The Bootstrap Difference

“We are owner-operators who honor the legacies of bootstrapping entrepreneurs by unlocking the potential of the companies they built.”

Investment Approach

  • We are experienced, successful entrepreneurs
  • We have a long-term horizon
  • We provide day-to-day leadership
  • We will partner with entrepreneurs to implement a succession plan

Investment Approach


  • Revenue from $5 to $10 million
  • EBITDA from $750,000 to $1.5 million


  • Control Preferred


  • Business services, distribution and light manufacturing / assembly
  • Defensible, measurable differentiation or niche market position


  • Mature and growth stage companies


  • Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan and Colorado


John Honney is the Managing Partner for Bootstrap Capital and, in addition to overall firm management, is responsible for sourcing new investment opportunities and leading the firm’s efforts with regard to transactional due diligence, structuring and negotiations.  He also helps oversee the firm’s investments and is a member of the board of directors for portfolio companies VeriLogic Solutions and O&W Communications.

He was previously the Director of Northern Trust’s Business Owner Consulting practice which he launched in 2013 to enhance the firm’s national advisory service offerings.  In that role, he worked closely with the owners of family businesses and other privately held companies, developing liquidity and succession plans in the context of prevailing market conditions, company performance and the personal needs and preferences of his clients.

Prior to joining Northern Trust, John ran an advisory services practice which led middle market companies through financings, transactions and other corporate development activities.  He advised companies in the branded consumer products, business services and manufacturing sectors.  Previously, he was a member of the faculty of the Kellogg School of Management, where he taught “Venture Capital and Private Equity Investing,” and was a senior member of BMO Nesbitt Burns Equity Partners, a private equity fund which invested in a broad spectrum of middle market companies.

He began his career in Goldman Sachs’ Economics Research Group, later joining a boutique investment bank that specialized in distressed situations, where he advised unsecured creditor committees in Chapter 11 reorganizations.

John graduated cum laude from Middlebury College with a BA in economics and earned an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management.

John is an instrument-rated, multi-engine commercial pilot.  He served on the board of the Midwest Business Brokers and Intermediaries and chaired the group’s Events Committee.