Overview

  • Founded in 1997, Assessment Technologies Institute (“ATI”) is a leader in testing and education for nursing educators and students
  • John Hemmingson & Lakeside Capital Group invested in ATI in 1999 when the company only offered paper-based diagnostic exams
  • Over the next decade, Lakeside was able to help ATI expand from fewer than $100,000 in annual sales to more than $23 million

Long-Term Impact

  • Over that decade, ATI developed an industry-leading online education suite that supports nursing education across the country
  • In 2008, Lakeside sold ATI to Ascend Learning, a portfolio company of Providence Equity Partners, for $220 million

Details

When John Hemmingson and Lakeside Capital Group invested in Assessment Technologies Institute (“ATI”) in 1999, the company was an entrepreneur’s vision and a paper-based diagnostic exam for nursing education. In less than a decade, ATI grew from fewer than $100K in annual sales to more than $23mm in revenues in 2007, with an expanded online education suite. In 2008, Lakeside sold ATI to Ascend Learning, a portfolio company of Providence Equity Partners for $220mm. The organization continues to thrive while supporting nursing education across the country.

Founded in 1997, Assessment Technologies Institute (“ATI”) is a leader in testing and education for nursing educators and students. ATI’s online platform helps to increase pass rates for the National Council Licensing Examination (“NCLEX”) while minimizing attrition within nursing programs.

“It was just an enthusiastic founder with a paper exam,” Jason Bandy, a Lakeside partner, recalled. “But when a strong entrepreneur meets an entrepreneurial investor, great things can happen.”

Lakeside saw the value in supporting nursing education and the opportunity to take ATI to the web to reach a larger audience. Despite the dot-com bubble crashing, Lakeside and ATI remained committed to investing in the company’s management team and its online platform, both of which were essential for enhancing the scope of services and reaching an even larger education base.

“When we built the online platform, many nursing schools didn’t even have computer labs,” Jason said. “But we were confident in management and their vision.”

While the growth of ATI might seem smooth in hindsight, there were interruptions and periods of trial and error along the way. New investments in a print publication, for example, were not helpful for clients and value destructive for the company.

“We knew we had to kill the magazine quickly,” John Hemmingson, reflected. “If we didn’t, there was no way we could move onto better ideas. You have to try new things, but also be willing to let them go if there isn’t a path to success.”

Lakeside is proud of the growth of ATI and remains focused on partnering with successful entrepreneurs and developing our own companies from the ground up.