Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition

Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University is one of the world’s leading ecosystems dedicated to advancing knowledge and practice of entrepreneurship through acquisition (ETA).  

ETA is an alternative to startups for aspiring entrepreneurs. ETA is a strategy to become a business owner, where the entrepreneur seeks the support of investors to find, acquire, operate, grow and potentially sell a small company, typically $5M-$15M in revenue at time of acquisition.  The entrepreneur attracts investors, runs the search process and typically leads the acquired company as CEO. 

Richard Osborne, a long-serving and beloved professor of entrepreneurship, was one of the pioneers of ETA. In the early 1990s, Osborne co-founded Promise Partners, a one-of-a-kind nonprofit ETA accelerator and a mutual support community of entrepreneurs as they design and execute their ETA plans to go from employees to business owners.

For more than 30 years, Weatherhead and Promise Partners have taught the practice of ETA and acted as an incubator for alumni looking to become business owners. During this time, 65 Promise Partners members (including 44 Weatherhead alumni) have gone on to become owners of 85 companies.

ETA Faculty

Weatherhead’s ETA faculty are ETA entrepreneurs and active ETA investors providing highly practical and experiential learning with direct access to the ETA ecosystem. 

ETA Courses

Weatherhead’s ETA curriculum is one of the most comprehensive offerings available that prepares students to launch their own ETA journey.  

ETA Certificate Program

Degree and non-degree students can receive a certificate in ETA, providing a rapid path to becoming an ETA entrepreneur. 

ETA Accelerator

Students are able to audit Promise Partners ETA Accelerator events, gaining firsthand knowledge of how this group supports students after graduation on their ETA journey. 

ETA Annual Conference 

A full day annual conference that brings students, ETA entrepreneurs, investors and ETA advisors from the ETA ecosystem together for a day of learning and connecting. 

ETA Student Group

An ETA student-led group for people exploring the ETA path supported by ETA Entrepreneurs in Residence who are experienced ETA entrepreneurs and investors.