Challenges in Middle Market
PE and Early Stage VC Investing:
New Ideas and Strategies


Innovative Approaches to Growth Equity Investing

This panel seeks to analyze innovative trends and practices within the increasingly competitive middle market, including growth plan execution (via advisory boards, talent acquisition, board composition), and a firm’s competitive positioning (operationally, industry specializations, geographic niches).


Alternative Private Equity Strategies

This panel will discuss the theses and execution of less-traditional investment strategies that have emerged in recent years. Target firms will possess at least one of the following investment strategies: Distressed, Highly Operationally Focused, Corporate Carve-outs, or Buy and Build.


Perspectives of Portfolio Company CEOs

This panel will focus on the unique benefits and challenges of leading a private equity owned business. Topics of focus include corporate governance, management incentives, the traits and habits of the most value-add private equity partners, and founder to private equity ownership transitions.


  • Eric Affeldt, President and CEO, ClubCorp
    -Portfolio Company of KSL Capital Partners and publicly traded on the NYSE
  • Dennis Klumb, President & CEO, KS Energy Services
    -Former Portfolio Company of CIVC Partners; Current Portfolio Company of Kelso & Company
  • James Covert
    -Former CEO of HSM Electronic Protection Services, Cambridge Protection Services, SecurityLink Midwest Corp., and Protection One (CEO for 3 different GTCR portfolio companies)
  • Sloan Evans, CEO Pure Barre
    -Portfolio Company of WJ Partners

Laboratories for Innovation: Creating Entrepreneurial Hubs

This panel will help answer questions such as: How do you cultivate communities of entrepreneurship? How do you create an ecosystem like Silicon Valley? How do you finance up-and-coming regional ideas?


AngelList: VC Friend or Foe

With the rise of crowd funding sites such as AngelList and Kickstarter, Seed and Early Stage VC’s have more competition than ever for new deals. This panel of VC’s and crowd funding syndicates will discuss whether AngelList and others are friends or foes to the VC industry as well as the impact they are having or are expected to have on deal flow, portfolio management, follow-on funding and exits.


Future of Traditional, Early-Stage VCs

An increasing number of opportunities for angel and seed funding has resulted in traditional early-stage VC firms facing a combination of rising valuations, huge pipelines, and new deal structures. This panel will explore how current VCs plan to evolve to account for these changing dynamics.