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Young Women Entrepreneurs are Addressing the Succession Void in Small Business Ownership

Alyssa Strasser ’23 and her EMBA classmate Ali Platon ’23 have embarked on a venture to launch an investment search fund geared towards acquiring and operating a small or mid-sized business.

Under the banner of Savannah Search Capital, Platon and Strasser have established a private investment fund with the specific aim of acquiring and operating small or mid-sized businesses in the United States. Their mission is to offer an alternative market for small business owners seeking to sell their enterprises.

The genesis of their startup idea occurred during their time at Yale SOM, particularly in Professor Wasserstein’s class on small and medium-sized businesses. It was here that they recognized their shared passion for business ownership and began contemplating the launch of a search fund.

At Savannah Search Capital, their primary objective is to address the succession gap prevalent among small business owners. Many entrepreneurs, particularly in the small and mid-sized business sector, encounter difficulties in finding suitable successors to take over their businesses. This poses a significant challenge for both the owners and the businesses themselves. Platon and Strasser aim to bridge this gap by providing these entrepreneurs with appealing succession opportunities, thereby fostering long-term growth and preserving the legacies they have established.

The Yale SOM EMBA program played a crucial role in providing them with the necessary network and knowledge base to embark on their entrepreneurial journey. The connections they forged with fellow alumni, professors, and industry professionals have proven invaluable. Moreover, the coursework, especially in areas such as asset management and small business entrepreneurship, equipped them with the skills and insights required to navigate the complexities of launching a search fund.

Since graduating from Yale SOM, their most significant milestone has been securing the support of a robust team of institutional and individual investors and partners. This backing, which includes current and former CEOs, board members, and experienced SME investors, serves as a testament to the confidence placed in their vision and positions them for success as they progress forward.

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