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A Partnership
Built on Collaboration

Flexible equity capital designed exclusively for independent sponsors

Align Collaborate is an equity investor dedicated to supporting independent sponsors. We are a growth-oriented partner that leverages our experience and resources with the goal of giving
the most important deal in your career the best chance for success.

equity

We believe independent sponsors deserve better. Many equity capital providers to independent sponsors do it as a secondary focus with a one-size-fits-all approach.

We established Align Collaborate with an aim to be different — backing independent sponsors with equity capital is our only focus. We were formed out of a partnership between a very active lower-middle market private equity firm and experienced independent sponsor investors. Our goal is to be a truly collaborative partner with strong strategic and financial alignment alongside our independent sponsor partners. We believe this is a powerful combination that will allow our independent sponsors partners, portfolio management partners and other stakeholders to succeed together.

Our Mission:

To be the best private equity partner by aligning with ambitious independent sponsors to drive outsized results, creating a positive impact for all stakeholders.

Why Align Collaborate?

We believe independent sponsors have many options for equity, but not enough great choices. We have walked in your shoes, so we know how to be supportive partners to help accelerate your success.

Certainty

Our team has over 20 years of combined independent sponsor experience helping answer the inevitable seller question of “Where does your money come from?” We bring capital exclusively focused on supporting some of the leading independent sponsors. We are dedicated to being transparent and moving quickly.

flexibilityFlexibility

We have a flexible investment mandate, as we can make a smaller investment to round out your capital structure, or we can be your sole investor.

resourcesResources

As part of the Align Capital Partners (“ACP”) family, we provide access to growth resources that can help enhance a deal’s economics. You can, but aren’t obligated to, leverage our toolkit of talent, technology and sales resources, depending on your needs.

Shared Financial IncentivesShared Financial Incentives

Our capital isn’t attached to overpriced debt. We have the same incentive you do — to find the highest quality and most cost-effective debt partners for your transaction. We strive to align ourselves to generate our results the same way you generate yours — by aiming to make successful growth-oriented equity investments.

partnershipPartnership

As fellow entrepreneurs at heart, our leadership team has started businesses and raised capital. We understand each new investment opportunity starts with you, and you need to have the right partners throughout your journey. We want to make sure you receive the credit and attribution that you deserve, so that we can be a partner to help over the long-term, regardless of whether you prefer to invest deal-by-deal, or eventually raise a committed fund.

Our Values

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We Appreciate
Our Partners

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We Do What
We Say

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We Work as
a Team

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We Strive to get
Better Every Day

Investment Focus

Investment CriteriaInvestment Criteria

We provide flexible equity to independent sponsors. We invest in most industries with corporate headquarters located in the United States.

  • EBITDA: $2–15 million
  • Enterprise Value: $15–100 million
  • Equity Investment: $5–30 million
  • % of Equity Need: 25–100%

Targeted Core AttributesTargeted Core Attributes

  • Recurring Demand Products or Services
  • Niche Leadership and Sustainable Differentiation
  • Asset Light Businesses with Strong Free Cash Flow Generation
  • Strong Growth Potential Organically and/or Via Acquisitions

Preferred Sectors

  • Business Services
  • Industrial Services
  • Software
  • Tech-Enabled Services
  • Specialty Manufacturing
  • Value-Added Distribution

Plus, other sectors where an independent sponsor brings a unique angle or expertise

Align Collaborate Investment Team

As a team with over 20 years of combined independent sponsor experience, we are here to be a trusted partner for you. Align Collaborate is purpose built for independent sponsors by independent sponsors, and in partnership with the team at Align Capital Partners. Our goal is to truly be a trusted and collaborative partner that has strong strategic and financial alignment to help our independent sponsor partners create wealth for all stakeholders.

Grant Kornman
Grant Kornman

Partner

Grant is a Partner at Align Collaborate and a member of its Investment Committee. Prior to Align Collaborate, Grant co-founded NCK Capital (“NCK”), a boutique independent sponsor that acquired controlling interests in lower-middle market companies, with his business partner, Michael Kornman. NCK was a pioneer in the independent sponsor community, winning numerous awards, and built a successful portfolio of companies in many different industries including environmental services, post-secondary education, wholesale distribution, and building services.

Prior to NCK, Grant was the Florida Development Partner for The Lane Company, one of the largest multifamily management and development companies in the Southeast, which acquired and developed between $1B and $2B of assets per year. Grant began his career as an Associate at Sterling Partners, a private equity firm with over $4B AUM. Grant has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Finance from Georgetown University and is a Board Member of the Lone Star Chapter of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO).

Michael Kornman
Michael Kornman

Partner

Michael is a Partner at Align Collaborate and a member of its Investment Committee. Prior to Align Collaborate, Michael co-founded NCK Capital (“NCK”), a boutique independent sponsor that acquired controlling interests in lower-middle market companies, with his business partner, Grant Kornman. NCK was a pioneer in the independent sponsor community, winning numerous awards, and built a successful portfolio of companies in many different industries including environmental services, post-secondary education, wholesale distribution, and building services.

Over the course of Michael’s entrepreneurial and investment career, he has founded, built and ran companies such as Quickfire Restaurants and ASAP Air Services. Michael’s vision and leadership have guided these companies through many strategic milestones, including securing outside equity and debt financing, obtaining mission-critical regulatory approvals and company recapitalizations and sales.

Kurt Smentek
Kurt Smentek

Vice President

Kurt is a Vice President at Align Collaborate. Prior to joining Align Collaborate, he spent 7 years on the investment team at Align Capital Partners (“ACP”), where he was responsible for sourcing, executing, and monitoring the firm’s investments. During Kurt’s tenure at ACP, he served on three company boards and received direct operating experience by serving as the Vice President of Finance at Action Elevator from March 2021 — December 2021.

Prior to joining ACP, Kurt was an investment banking professional at Wells Fargo Securities where he focused on mergers and acquisitions for healthcare services companies and at KPMG where he provided advisory services to lower-middle market technology companies.

Kurt received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Economics from The University of Iowa.

Scott Weiss
Scott Weiss

Associate

Scott is an Associate at Align Collaborate. He was previously an Associate at NCK Capital, where his responsibilities included identifying and evaluating investment opportunities, performing transaction due diligence, and working with management teams to implement operational and growth strategies. Prior to joining NCK, he was a Consultant at CFGI and a Senior Associate in the Financial Markets Group at PwC, focusing on financial transformation and valuation projects for various clients.

Scott received a Bachelor of Science in Finance and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Wake Forest University and his Master of Science in Accounting from Wake Forest University.

Align’s Core Collaborators

Rob Langley
Rob Langley

Co-Founder and Managing Partner

chris jones
Chris Jones

Co-Founder and Managing Partner

David Tiley
Dave Tiley

Senior Operating Partner

Dan Meyer
Dan Meyer

Talent Partner

Katie Noggle
Katie Noggle

Business Development Partner

Maseel Mir

Chief Financial Officer and CCO

Get in Touch

Interested in partnering with us or just knowing more? Please reach out so that we can explore how we can help you reach your goals.