Kirk Eklund is a seasoned operations executive who has participated in numerous start-ups, acquisitions and turnaround situations. He has served operations executive for corporations of all sizes having led start-up, re-engineering and structuring projects globally. He served as the operations executive for a professional services firm and a high technology telecommunications company taking both from start-up to product and service delivery. He has held key management positions at Samsung Telecommunications, Nokia Mobile Phones, Twinstar Semiconductor and Texas Instruments. In these positions he was responsible for large ERP, Infrastructure and MIS and Manufacturing Operations Roll-outs and Implementations.
In 2002 Kirk formed his own firm and entered into the world of becoming an entrepreneur. He originally became an affiliate in a large group of Business Brokers where he learned the ropes of selling main street businesses. During the first few years he brokered several small business transactions but also raised start-up capital for some start-ups, recapitalized several through debt and equity raises and provided general operational and financial consulting to his clients.
In 2006 3 different buyers came asked a question that changed Kirk's focus. The question was “What would you charge me to find a business for me to buy?”, they all three expressed the same frustrations the process of chasing down listed businesses. At that point the buy side practice launched and has been a foundation of the business since. The original program was what he calls “Wall Street to Main Street” which focuses on helping corporate executives locate, purchase and transition into their own small business. In 2014 Kirk completed the requirements to obtain credentials in Business Valuation and Equipment Appraisals. The program has grown into a B2B Business Development program that helps business owners understand the value of their business and what would be required to fill any gaps between the current valuation and a value meeting the owners exit requirements. The gaps can be filled using numerous approaches including small add on businesses being purchased, new product and services and new sales channels.
Kirk can bring a wealth of experience and accredited buyers, sellers and investors to any transaction. Kirk Eklund graduated from Texas A&M Commerce with a Bachelor’s of Science.
Ashish Bhatt founded Next Bridge Advisors (formerly Alignment Acquisitions) in 2008. The firm provides sell-side and buy-side advisory and management consulting services for lower middle market services firms across the US. Recent sell-side advisory clients are in the IT services, architecture, civil engineering, and asset management industries. Recent financial and management consulting clients include a $10m+ architecture firm and a $1m+ health informatics firm.
He started his career as a Business Analyst in the Corporate Development Group at E-Trade Financial, which was responsible for divesting a number of E-Trade’s non-core businesses.
Ashish holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, with a focus on entrepreneurship, and gained undergraduate admission to the University of Pennsylvania.
Michael Minihan has been working as an M&A advisor with Next Bridge Advisors since 2014. He previously held financial consulting and client relationship roles for companies in Ireland, Russia and Brazil.
Michael studied Business Studies and Russian in Trinity College Dublin, where he graduated with a distinction. He specialized in Finance. He completed his Masters in Finance at the University of Porto in Portugal.
Dividing his time between Brazil and Argentina, Michael speaks fluent Russian and Portuguese. He has conversational Spanish and Italian.