• About AAVIN

    AAVIN is a private equity firm based in the heart of the Midwest. For small business owners and management teams, intermediaries, and independent sponsors, AAVIN is a reliable, experienced partner with over 200 cumulative years in successful investment and business development.

News Board

  • February 28, 2018

    Asteria Education Press Release

    SAN ANTONIO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ECS Learning Systems, a leading integrated test prep company in Texas, today announced Asteria Education, Inc. has acquired substantially all of the assets of ECS Learning Systems, Inc. and Novel Units, LLC to provide a platform for national expansion. Asteria Education, Inc. continues to do business as ECS Learning Systems.

    ECS Learning Systems, developers of STAAR MASTER, announces acquisition; owners to expand nationally and go digital.

    The new ECS Learning Systems team is evaluating additional acquisitions and is making substantial investments to nationally enhance and expand its STAAR MASTER®, TestSMART® and Novel Units® supplemental education products. The team plans to modernize and diversify the product portfolio in order to aggressively grow its client base through an expanded multi-state sales strategy. In addition to the updated offerings, ECS Learning Systems has started the development of a personalized, digital learning platform for its bi-lingual Integrated Standards Prep™ offerings. ECS Learning Systems’ objective is to offer the new digital, adaptive learning solutions as a companion to its leading paper-based products to facilitate blended learning and instruction. ECS Learning Systems is also in discussions with partners to enhance its literacy, STEM, early childhood development and Special Education offerings. Blended learning has proven to be the most effective learning delivery model today, and personalized education on adaptive learning platforms is at the cutting edge of innovation in the Ed-Tech industry. Next week (March 5th-7th) at the SXSW EDU conference in Austin, Texas, ECS Learning Systems is presenting its existing product line, new vision, and expansion strategies in booth 231.

    ECS Learning Systems is led by a seasoned executive management team and advisors who bring a mix of technology and education experience from Microsoft, K12 Inc., IBM, and Apple. Chief Executive Officer David Cumberbatch, a former executive at ACT, the leader in college and career assessment, brings over 20 years of experience. Mr. Cumberbatch has been a trendsetter in the technology and education sectors with the last 10 years of his career focused on innovative digital education business models. Sam Barnes joins as Chief Operating Officer and brings years of expertise in digital education and leadership in growth initiatives. As Chief Business Development Officer, Mary Jo Eldridge leads the areas of strategic partnerships, corporate and business development and government relations. To complete the team, Dr. Mary Michael Pontzer and Dr. Robert Sapp, have joined as senior advisors.

    “Leveraging the expertise with STAAR MASTER in Texas, TestSMART, and Novel Units nationally, our fundamental goal is to offer quality educational solutions throughout the US market and to leverage the latest innovations in adaptive learning and educational technology, marking a new direction for ECS Learning Systems,” said David Cumberbatch, CEO. “I am passionate about the potential for technology to transform education for every student, regardless of background, not just in the US but globally. The company’s mission is to help ALL students achieve academic success.”

    ECS Learning Systems pioneered the concept of Integrated Test Prep, which approaches test preparation through six stages: Diagnose, Teach, Practice, Evaluate, Remediate, and Reinforce. The company’s test prep materials build upon these six stages and then go deeper into the core learning required by the standards. Due to of this new strategic methodology, ECS Learning Systems has seen tremendous results over the years and now plans to extend it to go beyond the test and incorporate mastery of all of the core standards. This new extended approach is called “Integrated Standards Prep™”. ECS Learning Systems successfully developed a diverse portfolio of supplemental and test prep materials for reading, writing, mathematics, science, literacy, and critical thinking skills that includes hundreds of activity books, workbooks, and standards practice tests.

    The company’s new vision advances this approach to Integrated Standards Prep™. This fresh focus demonstrates a commitment to quality educational solutions that build core knowledge fully aligned to the state standards but goes a step further to ensure students can complete the test with confidence. ECS Learning Systems also remains committed to supporting teachers with their educational solutions, designed by and for teachers supported by independent scientific research.

    Experts predict the broader tutoring and test prep market to grow by over 10% annually through 2020 driven by increased competition for college entry, the expansion of school choice and the growth of online options. Another trend driving this development is improved national and state funding and the Every Student Succeeds Act policy of high stakes state testing for accountability and teacher performance measurement. As the Integrated Standards Prep™ company, ECS Learning Systems collaborates with teachers to ensure that ALL students can meet and exceed the standards and fulfill their potential.

