Cherry Tree Becomes MESA's Fifth Foundation Partner

Minneapolis, MN – April 4, 2023  

Minnesota Emerging Software Advisory (MESA), a non-profit, pro bono mentoring organization inspired to make Minnesota’s software economy rank among the most vibrant and respected in the nation, is announcing its fifth foundation partner – Cherry Tree & Associates.

Cherry Tree & Associates is a Minneapolis-based private investment bank with more than four decades of transaction experience. The firm was founded in 1980 as a private equity/venture capital firm. After successfully managing four investment funds during the 1980s and 1990s, the firm expanded into investment banking in 1996, which has become its primary business line. The firm specializes in serving business owners in their M&A transactions and funding efforts.

Cherry Tree Managing Directors and Associates have comprehensive M&A and financing expertise. Many have held previous C-Level operating roles, sat on Boards of Directors, and have extensive networks of Executive, Venture Capital, and Private Equity contacts.

“We are fortunate to have Cherry Tree as our fifth partner organization,” said Jim Moar, MESA President. “Like MESA, Cherry Tree leverages the knowledge and wisdom of C-Level executives that have ‘been there, done that’ experience. We are excited to welcome them to our MESA community.”

With over 75 Minnesota-based emerging software companies mentored, MESA’s track record and pro bono approach to coaching founders/CEOs was a natural fit for Cherry Tree. Cherry Tree’s technology expertise aligns well with those MESA mentees on a spectacular growth track moving from emerging growth to mid-market status. And both are driven by the desire to help business owners get where they want to go.

Scott Brown joined Cherry Tree as a Senior Executive Director in December of 2022 to leverage his unique skill set as a Founder, Inventor, Executive, and Board Member which he developed over nearly 30 years. As a MESA mentor for five years, he contributes to the powerful work that MESA is doing to support the Minnesota software startup community. In both of his roles he acts as the Advisor he desired as an Operator.

“MESA has an exceptional portfolio of software mentees in their mentoring program,” explained Scott. “And as someone with a long track record of working with VC and PE backed companies, I understand how important it is to have experienced advisors in your corner.”

Scott continued, “Both MESA and Cherry Tree are strategic advisors during important times in these companies’ lifecycles. MESA mentors provide in-the-trenches experience and act as an independent sounding board to founders/CEOs looking to grow and scale. And Cherry Tree advises companies on complex financial transactions to increase the probability of achieving the optimal outcome. We have developed a strong brand as a trusted M&A advisor and are excited for the opportunity to support MESA.”

As a FINRA-licensed broker dealer, Cherry Tree offers a variety of specialized financial services such as sell-side and buy-side advisory, recapitalizations, market checks, divestitures, capital raises and fairness opinions.  They offer regular industry specific research reports and helpful insights for CEO’s that are available on their website (

Cherry Tree joins RSM LLC, Modern Logic, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, and TriNet as the fifth MESA partner organization.

About MESA

Minnesota Emerging Software Advisory (MESA) is a non-profit mentoring organization whose mission is to make Minnesota’s software community among the most vibrant by providing C-level pro bono mentoring for CEOs of emerging software companies. MESA offers a deep bench of experienced software industry executives from a wide spectrum of disciplines, matching these volunteer mentors with early-stage startups to meet their specific growth needs. MESA has mentored more than 75 emerging software companies in Minnesota. Graduates from the MESA mentoring program have gone on to achieve new levels of success. Of the 36 MESA graduates to date, 21 have had major capital events – either a significant capital raise, acquisition, or IPO, and thousands of jobs have been created. For more information, visit

Cherry Tree & Associates provides investment banking services through our FINRA-licensed broker dealer.