Mako Medical

Client Stories

Client Stories

Creative Solutions for a Fast-moving Company

Nobody seemed to believe Mako Medical would make it past startup. But a conversation with a Pinnacle financial advisor changed everything. Saving more than $100,000 a month in debt service gave them the rocket fuel they needed to grow, and soon they racked up awards and broke records in their industry.

Medical lab testing is a tough business to break into. It’s regulated by a half dozen different authorities, the equipment and supplies are incredibly expensive, and most business comes from insurance companies who don’t like to deal with newcomers. So when Chad Price needed financing for his startup Mako Medical, many banks didn’t think he would make it.

“Banks in our area were out of touch,” Chad said. “Businesses wanted to grow, but they couldn’t access the capital they needed. It was painful. It was a critical time for our company, and they all wanted to meet with us. But they were making it extremely difficult to work with them.”

Every bank wanted his business, but none of them was willing to give him all of what he needed to really take off. Mako was a brand new company in a tough marketplace and with no tax return or history of other financial records. The bankers he was able to meet with didn’t take the time to research Mako's work or dig into its plans.

In the end, he cobbled together financing from eight different creditors with high interest rates and short repayment terms to cover the enormous startup costs and make ends meet.

All that changed when he met Doug Ford and Pinnacle Financial Partners.

After six months of frustrating work, Chad had finally made progress at two big, regional banks. When Doug approached him, Chad was skeptical of yet another bank who wanted a meeting. So he said, “If you can move extremely fast, I’ll listen to your presentation.”

The next day, Doug showed up at Mako to meet with Chad and his management team. He quickly saw what they were doing and immediately brought in Mark Carlton, his regional president, and Rick Callicutt, their chairman. With their credit team and treasury advisor, they spent almost an entire day looking at the company, asking questions and getting to know Chad as a business leader.

Within two weeks, they had a commitment letter. Within 30 days, the deal was closed.

By spending a day with Chad--instead months analyzing paperwork--the team from Pinnacle was able to see the potential in Mako and his previous successes as a business leader. Their collective effort and expertise produced a quick turnaround on a solution no other bank had been able to offer.

“They didn’t look at it in a linear way,” Chad said. “They designed a creative solution that was best for us and also passed their credit process. And it only happened because they took the time to learn about us, our clients and experience. No one else did that. They dug deeper and did it more quickly.”

Their creative solution allowed Chad to consolidate all of his debt with one bank and gave him flexibility in making payments. Pinnacle extended a revolving line of credit tied to a treasury sweep product where money can be automatically “swept” from deposit accounts into loan payments. That combination kept Chad from paying high interest rates on multiple loans and let him pay down his debt more quickly.

He decides the amount of money that goes out, giving him more control over his cash flow, and the amount he draws from the line of credit can change month-to-month depending on his needs. And the bank gets a steady, reliable stream of interest and principal payments.

Chad reduced his monthly debt service from $130,000 to around $25,000. And because he was no longer spending all his time meeting with bankers, he was finally able to focus on growing his business.

With that extra time and $100,000 a month, he hired more sales people. He built out more space. He expanded into a new city.

Mako was able to get bigger contracts with larger companies because they could afford more supplies. The new sales staff brought in more clients. And within a year, Chad doubled the size of his company and set a record for growth in his home state.

“We were the fastest growing company in North Carolina two years in a row. We won the Triangle Business Journal’s Fast 50 Award back-to-back. No one’s ever done that. I won their CEO of the Year award in 2018. We’ve won awards for growth, innovations in health care and community service. And we haven’t stopped. Thanks to Doug and the Pinnacle team, we can give 500 people good jobs, including nearly 200 military veterans, we can support more than 300 nonprofits and we can fund missionaries doing good work around the world.”