Tuesday, February 28, 2012

How to sell your machine vision company

Ever since Cognex gobbled up smart camera-maker DVT for $110m I’ve had a plan for a machine vision company in my back pocket. It goes like this: launch a product, spend a heap of money of advertising, grow really fast, become such a nuisance to Cognex that they buy me out.

As business plans go, I don’t think that’s so bad. It’s the execution that’s the problem though: how would I go about selling my company?

Well it turns out, the answer is to talk to Vision Ventures, “an independent, owner-operated, internationally active M&A advisory firm focused on small and medium-sized enterprises in the fields of machine vision and optical technologies.”

I find this really interesting, because it seems to me that machine vision is a niche the mergers & acquisitions and venture capital folks don’t quite “get.” But where Vision Ventures score is that the Principal at the firm, Gabrielle Jansen, knows our industry inside out.

And if that name sounds familiar, well that’s because, having worked for ISRA and the EMVA, as well publishing industry-specific journals, Ms. Jansen has been at the leading edge for quite a long time. Of course, that means there’ll be no pulling the wool over her eyes. To get her attention I imagine you’ll need a real product rather than just supplying services, and preferably something where the intellectual property is well-protected. But get that in place and I’m sure she’ll be glad to help you find a buyer.

So that’s the selling bit taken care of; now all I need is a product.

1 comment:

Igor said...

Thanks Brian for the insight as usual.