Exit Stories: Topmark’s Milks On Building Relationships With Investors

Okay, now you can be sad. Welcome back and thank you for tuning into the final episode of Season Four of Exit Stories, proudly sponsored by Robinson Bradshaw. To bring this season to a close, host Kevin Mosley is joined by Travis Milks, a managing partner for Topmark Partners, a growth equity firm based in Florida and Durham that focuses on tech-enabled businesses. 

With more than 17 years of direct investing experience, Milks discusses the secrets to developing an effective exit strategy and emphasizes the importance for founders to nurture relationships with potential investment partners. 

Here are some key takeaways from this episode:

  • Know yourself and know the objectives you want to achieve from not only your company but also from investors. Milks recommends explaining company details and assets thoroughly to investors instead of rushing to close. Set honest expectations about the progress of your company and future financing plans. (13:23, 19:57)
  • Build relationships with investors first and don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Reaching out to tons of investors can be beneficial in figuring out a potential partner, but Milks emphasizes the risk of losing sight of your company’s mission by doing so. Use honest communication with investors as an important complement to your relationship, even if you aren’t working with them yet. (15:35, 17:56)
  • Focus on a successful company, not a successful exit. Exiting will be the hardest thing you will do as a founder. Milks advises to keep things simple for yourself (and your investors) and work on improving the overall health of your business rather than draining your company toward a potential exit. (22:43, 39:06, 50:53)

Listen to the rest of the episode using the link below. Thanks to everyone who’s been tuning into this season of Exit Stories and make sure you are subscribed so that you don’t miss the arrival of Season Five in 2024. Special thanks again to our Season Four sponsor, Robinson Bradshaw! 

About Kaitlyn Dang 50 Articles
Kaitlyn is a reporter covering tech startups and entrepreneurs. Before starting at GrepBeat, she graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a degree in media and journalism in May 2023. She has written for The Daily Tar Heel. In her spare time, she likes going to concerts and going on nature walks.