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New Lower Middle Market Deal Platform Launched

The Independent Sponsor Forum is the only community designed exclusively by Independent Sponsors for Independent Sponsors

October 2, 2023 (Washington, D.C.) – The Independent Sponsor Forum ( is a new national platform designed specifically to serve the needs of the growing independent sponsor market. Founded in partnership with the Small Business Investor Alliance (SBIA), the Independent Sponsor Forum is the only membership community designed exclusively BY AND FOR independent sponsors to efficiently access capital in a highly curated and selective manner, source deal flow, learn best practices, receive critical market updates, and build professional networks.

Led by Executive Director Stephanie McAlaine, the objective of the Independent Sponsor Forum is to help drive access to capital for lower middle market businesses across the country by offering consistent regional opportunities for independent sponsors to connect with funding sources and build relationships that better align with their deal cadence. SBIA President Brett Palmer said, “Stephanie brings 25 years of results-driven leadership experience in building dynamic national and regional communities for private equity, venture capital and mergers and acquisitions professionals. There is no one better suited for building out and leading our independent sponsor community.”

“The Independent Sponsor Forum is designed to help independent sponsors access the capital, connections, knowledge and deals they need to be successful in today’s evolving capital markets,” said McAlaine. “By building a consistent, focused community of experienced independent sponsors, we will help our members thrive in ways they could not have done alone.”

Prior to joining SBIA, Stephanie served as Chief Customer Officer of ACG, driving growth, relevance and innovation in key customer segments. Previously, she founded and led her own association management company, driving strategic and top-line growth as Executive Director for the Wharton Private Equity & Venture Capital Alumni Association, the Kellogg Finance Network and ACG Philadelphia, to name a few. With deep roots in entrepreneurship, Stephanie is recognized across the industry as a problem-solving collaborator who builds customer-centered strategies that drive relevance, accelerate revenue growth, and drive durable customer engagement.


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About the Independent Sponsor Forum

Founded in 2023 in partnership with the Small Business Investor Alliance, the Independent Sponsor Forum is a new national platform designed to drive access to capital for lower middle market businesses across the country. By engaging the rapidly growing community of independent sponsors and cultivating connections with capital providers, the ISF will serve as an important connector for small businesses seeking capital for growth.


About the Small Business Investor Alliance

The Small Business Investor Alliance (SBIA) is the premier organization of lower middle market private equity funds and investors. SBIA works on behalf of its members as a tireless advocate for policies that promote competitive markets and robust domestic investment for growing small businesses. SBIA has been playing a pivotal role in promoting the growth and vitality of the private equity industry for over 60 years. For more information, visit or call (202) 628-5055.

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