recognized as one of the most prestigious business award programs in the world. Entrepreneur of the Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 145 cities in more than 60 countries. EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year program runs from April to June, where the independent judges review participant applications, conduct interviews, select categories and winners, and award those winners on Thursday June 9th, during a gala at the conclusion of the program.
Other judges include:
- Chuck Cullen, Grotech Ventures
- Larry Harding, Radius
- John Heller, HealthPro Rehabilitation
- Kwame Kuadey, GiftCardRescue.com
- Natalia Luis, M.Lius Construction
- Jennifer Meyer, Betamore
- Sheela Murthy, Murthy Law Firm
Strategy Management, LLC and Evergreen Advisors, LLC today announced that they have formed a Strategic Alliance designed to capitalize on the strengths of each firm and enhance their ability to serve current and future clients.
Strategy Management’s Strategic Advisory services and Financial Transaction experience will complement and broaden Evergreen’s strong position in technology enabled services, medical devices, cybersecurity, information technology, internet and digital media, and business services.
“We are excited to partner with Evergreen Advisors’ deep and talented team. Both teams share a common vision of how clients are served, and our methods and approaches complement each other well. This alliance allows us to provide our clients with unparalleled experience and solutions,” stated Bob Cinquegrana, Strategy Management’s CEO.
Join Evergreen Advisors’ Rick Kohr and thousands of other industry professionals at the RSA Conference 2016 in San Francisco, California. The conference will be held at the Moscone Center and will take place February 29 – March 4.
Top information security professionals and business leaders will discuss emerging cybersecurity trends and formulate best strategies for tackling current and future threats. This year they are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the RSA Conference, which is set out to be the biggest one yet. At this year’s event, attendees will have access to more than 500 exhibitors, more than 400 expert-led sessions, and invaluable networking opportunities.
Rick Kohr of Evergreen Advisors states, “This is the best opportunity to see the cutting edge of cyber technologies, meet key funding sources and connect with new companies. It is one of the best industry conferences in the country for, arguably, the fastest changing technology landscape in the world.”
Some of the local Companies and Organizations attending include:
Evergreen Advisors Capital (EAC), a middle-market investment bank and subsidiary of Evergreen Advisors, LLC, is pleased to announce that two of its 2015 deals, one involving The ROI Companies and the other Paragon Bioservices, Inc., have been named as nominees in The Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) – Maryland Chapter’s “Deal of the Year” competition.
Evergreen Advisors Capital served as the exclusive financial advisor to The ROI Companies of Timonium, MD, a full-service revenue cycle management firm specializing in the healthcare industry, in connection with its recapitalization. Chicago-based, Edgewater Funds provided the equity financing. The company is headquartered near Baltimore, with offices in the Boston, Cleveland, Philadelphia and Washington, DC markets.
Evergreen Advisors is a prominent middle market investment bank and advisory firm focused on guiding companies in the areas of corporate finance, growth and exit strategies, business valuations and CFO advisory services. The firm announced today the celebration of its 15th Anniversary serving clients.
When asked about his vision back in 2001, CEO Rick Kohr stated, “It was the desire to succeed and prove out the model to myself and the marketplace. I wanted to build a meaningful, high-reputation business that is a relationship business and not solely a transaction focused business. I am very thankful to our team of individuals who are both creative and capable of finding solutions that others don’t find. Best effort, creativity, and integrity are the three areas that we are as good as or better than any other firm. Our success over the past 15 years has been a result of that commitment.”
Joe Statter, President and Managing Director of Evergreen Advisors Capital (EAC), interviewed last month with Executive Leaders Radio, the #1 business radio show from Philadelphia through Washington DC.
Executive Leaders Radio honors individuals who have risen to leadership roles through hard work and dedication. This highly popular radio program shares the stories and wisdom of leaders like Joe Statter with a diverse listener audience with the goal of helping others achieve success.
Listen to Joe talk about the impact of his sisters on him, the human element of investment banking, his mentors, early career experiences, and how much he cares about the outcome of his clients.
