Search Fund Accelerator welcomes a select cohort of searchers every year to its house in Boston, where they search for a company to buy and run in collaboration with the SFA team and their fellow searchers. Searchers have continuous access to SFA staff and resources and benefit from a knowledge base of best practices, a common CRM database, a collegial and stimulating environment, access to SFA investors, regular training sessions led by domain experts, discussions with mentors and SFA partners, and everything needed to ensure success.
The first four weeks at SFA bring searchers up the learning curve in record time. They learn to present to sellers, create an online presence, market themselves effectively, navigate the CRM, and utilize interns. They select target industries, understand their own strengths and weaknesses, and gain confidence. They learn to assess and value opportunities and use their time wisely. Rather than learn empirically through trial and error as most searchers do, they learn best practices from day one. In addition, they build rapport with their SFA cohort, a resource that will prove valuable well beyond the search.
IMMEDIATE EXPERT ADVICE
SFA offers unbeatable access to expert advice, enabling the searcher to execute an efficient and successful search. Our searchers benefit from frequent formal and informal face-to-face discussions. SFA’s leadership is always present – just swing by our desk to talk or grab us in the hallway! This is how progress happens, collaboratively and spontaneously. Searchers can ask “stupid” questions without fearing judgment, prepare negotiations through role play, or test their reasoning on a deal situation or a valuation. For more sector-specific help, our team has access to a large network of businesspeople who are ready to help out.
Mentorship is a very important and highly personal part of SFA. SFA searchers engage with numerous potential mentors, including investors, successful entrepreneurs, CEOs, former searchers, professors, lenders, lawyers, and transaction specialists. Searchers are also encouraged to reach out to personal mentors with whom they have worked previously. These mentors offer depth of experience and an objective perspective that helps searchers think more clearly, learn, and make better decisions.
SFA attracts the very best intern talent by providing an outstanding learning experience and the satisfaction of making tangible contributions to the search process. Our interns also benefit from SFA’s reputation, counseling, and network during their own job search. To identify and attract top quality interns, we maintain close relations with colleges and universities in the Boston area and across the US. We have an in-depth screening process that enables us to select interns who will both perform well at SFA and benefit personally from what SFA has to offer them. Finally, we have our own proprietary methods for training and onboarding interns, as well as coaching searchers on how to most effectively utilize and manage their interns.
Regularly scheduled workshops cover a range of relevant topics, including effective diligence, purchase agreement negotiation, financial structuring, and creative solutions to satisfy the unique needs of the business owner/seller. Additional workshops address the management of a company post-acquisition. Through these workshops, SFA engages searchers in an experiential learning process that helps prepare them to acquire and run a company.
FREQUENT GUEST VISITS
Guest experts visit SFA on a regular basis. Visitors include SFA investors, our legal, accounting, and lending partners, former searchers, and interesting business people passing through the Boston area. We engage these guests in candid discussion and allow our searchers to pick their brains in a casual setting.