The Importance of Due Diligence

ITEN’s Mock Angels program not only prepares start-ups for pitching to investors, but it also educates founders on the due diligence process that they will encounter as they seek funding or enter into buy-sell agreements. The focus of our due diligence review is to apply an appropriate amount of awareness of the company’s financial, legal, tax, intellectual property, management, product, market, competition, and exit potential situations.

ITEN’s due diligence committee consists of six members, includes two attorneys, and is chaired by Jane Vancil, one of ITEN’s EIRs. The committee’s goals are 1) to identify areas that may be a concern to potential investors, 2) to help founders understand why there might be a concern, and 3) suggest alternatives for addressing concern.

Every investor group has its own due diligence process that is designed to evaluate the company and that contributes significantly to informed decision making. A well-received pitch may open the door to further discussions with an investment group, but no funding is released absent a thorough review of a company’s overall situation. Results of a due diligence review enhance the amount and quality of information available to decision makers that they can then use to deliberate on the decision and all its costs, benefits, and risks. It is not uncommon for a deal to dissolve based on unsatisfactory results of a due diligence review.

The due diligence process will be a recurring activity throughout the life cycle of a company so it is imperative that a company’s management be familiar with, and confident in, the process. In the case of an exit, due diligence findings can impact a number of aspects of the transaction, including purchase price, negotiations of representations and warranties, and indemnification of liability by sellers.

Meet the team –

Aditya Eachempati | Mentor

Aditya Eachempati is a principal of Everest Analytics which provides Investment and strategy advice for venture capital, US and Asian private equity and global public equity investments.

Greg Murphy Esq. | Mentor

Greg Murphy, Esq. is an associate with Carmody MacDonald in St. Louis, specializing banking law, real estate law, business law, and estate planning. Greg is also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Swaty Rao | Mentor

Swaty Rao has 15+ years of Operational IT, financial analysis, change management, and strategy consulting experience. She is a Kauffman Fellows Finalist (Class of 20).

Jane Vancil | EIR & Mentor

Jane Vancil has 15+ years of experience in merger and acquisition activities at several Fortune 500 companies. She also has more than 25 years of corporate income and transaction tax experience. She owns C & I Compliance, a boutique consulting firm specializing in Missouri Works business incentives.

Bob Welsh | Mentor
Bob Welsh is a VP and General Counsel for Energizer, having served for many years as its Chief Intellectual Property Counsel where he managed a team of patent and trademark attorneys handling the intellectual property legal work for Eveready Battery and Schick Shaving products.

All the team members are mentors in the ITEN network.