You can listen to Joe’s segment here: http://www.executiveleadersradio.com/shows/executive-leaders-dc/01-21-2016.aspx
Evergreen Advisors is a proud sponsor of the 2016 ETC AccelerateBaltimore (AB) program. AccelerateBaltimore is an initiative of the ETC (Emerging Technology Centers) in conjunction with The Abell Foundation, who helped to supply funding for this initiative. The ETC is Baltimore’s award-winning incubator and aims to close the gap between innovative ideas and the ability to bring them to market. The ETC’s AB program provides startup companies with seed capital, free resources, access to an advisory team, an instructional program, mentors, and connections to potential partners and investors.
With the wrap up of 2015 and the start of 2016, I took a few moments to reflect on not only this past year, but on the past 15 years, since the beginning of Evergreen Advisors. This year marks Evergreen Advisors’ 15th Anniversary, and I couldn’t be more thrilled about where we have come over the years and the exciting future that lies ahead.
Rick Kohr, CEO, Evergreen Advisors
1. This year we celebrate Evergreen’s 15th Anniversary. What thoughts and emotions come to mind when you think about that?
We have developed a unique business model that works with companies throughout their life cycle. We recognize how hard it is to build a business and the key elements needed to attain success. You overlay that mindset to what we have accomplished, while enduring a major economic downturn from 2008 to 2012, and you have to be appreciative of the individuals who have helped build a meaningful business over this time frame.
We work in a business that allows us the window into an owners mind – learning about the financial details of their business and their issues in a first meeting. It is a privilege we take seriously. There are few professions that have that honor. [Read more…]
We sat down with Joe Statter, President and Managing Director of Evergreen Advisors Capital (EAC) to ask a few questions about M&A activity in the private sector and what 2016 is shaping up to look like so far.
1. How has the year 2015 been for you and EAC in terms of middle market activity?
2015 was a great year. We closed 6 deals and we are currently executing 14 client engagements – 9 M&A assignments and 5 capital raise assignments. Of the 9 active M&A engagements, 2 are now under letter of intent.
2. What are the biggest factors driving M&A, and therefore, causing companies to reach out to Evergreen Advisors Capital?
There are three macro drivers making this a great time to be a seller:
One: The overall economy is only growing at a 2% pace, forcing companies to pursue an inorganic or growth-by-acquisition strategy. Slow growth has been pulling more strategic acquirers into the market.
Two: There is a lot of debt and equity capital available. Cheap debt and equity make acquisitions less dilutive to the buyer. Middle market buyout funds are sitting on over $360 billion of dry powder and S&P 500 companies control over $2.2 trillion of cash.
Three: Drivers one and two above are driving purchase multiples higher – business owners who are considering a sale know that we are in a very favorable part of the cycle, giving them confidence to go enter the market. [Read more…]
Greg Huff, Managing Principal, Evergreen Advisors
The fifteenth anniversary of Evergreen Advisors got me thinking about some of the events which have occurred since 2000 and their impact on the business valuation profession.
Remember Y2K? By the beginning of the millennium, programmers had overcome the “Y2K problem,” but the country was quickly confronted with overheated IPO and technology sectors, followed by the collapse of the telecom industry in 2001.
9/11 – the Terrorist Attack on America – This event fueled extraordinary growth in national security spending and infrastructure. The availability of vast amounts of our personal and confidential data on the internet also created opportunities for theft and disruption. Cyber security became one of the fastest growing sectors in the economy, funded by government and private sources, and continues to be an economic driver in the Greater Baltimore Washington area.
Tysons Corner, VA – Evergreen Advisors Capital (EAC), a leading middle-market investment banking and corporate advisory firm, is pleased to announce that it served as the exclusive financial advisor to TLK Group, LLC (TLK) in connection with its recapitalization with One Equity Partners (OEP) and simultaneous merger with The Results Companies (Results).
OEP is a private equity firm that invests in multiple industries including technology, media, telecom, business services, healthcare, consumer products, chemicals, and manufacturing.
