From 1988 to 1994, while working as a commercial banker in Chicago, Brendan Anderson gained experience financing small businesses. He was extremely fortunate to have a group of bank customers that embraced energetic entrepreneurs in business ventures. In 1996, these bank customers invested $3.6 million in a platform founded by this group and led by Mr. Anderson. They had identified a bankrupt industrial park in Sugar Grove, IL and offered Mr. Anderson equity if he could figure out how to restructure the bonds and debt. Mr. Anderson was 30 years old. In 2001, the group raised $5.2 million to fund a de novo state-chartered bank in the industrial park, again, lending to small businesses. Mr. Anderson received equity, served on the board of the bank and was a member of the loan committee. These investors shared resources and were open to backing people of all backgrounds. Mr. Anderson was one of many who received capital, experience, a network, and other resources from this group of investors. As important, these investors were open to including other investors and resources unknown to them prior to these transactions.
First Business - 1998 to 2017
In 1998, through an advertisement in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Mr. Anderson identified and purchased Stam, Inc., a manufacturing company based in Mentor, Ohio with about 50 employees. Mr. Anderson partnered with an existing employee of Stam to purchase the company using mostly seller financing and bank debt.
Evolution Capital - 2006 to 2018
Mr. Anderson’s long-term goal to this day remains to duplicate the culture and model created by his Chicago-based customers. The model identified the opportunity to transform the enormous number of small businesses in need of support to achieve sustained growth, along with a multitude of entrepreneurially minded individuals, like Mr. Anderson.
So, the question is, how to put these pieces of the puzzle together at scale? How do you find motivated, entrepreneurially minded individuals, provide a platform for them to transform, all while supporting them with capital and operating expertise?
The answer, in 2006 Mr. Anderson founded Evolution Capital Partners (Evolution) to execute this vision. Evolution formed three (3) committed funds, backing sixteen (16) companies and management teams, and developed an operating process that would better assist these teams, especially early in the process.
ScaleCo - 2018 to Present
Wanting to further enhance the direct support being provided to each management team, in 2018 Mr. Anderson founded ScaleCo, an entrepreneurial minded private equity fund, purpose-built to drive sustained growth. The theory: hire motivated people to work with the management teams of our companies, continuously develop our TAC Method and create a pipeline of talented people who would eventually own and operate companies.