Dr. Kipp Krukowski
Clinical Professor of Entrepreneurship
Colorado State University
Background and Experience
20 years of helping entrepreneurs understand and create value…
After earning my mechanical engineering degree in the late 90s, I started my career working in automotive manufacturing at General Motors, Delphi Automotive Division. During these formative years, I held supply chain related positions in global purchasing, quality assurance, and production control/logistics. I received six sigma training and focused on value creation strategies to improve efficiencies and eliminate waste within production, utilizing value stream mapping and participating in make vs. buy studies and total cost analyses.
After taking several entrepreneurship courses during my MBA program at Carnegie Mellon University, I decided I wanted to make a greater impact, so I pursued buying an existing company. Going through this process made me realize that the real opportunity was helping business owners prepare their companies for sale while helping first time business buyers navigate the purchasing process. So, in 2003, I opened up a business brokerage and consulting firm to assist with the confidential sale of companies. While many imagine that business exits are driven by poor financial performance, more often, business owners face human situations that lead to the decision to exit their firms. These include health issues, partnership issues, divorce, relocation, retirement, or the desire to pursue a new interest. Often experts in their trade, most small business owners have never gone through the process of selling a business and thus I saw a need for a professional to assist through the steps. In addition to recommending value creation strategies to entrepreneurs for improving operations prior to placing their companies on the market, I was able to further create value through helping in areas of business valuation, negotiation, deal structuring, and due diligence.
My business expanded to offices in three industrial cities in three states, each with a team of business brokers working the regional markets. We completed over 100 successful transactions, helping entrepreneurs harvest value from their years of hard work of building their companies. I earned the CBI (Certified Business Intermediary) credential from the International Business Brokers Association along with the CEPA (Certified Exit Planning Advisor) credential from the Exit Planning Institute, and I was recognized by the Business Brokerage Press as an industry expert for selling manufacturing companies.
When the Global Financial Crisis hit, I looked for a service to add to our offerings. Little did I realize that this was the beginning of something so much more! After acquiring the domain name EquipmentAppraisal.com, projects began pouring in from around the country, so I quickly spun out the machinery and equipment service to focus on its growth, selling the business brokerage firm to an existing employee. A few years later, I acquired BusinessValuations.net, and expanded the appraisal and valuation offerings. Clients included attorneys, lenders, government agencies, privately-held and public businesses, and insurance companies, allowing them to make informed decisions related to valuation. Niche clientele also included celebrities and the television show, American Pickers. I received industry certifications that included the ASA (Accredited Senior Appraiser) in Machinery & Technical Specialties credential from the American Society of Appraisers and CVA (Certified Valuation Analyst) credential from the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts, and I provided expert witness testimony for multi-million-dollar litigation cases related to valuation. In 2018, after client valuation projects reaching the 1000s, the opportunity presented itself to harvest, so I sold the appraisal and valuation firm. To this day, the firm continues its growth, helping lenders, attorneys, and business owners make informed decisions related to valuation.
During this time, a client (and now good friend) who I helped sell two of his companies, began teaching entrepreneurship courses at Kent State University. For years, he invited me in to speak to his classes. I enjoyed the interactions with students as they seemed to gain insight from my experiences as I provided real-world examples of successful (and unsuccessful) businesses. Over one Christmas break, I received a call from the Department Chair asking if I would be interested in teaching several entrepreneurship courses the upcoming semester as an adjunct professor. I thought I would give it a try…and I loved it…so much that I considered how I might be able to teach long-term. This exploration process led me down the path of going back to school to receive my Ph.D. at Oklahoma State University, completing my research dissertation in the area of entrepreneurship.
Through a combination of hard work and luck, I landed at Colorado State teaching students about starting and building a business. I am a Clinical Professor of Entrepreneurship teaching Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation while also serving as Academic Program Faculty Director with the Institute for Entrepreneurship. In addition, I was a co-creator and instructor of Pivot Jumpstart, a workshop series for business owners focused on pivoting and value creation. I also research entrepreneurship topics focusing on entrepreneurial exits, small business valuation, and value creation, and I am a Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Faculty Fellow (2022-2023) and Tinberg Teaching Innovation Grant Recipient (2020-2021, 2022-2023). For the past 10+ years, I have also served as a mentor for Carnegie Mellon entrepreneurs and judge for the McGinnis Venture Competition. While spending much of my time in academia, I continue to be a trusted advisor consulting companies in valuation and value creation.