Evergreen Advisors, proud sponsor of the 2015 CyberMaryland Conference’s Cyber Shark Tank, is pleased to announce the 2015 Shark Tank Winners. Secure Mentem came out on top, and Rippleshot and LarkSpear, Inc. rounded out the top three. Other Shark Tank participants included Point3, WutsGood, Rippleshot, LarkSpear, Bolo Network, and Fractal Security.
Evergreen Advisors is proud to announce that we are a sponsor for the CyberMaryland 2015 Cyber Security Hall of Fame. Five individuals will be recognized for their key role in the creation of the Cyber Security Industry. Nominees belong to the categories of Technology, Policy, Public Awareness, Education, or Business. CEO of LifeJourney, and one of our very own clients, Rick Geritz, is on the organizing committee for this event on October 29, 2015. This year’s keynote speaker is Alex Stamos, Chief Security Officer at Facebook. He is an expert in global scale infrastructure, designing trustworthy systems, and mobile security. The CyberMaryland Conference 2015 is going to be a great event, concluded with the Hall of Fame Dinner, and Evergreen is honored to be a part of it. For more information about the CyberMarland Conference, please visit the links below.
CyberMaryland 2015 https://www.fbcinc.com/e/cybermdconference/default.aspx
National Cyber Security Hall of Fame https://www.fbcinc.com/e/cybermdconference/hof.aspx
“We’re Open for Business” – An Interview with Secretary of DBED, Mike Gill, and CEO of Evergreen Advisors, Rick Kohr
We have had some incredibly successful, local people as part of our quarterly newsletter in recent years, ranging from Bill Miller of Legg Mason, Brian Rogers, CEO of T. Rowe Price, John Schuerholz of the Atlanta Braves, Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger, Dr. Ben Carson, Kevin Plank, founder of Under Armour… Today we can celebrate one of Evergreen’s key players. It has been over six months since my partner Mike Gill started a new chapter as the Secretary of Business & Economic Development. I have known Mike for close to 25 years, going back to when my wife Holly went to work for Mike in an early stage venture, AMERICOM. Mike and I have stayed connected, but Mike didn’t become a partner in Evergreen until we “closed” the deal on his back porch on a hot afternoon over an iced tea in 2007. His energy, network and incredible business success is what attracted me to Mike and sell him on joining our firm. I wanted to check in with him to see what he has learned in his new position; what has surprised him; his goals for DBED; and why someone with his success would take a job in a state that, more recently, is viewed as anti-business. It is an interesting read…
CEO Evergreen Advisors
The ETC (Emerging Technologies Center) is Baltimore’s award winning incubator and aims to close the gap between innovative ideas and the ability to get to market. The ETC offers three programs for entrepreneurs: Beehive Baltimore, a co-working space; Incubation, the perfect environment to get serious about a big idea with support and networking from the ETC; and AccelerateBaltimore, a 13-week program for 6 startups to get to market more quickly.
The biggest weakness we see in entrepreneurial businesses is a lack of access to high-level financial guidance when and where it’s needed. At the end of the month, quarter, or year, it’s all about the numbers; Revenues, costs, and cash flow – these are all issues that keep an entrepreneur up at night. In any high growth business, a solid finance function is an early key to success. Yet the cost for a full time CFO may be out of reach for many early stage companies. For many businesses an outsourced CFO can be that key to success.
Join Evergreen Advisors at the 5th Annual CyberMaryland Conference 2015 scheduled for October 28th and 29th at the Baltimore Convention Center. The Conference includes thought leaders from Maryland’s Cyber Security sector and also features nationally recognized speakers and panelists on cyber and technology innovations. Sessions cover the most up-to-date information from thought leaders covering all facets of the cyber ecosystem. New this year are two sessions on securing venture funding for startup and late stage cyber security companies. The sessions will provide an opportunity for startups to connect directly with experienced cyber investors and will include two activities – the Cyber Shark Tank and the Cyber Investor Connection.
During the Cyber Shark Tank up to ten qualified early-stage companies will pitch before cyber investor “sharks” for cash prizes. Selected companies will present and receive feedback for 10-15 minutes from investors during a two-hour session on October 29th. To participate, companies must be in the seed or early stage, have an innovative cyber technology and a scalable business model. Judges will consist of venture capital and angel investors, bankers and serial entrepreneurs.
