Gene Marino, former CEO of Innerpac and now a Partner with Evolution, discusses how Evolutionary Capital changed the strategy and direction of his business. So I was the first CEO in the first fund for Evolution Capital Partners. Our strategy was to exit to our largest competitor which we were successful in doing August of 2010. How Did Evolution Capital Partners Help You? With Evolution’s help in capital, we added two new product lines that were complementary to our business and our customer base and then did an acquisition in California to really attack another market segment on the West Coast in the wine country. How Did Evolution Change Your Business? Innerpac’s main business was packaging dividers. So for instance, if you open up a case of wine the divider in-between the bottles is what we produced. Most often times sold the box makers but we also had a growing segment of business to what they called direct clients, which would obviously be a bottler or a vineyard. So our strategy at the time was to expand geographically, that was really the play to become a national competitor. I was heavily involved in the day to day both operationally, financially, and sales from a sales perspective and in conversations with Evolution and the team it became evident that in order for us to really execute on this strategy, we needed someone to come in as a Chief Operating Officer and let me get back to what a CEO should focus on which was really strategy, direction, and implementing on and executing on that strategy. When is it Time to Contact Evolution? As a founder when you say “You know what, I’ve gotten this where I can get it and I need some outside help but I really need a partner who understands what I’m going through,” I think then it’s easy for me to answer for you the why now question. I think if you’re not there mentally more of that discussion will be about the “what if” and really you believing in your heart you have more runway to work with. So I really see it as sitting across the table from someone who’s reached that decision and some reach it obviously sooner than others.
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