Tightrope Icon Traditional value investing with operational activism.   We take a disciplined approach in evaluating opportunities , tactically engage operating partners , board members and former industry executives as resources to management teams.

Tightrope Icon People and culture matter. While we invest in companies with niche market positions, serving stable and growing end markets, we understand the criticality of competent leadership creating value and cultivating a positive culture.

Tightrope Icon Alignment of interest. We look for reciprocal commitment with our partners. Our philosophy includes structuring economic incentives for management teams to promote development and attainment of strategic objectives for win-win results.

Tightrope Icon Above and beyond just numbers.  While striving to form value,added and collaborative partnerships, we relate on a personal basis to our partners and management teams. Our team has successfully operated and exited their own businesses to private equity buyers.


We focus on companies in the lower middle market with the following characteristics.


  • Platform companies with minimum revenues of $10 million
  • Platform companies with EBITDA of $2 million to $10 million.
  • No minimums for add-on acquisitions
  • Underlying transactions include management/leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations, corporate carve-outs and entrepreneurships/owner succession transactions.

We target industries where Tightrope’s investment experience, operating management, and professional network bring incremental value.

Specific areas of focus include:

  • Specialty Manufacturing & Industrial Services
  • Business Services
  • Value-Added Distribution
  • Food and Consumer Products
  • Transportation and Logistics


Tightrope Capital’s team consists of down-to-earth professionals with decades of operating and investment experience, navigating over 50 companies across a diverse array of industries through ownership transitions and multiple economic cycles.

Our collective perspective as entrepreneurs, business owners, and investment managers with first-hand experience in all aspects of the transaction process, provides a unique viewpoint during due diligence and post-closing. DOWNLOAD Tightrope Overview

Jeff DeJesus
Managing Partner

Prior to founding Tightrope Capital, Jeff served as a partner for two mezzanine investment and private equity firms where he was responsible for deal origination, underwriting and portfolio company management across a variety of industries. He also worked in corporate and investment banking at Bank of America and commercial lending at American National Bank, a regional predecessor to JP Morgan Chase.

Jeff holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University and a B.S. in Finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He serves as chairperson and board member for Hilton Displays, Fabulous Floors and VCI Emergency Vehicle Specialists.

Alex Amedeo

Prior to Tightrope Capital, Alex spent 10 years in middle market private equity at Sterling Partners and NewSpring Capital where he led new acquisitions and supported the management of portfolio companies. Prior to his career in private equity, Alex worked in the advisory group at KPMG in Philadelphia.

Alex earned his BS degree from St. Joseph’s University. Alex currently serves on the board of VCI Emergency Vehicle Specialists and is the CFO of RAS Logistics.

Lenny Dacanay

Lenny brings over 38 years of business development experience in the financial and professional services industries. Prior to joining Tightrope Capital, he led sponsor coverage for a national advisory and consulting firm and served as head of originations for a private investment firm focused on special situations. As a former COO of a metal fabrication company and CEO of a business services firm, he brings relevant experience as an operator and an understanding of the key issues that business owners encounter.

Lenny holds an MBA from the College of Business at Northern Illinois University, a BA from Fairfield University, and a Certificate of Management Excellence from Harvard Business School. He currently serves on the Board of
Directors for ACG Chicago, the Advisory Board of Directors for the Special Operators Transition Foundation, and Chairman of the Chicagoland Private Equity Hockey Charities.

Dan Badovinac
Operating Partner

Dan was Co-Founder and President of Horizon Die Company, Inc, a design, die build and precision component house. Over a 30-year period under the leadership of Dan and his brother, Horizon transformed from a design, die build and precision component house into areas of automation, in-die assembly, and high-speed, close       tolerance metal stamping. In 2018, Horizon was sold as a strategic acquisition to a private equity firm.

Philanthropically, Dan has served on the Board of Holy Family Ministries since 2000, the last ten years as its Board Chair. HFM serves children and families primarily through Holy Family School, a private K through 8th grade faith-based school located in Chicago’s near west side.