As the CEO and Co-Founder of Mi-Corporation, Greg Clary had a lot of wisdom to share with Exit Stories host and Jurassic Capital Partner Kevin Mosley in this week’s episode (Season 3, Episode 3) of the podcast.
Durham-headquartered Mi-Corporation was a leading enterprise mobile software company that specialized in inspections, audits, surveys and assessments before it was sold to Ideagen in July 2021.
Clary and Kevin discussed Mi-Corporation’s early development, its involvement with Microsoft and Apple and how the startup grew its revenue by a healthy 50 percent in 2020.
Here are some highlights from the episode:
- In what is likely a reassurance to many early-stage founders, Mi-Corporation’s software was by no means immediately successful. There were three stages. Even long before the company’s surge that led to its exit, they had grown 33 percent on average between 2011 and 2014. Looking back, Clary said the startup needed to make changes way faster than they actually did. (15:08)
- Any time you begin thinking about an exit, there are likely to be many not-so-great fits that come your way. Clary was candid: they fielded offers from companies to acquire Mi-Corporation, but only if they could fire everyone besides the CTO. They had to keep plugging along because these deals were not what they were looking for. (20:04)
- Clary said it took around 10 meaningful conversations before the acquisition by Ideagen came together. In all, a span of around seven months passed before the deal closed, and by then, Clary was confident it was a good fit. A key indicator of that was the fact Ideagen promised to hire all the employees. (26:44)
- Mosley had a question most startup founders probably want to know: what does Clary know now that he wished he knew back then? According to Clary, though, until you live something through, it’s very difficult to understand a lesson. With that said, Clary encourages startup founders to believe in people. (This is important for parenting styles too). And make sure your investment mix is right: marketing, product development, product management and sales should all be balanced. (29:59)
Listen below to this week’s full episode, and be sure to subscribe so you automatically receive each new one.