PhD from Oklahoma State University, Mechanical Engineering degree from Youngstown State University, and MBA from Carnegie Mellon.
Past Business Corporate and Government Clients
Provided appraisal reports for government agencies, privately-held companies, and public companies such as: Acceleron Pharma (NASDAQ: XLRN), Apogee Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ: APOG), Barnes Group Inc. (NYSE: B), CITGO Corporation, The Commonwealths of Kentucky & Pennsylvania, Fluor Corporation (NYSE: FLR), Holcim, Johnson Controls, Inc. (NYSE: JCI), Kohler Co., Magneti Marelli, Marvell Semiconductor (NASDAQ: MRVL), New York Power Authority, Robert Bosch LLC, MAN Diesel & Turbo, Miba AG, Nucor Corporation (NYSE: NUE), TE Connectivity Ltd. (NYSE: TEL), The Ohio Department of Transportation and many others
Past Business Banking and Insurance Clients
Partial list of current/past lender and insurance company clients: Atlantic Coast Bank, Bank of Missouri, Bank of Montana, Bank of Oklahoma, Bank of the Panhandle, Bank of the West, BB&T, BBVA Compass, Business First Bank, Celtic Bank, Champaign Bank, Citizens Bank, City National Bank, Commonwealth Business Bank, CSB Bank, Enterprise Bank, Erie Insurance, Extraco Bank, First Bank, First Farmers, First National Bank, First National Bank of Minnesota, First Nations Bank, FirstMerit Equipment Finance, Franklin Synergy Bank, Georgia Banking Company, Great Southern Bank, Heartland Bank, Home Savings Bank, InterBank, Kish Bank, Lake Area Bank, Lorain National Bank, Mainland Bank, MidSouth Bank, Mutual of Omaha Bank, National Credit Union Administration, Nationwide Insurance, NOA Bank, NorthStar Bank, Northwest Community Bank, Northwest Savings Bank, Peoples Bank, PNC Bank, RBS Citizens, Regions Bank, Republic Bank, Security Federal Bank, ServisFirst Bank, TDBank, Tennessee Farmers Mutual Insurance Company, The Citizens Bank, The Huntington National Bank, The National Bank, U.S. Bank, Union Bank, USAmeriBank, Vectra Bank, Wells Fargo, Zions, Zurich N.A. as well as others
Selling a business after the pandemic? Crisis and information asymmetry impact on deal terms (Krukowski, Kipp A. & DeTienne, Dawn R.), Business Horizons, 2022, 65(5), 617-630, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bushor.2021.08.003. (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0007681321001622)
Winning the opportunity to pitch: Piquing startup investors’ interest by sending the right signals in executive summaries (Krukowski, Kipp A., Pollack, Jeffrey M., & Rutherford, Matthew W.), Business Horizons, 2022, ISSN 0007-6813, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bushor.2022.03.001. (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0007681322000210)
Human Capital Across the Life Cycle of Entrepreneurial Ventures (Krukowski, Kipp A., Rutherford, Matthew W., & Pollack, Jeffrey M.), Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research, 2021.
A Call for Industry Specialization: An Academic Perspective on the Importance of Qualitative Research (Krukowski, Kipp A. & White, Jr., Lawrence J. 2021) – This article originally appeared in The Value Examiner, May/June 2021 issue, published by the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts® (NACVA®). All Rights Reserved. To learn more, please visit www.NACVA.com/ValueExaminer.
Letters to the editor. RE: A Call for Industry Specialization: An Academic Perspective on the Importance of Qualitative Research (Krukowski, Kipp A. & White, Jr., Lawrence J. 2021) – This article originally appeared in The Value Examiner, July/August 2021 issue, published by the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts® (NACVA®). All Rights Reserved. To learn more, please visit www.NACVA.com/ValueExaminer.
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