What is ETA?

How Our Program Works

NCA’s program offers experienced executives a structured opportunity to become Entrepreneurs through acquisition, supported by a powerful in-house team of legal and business experts.

What do we look for?

Interested in applying?

Our Co-Founder Elena shares key attributes of NCA Entrepreneurs in this video. Make sure you also:

  • Have 1-3 defined target industries and sectors
  • Have target industry experience, a network, and transferable skills
  • Meet target geography language and living requirements

Selection & onboarding process

1
Application
The NCA selection process typically takes 12-14 weeks. To begin, please complete our online Application Form and be prepared to submit your CV, a cover letter, and any documentation that is relevant to your search industry and sectors.
2
One-way video
If your application qualifies based on your CV and experience, you will receive our full program description and be invited to record a one-way video for our selection team to review. Further details and instructions will be provided upon invitation.
3
Orientation call
If your profile is selected, you will be invited to a 45-minute zoom orientation call with our Talent team. This call will determine if your search focus requires further development or can move ahead. To prepare for the call:
  • Read and review the program description beforehand
  • Prepare your questions about the program, selection process, and the NCA team
  • Prepare your search industries/sectors and target geography
Read this article for tips on acing your orientation call
4
Interview with vp of talent acquisition
If selected, candidates will then be invited to a zoom interview with NCA’s Global VP of Talent Acquisition. Be prepared to present your “universe of search” including industry/sectors, geographic focus, and number of potential companies (filtered using NCA investment criteria). Candidates will also be expected to explain how their experience, background, and network is relevant to their search strategy. Please note that we run 4 selection cycles per year and your application may be put on hold until the next cycle if we determine your search thesis requires further development.
5
Open house webinar
At this stage, all candidates are invited to an “Open House” webinar. During the webinar, candidates can ask anonymous questions through the Q&A function. Each selection cycle includes one “Open House” webinar. Participation in the webinar is not compulsory but is strongly encouraged.
6
Business case assignment
If you continue to progress, you will be given 5 days to complete a business case assignment that you will present (in 30 minutes) to NCA’s M&A and Talent teams. Case materials will be provided by NCA and are the same for all candidates. For candidates who have no formal M&A experience, this assignment will take around 20 hours to prepare, so please plan accordingly.
7
Legal document review
At this stage, selected candidates sign an NDA allowing NCA to share legal document samples and term sheets. Take time to review the documents and email any questions for NCA’s Legal and Talent Management teams. Questions will be answered live during a Q&A webinar so candidates can benefit from each other’s questions. A recording of the webinar will be made available for those who cannot attend.
8
Discussions with NCA partners
After familiarizing yourself with the sample legal documents shared in Step 7, you will then be invited to a 90-minute video call with our Co-CEOs and a 30-minute investment thesis deep dive with our Head of Value Creation. During the call with our Co-CEOs, candidates are expected to discuss their interest in our program and how their experience, network, and vision is relevant to their search strategy. During the value creation call, candidates will be expected to present a 15-minute pitch of their investment thesis. These are great opportunities to get to know our Partners and gather valuable feedback in preparation for the next step in the selection process (Assessment Center).
9
Assessment center
If selected to continue to this final stage of the selection process, candidates will be given 5 days to revise their 15-minute pitch of their search and acquisition case, following their call with our head of Value Creation. Candidates are required to complete an online leadership assessment and create a CV using our NCA template. You will then be invited to our Assessment Center to present your pitch to our Entrepreneurs Jury and a selection of external advisors, followed by 30 minutes of questions.
10
Onboarding begins
If you are invited to join the program following the Assessment Center, you will work with NCA to prepare your case for fundraising (PPM) with help from our Talent Management team. At this stage you will have access to databases, industry reports, and the NCA DDO team. In parallel, our Legal team will finalize background and reference checks, while our Marketing team helps you finalize your website and marketing materials.
11
Fundraising
Once Onboarding is completed, you will be able to present your investment thesis to relevant investors within NCA’s investor base. At this stage, candidates are also expected to bring in 1-3 potential investors from their own network to support their case alongside NCA and NCA Investors.
12
Onboarding ends + search phase begins
After the search capital has been raised, you will need to finalize legal documentation to complete onboarding and officially enroll in NCA's program. Once that’s done, congratulations- you are officially an NCA Searching Entrepreneur!

