Page banner reads: Acquire a business.

Find purpose and prosperity by becoming a business owner.

  • Train.

Acquire is an executive education coaching experience that trains experienced professionals on small business strategy in order to become effective owner-operators of their own $1 to $10 million company.

  • Search.

Upon completing Acquire, you are eligible to apply for acceptance into a search accelerator program. This program provides the data, framework, resources and connections needed to find a company to buy.

  • Buy.

Searchers can qualify for investment capital through Sleeping Giant Capital—a $50 million, West Michigan-focused buyout fund. Sleeping Giant aspires to generate financial, social and educational returns by backing the next generation of principled business leaders.


Program Features

  • Icon: calendar

    Intensive coaching

  • Icon: laptop

    In-person coaching available

  • Icon: dollars

    Great value

  • Icon: group of people

    Individualized and personal

  • Icon: light bulb

    Learn from experts

  • Icon: globe

    Real-world cases and prospects


Course comparison


Educational Modules1-Day Intro Bootcamp8-Week Deep Dive
Module 1: Why acquire a small businessFullFull
Module 2: Reflection and leading your acquisition processFullFull
Module 3: Thesis development and sourcing processHalfFull
Module 4: Leading selection and evaluationHalfFull
Module 5: Leading negotiation and offerHalfFull
Module 6: Leading due diligence and closingNot includedFull
Module 7: Leading growth and transitionNot includedFull
Bonus module: Financial modeling help and moreNot includedFull
Additional Included Materials  
Weekly coaching callsNot includedIncluded
Financial modeling coachingNot includedIncluded
Webinar lecturesNot includedIncluded
Three graduate-level course credits through Western Michigan UniversityNot includedIncluded
Employer reimbursementNot includedIncluded
Cost of course$500$5,000



  • Acquire will grow your knowledge about acquisition possibilities. You will learn about sourcing and deal flow, negotiation and thesis development. The program positions you to acquire, own and operate a small business. Choose the option that's right for your future.

Meet Your Instructors


Derrick McIver and Doug Lepisto are founders and managing directors of Sleeping Giant Capital, co-directors of the Center for Principled Leadership and Business Strategy, and associate professors at Western Michigan University's Haworth College of Business. Their research has been published in top management journals and their consulting and industry experience has taken them to Fortune 500 companies.



Your path can lead you to ...

  • Icon: eye

    Understand and overcome the hidden fears and obstacles preventing you from becoming a business owner.

  • Icon: road

    Discover a viable path that will transform you from experienced professional to effective business owner.

  • Icon: arrow

    Explore various pathways to define targets and create deal flow.

  • Icon: bullseye

    Evaluate potential targets by applying various personal, strategic, and financial filters and models to assess the attractiveness of targets.

  • Icon: pawn

    Develop a thesis on post-acquisition growth strategy.

  • Icon: handshake

    Learn how to structure a deal.

  • Decorative: spacer
  • Icon: award ribbon

    Utilize tactics and best practices as you transition into the ownership role.

  • Decorative: spacer


In the News

  • MLive file photo: WMU Campus

    Investment firm with ties to WMU launches $50M fund to acquire local companies

    KALAMAZOO, MI — A private investment firm has formed with a goal of acquiring West Michigan small businesses, and those owned by alumni of Western Michigan University. Sleeping Giant Capital, a Kalamazoo-based private investment firm with ties to Western Michigan University’s Haworth College of Business, recently announced the launch of a $50 million investment fund to generate economic, social and educational returns in West Michigan by acquiring small businesses...

    MLive Kalamazoo

  • MiBiz logo

    New $50 million VC fund aims to keep businesses local for next generation

    KALAMAZOO — A new $50 million venture capital fund that organizers launched in Kalamazoo seeks to offer opportunity to a new generation of business executives while keeping established businesses local. Formed by two business professors at Western Michigan University, the Sleeping Giant Capital Principled Impact Fund I LLC has already secured “significant” commitments from investors, said Doug Lepisto, an associate professor at the Haworth College of Business...


  • Image of Dog Lepisto and Derrick McIver

    New $50M fund set up to acquire West Michigan businesses

    A private investment firm with ties to Western Michigan University recently launched a fund that will help aspiring owner-operators acquire small businesses in West Michigan. Kalamazoo-based Sleeping Giant Capital, a firm launched out of WMU’s Haworth College of Business, said it established a $50 million investment fund with a goal of generating economic, social and educational returns by acquiring small businesses primarily based in this region...

    Grand Rapids Business Journal