Barbara Payne's Capitalist Cleveland Blog

News and Views: Entrepreneurs a-thrive in Northeast Ohio

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Hyland Software shows the entrepreneurial way

Somehow, because they were already so big--625 full-time equivalent employees at its Westlake headquarters and roughly 675 worldwide--it seemed like Hyland would've sold a long time ago if it was going to. The Hyland Brothers have been a fixture in the Cleveland business software scene for more than a decade. But guess it's not quite the same as selling out when you just get a big infusion of cash. Crain's Cleveland Business: Hyland Software soldPrivate equity firm Thoma Cressey Bravo (sounds like a video game code name, doesn't it?) has invested to the tune of 58% of ownership, while the Hyland brothers management team will remain in place. Say they just want to get even bigger and needed some extra cash to implement their plans.

When you've built a track record like theirs, it's not hard to attract investors. For smaller business owners the same thing is true--you're most likely to get money when you can prove you don't really need it. It's the hard truth about business--great ideas are a dime a dozen. And there's still that big "who-you-know" factor to be dealt with.

Fortunately, Cleveland is working hard--COSE, Jumpstart and more--to give more connections and more help to aspiring business owners. And that's a good thing.