    Where we invest

    We are industry agnostic, but all program participants must have 1-3 focus industries/sectors and relevant industry experience.

    • Main Company Criteria
    • Sector Characteristics
    • Your Search Industry
    • Your Search Geography
    • Located in north america or europe
    • EBITDA in the range of EUR 1-5 million
    • Enterprise Value in the range of EUR 5-50 million
    • Recurring revenues
    • Profitable with positive cash flows
    • Ability to achieve full control through purchase
    • Space for operational improvement and/or revenue expansion
    • 4-6 X Ebitda
    • Stable or growing
    • Eur 1-5 million ebitda margins
    • Barriers to entry
    • Defensible market position
    • Fragmented industries
    • Asset light
    • 1-3 DEFINED TARGET INDUSTRIES/SECTORS + 3-4 OPPORTUNISTIC INDUSTRIES/SECTORS
    • YOU HAVE 10+ YEARS INDUSTRY-RELEVANT EXPERIENCE, A NETWORK, AND TRANSFERABLE SKILLS
    • THE NUMBER OF COMPANIES IN YOUR SEARCH INDUSTRY/GEOGRAPHY ≈2,000+ WITH SUB-SECTORS OF ≈1,000+ COMPANIES
    • YOU MUST BE FLUENT IN THE LOCAL LANGUAGE(S) OF YOUR SEARCH REGION
    • YOU MUST HAVE 5+ YEARS EXPERIENCE LIVING & WORKING IN YOUR CHOSEN REGION
    • YOU MUST HAVE A LOCAL NETWORK
    • YOU MUST HAVE THE HIGHEST STANDARDS OF PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL ETHICS
    • YOU MUST HAVE A GOOD UNDERSTANDING OF LOCAL BUSINESS CULTURE & ETIQUETTE

    Want to know more?

    Register below to download our Q&A presentation deck and to keep in touch with us.


    Meet our talent acquisition team

    Our team supports Entrepreneurs right from the beginning and guarantees a fair assessment of all candidates.

    Marine Hamou

    VP Talent Acquisition

    Andrea Gaia

    Talent Acquisition Specialist

    Giovanni Gallino

    Talent Acquisition Specialist

    meet our support team

    NCA’s program is powered by a wide range of specialists, analysts, and advisors that make the Entrepreneur journey as seamless and successful as possible. Find out how we support our Entrepreneurs during their journey:

    application timeline

    Candidates may apply at any time however applications are only reviewed by NCA 4 times per year. Each selection cycle takes approximately 3 months + another 3-4 months dedicated to the onboarding process.

    Month 1: Selection

    Applications are received and reviewed by the NCA team. Applicants can register for Q&A sessions with other candidates to best prepare their application. Candidates receive reading material and an invitation to record a 1-way video to complete their profile.

    Month 2: Selection

    Selected candidates are invited to an Orientation Call, a zoom interview with NCA’s Global VP of Talent Acquisition, and a zoom “Open House” webinar. If selected to continue, candidates are also given 5 days to complete a business case assignment.

    Month 3: Selection

    Candidates are given sample legal documentation in order to familiarize themselves with the legal framework of NCA's program. After addressing any legal questions in a Q&A webinar, candidates are then invited to a video call with NCA Partners. Following those calls, selected candidates will then be invited to the NCA Assessment Center to present their pitch and, if selected to continue, will work with NCA to further develop their business case.

    Month 4: Onboarding Begins

    Onboarding begins for selected candidates (the duration of this phase depends on the searcher’s availability). This phase encompasses preparation of a PPM, a website, and marketing materials. Candidates will also be introduced to the NCA Investor Relations Team, who support candidates in the Unit Sale process.

    Month 5-6: Fundraising + Final Onboarding Steps

    This phase includes fundraising, the signature of Legal Documents, and Capital Calls. The duration of this phase varies, but candidates should activate their own networks as early as possible to fulfill their obligation of bringing at least 1 co-investor to their cap table. Once the Search Capital is raised, the candidate is admitted into the program and begins the “search phase,” which can last up to 24 months.

    Program participants

    Get to know our current Searching Entrepreneurs and the CEOs who have successfully completed our ETA program.