XPX Maryland is a local chapter of XPX Global, a community of professional advisors who work collaboratively to help owners build valuable businesses and prepare them for successful transition. Founded in 2006, each XPX Chapter is a locally-controlled non-profit organized by local leaders in the private company market.
XPX members include accountants, management consultants, attorneys, marketing and top-line business strategies, business coaches, insurance executives, mergers and acquisitions specialists, valuation and wealth management professionals and more – all working together to foster better understanding of the many disciplines that contribute to the health and profitability of private enterprises.
Evergreen Advisors Capital, a middle-market investment bank, is pleased to announce that it was the exclusive financial advisor to IMPAQ International of Columbia, MD, a research, evaluation, and technical assistance firm, in connection with its acquisition of the assets of Educational Services, Inc. (ESI).
IMPAQ provides research and consulting services through the use of impact evaluation studies, applied research, policy analysis, quantitative and qualitative data analysis, and technical assistance. With the firm’s recent acquisition of ESI, they have expanded their service offerings to add information dissemination, conference management, training, and eLearning services to the company’s solutions portfolio. ESI will become IMPAQ’s Communications Solutions business unit. IMPAQ is headquartered in Columbia, MD, with additional offices in Washington, DC, Oakland, CA, Boston, MA, and Sarajevo, BA.
“Evergreen has been a partner with us through the process of negotiation and due diligence,” says Steve Coy, Managing Director, Corporate Development, at IMPAQ International. “Their expertise and guidance has been invaluable as we implement our external growth strategy.”
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Evergreen Advisors Capital, a middle-market investment bank, is pleased to announce that it was the exclusive financial adviser to The ROI Companies of Timonium, MD, a full service revenue management firm specializing in the healthcare industry, in connection with its recapitalization. Chicago-based, Edgewater Funds provided the equity financing.
ROI provides critical services to hospitals and physician groups including insurance billing and follow-up, self-pay billing, coding, eligibility, consulting, cash acceleration and collections. The Company is headquartered near Baltimore, MD with offices in the Boston, Cleveland, Philadelphia and Washington, DC markets.
Chris Wunder, President of the ROI Companies commented, “We are thrilled with the support we got from Evergreen every step of the process. Their counsel was invaluable allowing us to make the best possible deal.”
Evergreen Advisors is a prominent middle market investment bank and corporate advisory firm focused on guiding companies in the areas of corporate finance, growth and exit strategies, business valuations and CFO advisory services. The firm is pleased to announce that they have received regulatory approval for Evergreen Advisors Capital, a wholly-owned subsidiary, to operate as a licensed Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC.
“The firm has grown substantially over the past five years. The establishment of our own Broker/Dealer was a critical next step in the maturation of the company. Along with our emerging growth CFO Advisory Practice and Valuation Services, we are now a single-source provider of services for business consulting and transaction advisory. This makes our offering unique in this region. Our expertise, deep knowledge of the capital markets, and market insight provides our clients pertinent and uniquely tailored advice to maximize their value. ” stated Rick Kohr, Chief Executive Officer of Evergreen.
Evergreen Advisors is pleased to announce the addition of new members to their team since the start of 2015 as well as share in their excitement about the growth of the firm.
Eric Clarke was welcomed in March of 2015 as Vice President in the CFO Advisory Practice. He is responsible for helping expand the outsourced CFO Advisory Practice, which serves early stage and growing businesses that need quality financial management, strategic guidance, and development of infrastructure. He has been an incredible asset to the firm thus far.
Join Evergreen Advisors’ Rick Kohr and thousands of other industry professionals at the RSA Conference, in San Francisco, California. It is the premier information security event of 2015 and you don’t want to miss it!
Conference attendees will learn about IT security’s most important issues through first-hand interactions with peers, luminaries and emerging and established companies, and will therefore stay connected and educated as the IT security field continues to grow.
Taking place from April 20 – 24 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California.
For more information on pricing, location, speakers, and other details please visit: www.rsaconference.com