by Julio Jimenez, NAVALPER, LLC.

It’s almost been 5 months since I joined the Global Entrepreneur in Residence (GEIR) program at the Venture Development Center (VDC), UMass Boston. The experience so far could not have been any better. I am extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity to be part of the community of like-minded entrepreneurs from all corners of the world, many of whom are also GEIRs just like I am.

Because of the program, I was given a chance to further pursue my entrepreneurial dream in the US, not an easy task if you are not a US citizen. The VDC and their friendly and helpful leadership offers excellent business support and professional advice in handling and obtaining a proper immigration status. This made the whole application process smooth without heavy lifting needed on my end.

In essence, my startup Navalper, LLC., is a small search fund that serves as an investment vehicle, aiming to acquire small/medium businesses to operate long term.  As such, setting up a well-structured acquisition funnel and screening process is a key to the long-term success of the search. We measure our weekly goals in terms of daily mail outreach to potential prospects, business brokers and bankers, as well as confidential memorandums/ business reviews screened or brokers we have spoken to.

As a solo-searcher, there is only so much you can do on your own, and time is our most precious asset. In that regard, counting on the support of UMass Boston students has been an incredible resource during my search. In particular, I would like to talk about my current intern – Chieh-Fang Tu, recent graduate of UMass Boston’s MS finance program . There are innumerable ways in which Tu has helped Navalper improve and speed up its operations. Just to mention a few, he has lately been doing an outstanding job in identifying interesting industry niches to target in our search in the future. Tu has also helped me screen and filter through many Confidential Information Memorandums of businesses for sale that we get from brokers and bankers. By applying his financial knowledge and critical eye he adds a lot of value to the overall process.

But that is not all. The value goes both ways. In my view, this is a great chance for motivated students with a financial background to benefit from relevant hands-on experience early on in their careers, clearly creating a win-win situation for all parties. In Tu’s own words: “I have been exposed to many business models and worked on leveraged buyout modeling as well as research techniques, which I believe will be extremely helpful to my future career path. This internship has enriched my analytical skills and given me the opportunity to quickly accumulate practical experience when I need it the most. I appreciate the internship opportunity at Navalper and the great support provided by the VDC.”

I was pleasantly surprised by Tu’s work, ethic and strong financial knowledge and competence. It has been such a rewarding experience for both of us! And I can’t wait for (hopefully) many more students from UMass Boston to come and work with Navalper.

In summary, GEIR is a great program, in a great place, with great people and resources that constitute the perfect breeding ground for entrepreneurs to thrive and surely make the world a better place.

Jules Jimenez is a Global Entrepreneur in Residence at the VDC, and founder of Navalper, a search fund startup. An engineer by profession and a graduate of Harvard Business School (HBS), he decided to start Navalper to utilize his experience as an engineer and his financial knowledge to buy and operate a small business. He also holds a master’s degree in Telecommunication engineering from the University of Valencia. Prior HBS, he was an engineer at Volkswagen in Germany. His expertise is in financial modeling, business analysis, and general management. He is passionate about helping other entrepreneurs and students with anything in regards to acquiring businesses, building screening strategies, understanding financial models and identifying optimization opportunities. His general office hours at the VDC are once a week, days vary depending on the week and schedule. Please email at to schedule a meeting.