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By Nicole Donnelly, EO EMP MIT Class of 2011 for Bottom Line Up Enterprises

After I sold my business, BabyLegs, many opportunities came across my desk. What is a viable deal and what should I just let go? How do I thoroughly assess the opportunities? Rich and Mary sat down with me and helped me to think through the value of the each opportunity.

A local venture capital (VC) firm interviewed me for the position of CEO and offered me equity in a company if I would lead the turnaround. So, I set out to do a valuation which I’d never done before, but, having just been through a deal, I had a good idea of what we needed and what all of the numbers meant. Mary gave me questions to ask all of the staff that brought out invaluable information about the culture of the organization and the impression of the leadership that I would not have gotten otherwise.

Matt Kasesska,  Networkscr.com and classmate, did an IT assessment and went through their systems to tell me what the state is and what the future would need to be to grow the business. Their data base was old and not stable and would cost quite a bit to update, I would have never known this without Matt’s evaluation.

Rich, Mary, and I combed through all of the company information from intellectual property to real assets including inventory and servers. We put values to each item for a comprehensive valuation. I had to present this valuation and deal strutcute in front of 2 of the VC firm partners and their attorney. After practicing with Rich and Mary I rocked the whiteboard in their high-rise conference room. After the proposal I walked out at the same time and the attorney, he said that my presentation was quite impressive.

It was a little comment but validated the way I felt about the act of putting a value on a business and creating the deal structure, that the VCs would later pitch to the owner. Confident that it was the best offer for the owner and for the buyers, I felt like a rockstar.