Progress Partners is a boutique investment banking firm based in Boston and New York comprised of twenty-five former investors, founders, and operators. The company primarily advises emerging growth tech, data, and media companies on mergers and acquisitions transactions.
Progress Partners’ heavily process-driven approach is designed to set up choice for management teams and their shareholders while allowing clients to focus on execution and running the business. To make sure this happens, Progress Partners turns to Evernote. As company Vice President Davis Rosborough points out, “we live and die by it.”
“Everything starts with Evernote; it’s a launchpad for all content—past, present, and future.”
“You might say Evernote is the most valuable tool in our arsenal,” Davis explains. With over 22,000 notes created in Evernote since 2010, his team has turned Evernote into a “corpus of understanding” that covers interactions with clients, buyers, prospects, and industry influencers. It also provides everyone in the company with a real-time understanding of what’s important, what’s critical, and—as a historical record—allows better thinking for what’s next on the horizon.
Initially, Progress Partners used Salesforce for tracking contacts and logging client activities. They began using Evernote after realizing it was a more helpful service for capturing detailed notes of meetings and conversations. According to Davis, the switch led to “a huge value increase,” by creating “a kind of living, breathing, working memory for the firm’s activity in the market.”
“Everything starts with Evernote.”
“Everything starts with Evernote;” Davis adds, “it’s a launchpad for all content—past, present, and future.” When Progress Partners is preparing an investment case or corporate deck, the team uses Evernote as a scrapbook for building ideas and organizing their thinking. Documents related to investment data rooms are all stored in Evernote.
Progress Partners also uses Evernote to plan Progress Connect, its annual invite-only investment banking summit event. This summit gathers over four hundred executives in Boston each October to discuss the future of technology and how it will change every industry. Evernote also enables an intuitive onboarding process for new hires at Progress Partners. Davis even integrated IndustryMaps, a software visualization platform he developed with his colleagues to track a company’s competitive dynamics in each sector, with Evernote.
Evernote also helps the company stay focused on goals amidst the day’s inevitable distractions. By building to-do lists, writing weekly goals, and tracking items to follow up on, the Progress Partners staff keeps the team accountable and concentrated on target accomplishments for any day and week. At every step of the way, Evernote is there.
Evernote helps make it easy
Davis believes Evernote’s ability to store and organize information helps make Progress Partners exceptional at what they do. Every contact the firm has ever had with another company can be easily searched and accessed in Evernote, allowing them to uncover detailed data and reduce duplicative efforts. The critical information collected from clients, CEOs, and lawyers can also be used to tell the customer stories crucial to Progress Partners’ success as mergers and acquisitions advisors.
Using Evernote, Progress Partners can easily demonstrate knowledge about their industry and clients. And their ability to synthesize information from different domains builds client confidence.
Progress Partners is advancing toward their goal of becoming an elite investment bank. “We are ‘right-sized for dedication’ as a client once put it, but see ourselves as ‘cottage industry investment bankers,’” states Davis. Evernote is helping them by making it easy to share knowledge, craft client stories, and integrate industry information in efficient ways that serve their clients’ unique needs.