    About ECS Learning Systems

    Founded in 1982 in San Antonio, Texas, ECS Learning Systems is the Integrated Standards Prep™ company that helps over 250,000 students annually with STAAR MASTER®, TestSMART® and Novel Units®. Building on its strong presence in Texas with STAAR MASTER®, the Company publishes proprietary supplemental test-prep materials nationally under the TestSmart ® brand and also offers Novel Units®. For more information, visit http://ecslearningsystems.com/.

    Connect with ECS Learning Systems:

    Twitter https://twitter.com/ECSLearn
    Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ECSLearningSystems/
    Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/ecslearn/
    LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/ecs-learning-systems-inc./

    For ECS Learning Systems
    Jan Jahosky, 407-331-4699

  • November 21, 2017

    Asteria Education, Inc.


    AAVIN is pleased to announce an investment in Asteria Education, Inc.


    Asteria Education, Inc. (Asteria) was formed to acquire ECS Learning Systems, Inc. ECS is a 30 year old test prep business that publishes materials for the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) and other state specific examinations. ECS is a dominant player in the Texas market, with an estimated 40% market share and has developed materials for 11 additional states.


    Learn more at  https://www.asteriaeducation.com  and  https://www.ecslearningsystems.com  


  • November 7, 2017

    AAVIN Partner, Thies Kolln, testifies at House Small Business Sub Committee Hearing

  • October 10 and 24th, 2017

    Dynamic Restaurant Holdings (DRH)


    AAVIN is pleased to announce an investment in a newly formed entity, Dynamic Restaurant Holdings, headquartered in Bettendorf, Iowa.


    DRH was formed to acquire and grow the franchise & corporate store operations for Happy Joe’s Pizza and Tony Sacco’s Coal Oven Fired Pizza.

  • September 11, 2017

    Please join us in welcoming senior associate, Dan Gross.

    Prior to Aavin, Dan was a consultant with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in Detroit, Michigan. At BCG, Dan focused on corporate development, strategy, and operations projects for Fortune 500 manufacturing companies in the healthcare and industrial goods industries. Dan’s client work included several integrations, pre-acquisition due diligence reviews, and growth strategy projects. dgross@aavin.com

  • September 8, 2017

    Green Diamond Performance Materials, Inc.

    AAVIN is pleased to announce an investment in Green Diamond Performance Materials, Inc., Riddle, Oregon.

    The Company, in business since 1954,  is one of the leading specialty sand manufacturers within the roofing, abrasives and foundry industries. 

    Learn more at http://www.greendiamondsand.com

  • August 1, 2017

    Verrex Named a Top 10 Fast-Growing Systems Integrator

    Commercial Integrator Magazine identifies Verrex as one of today’s most viable AV integration firms

    Verrex, a global provider of superior AV technology solutions and experiences announced that the company has been named to Commercial Integrator magazine’s inaugural Top Fast-Growing Integration Firms list. Commercial Integrator, a ProAV publication, compiled the list to recognize companies that are thriving and adjusting to what it means to be an AV integration firm in 2017 and beyond. Verrex was the only integrator selected for its global expansion and approach.


  • June 8, 2017

    Standard Precast Inc “Creating Innovative Solutions” is featured in Precast Inc Magazine May/June 2017 Issue


    The link to the publication is below.  SPI is featured on page 22.


    Precast Inc is a publication of the National Precast Concrete Association and features articles about the latest industry trends, perspectives, events and leading companies in the industry.

  • Verrex Named a 2016 Top Corporate Market Integrator



    We are proud to announce our partners at Verrex have once again been named to Commercial Integrator magazine’s list of Top Corporate Market Integrators for 2016. Read more.

  • 3/10/17

    Weeks Service Company

    AAVIN closes an investment with Weeks Service Company, a Texas located Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning (HVAC) and Electrical services provider. Founded in 1972, Weeks Service Company has served over 50,000 local homeowners and businesses to date. Learn more at http://www.weeks-service.com/

  • 12/28/16

    Standard Precast Inc.

    AAVIN closes an investment with Standard Precast Inc. Standard Precast Inc. has been a manufacturer of precast concrete storm and waste water products for site contractors, municipalities, utilities, and private developers for more than 45 years. Learn more at http://standardprecast.com/

  • 10/27/16

    Montana Silversmiths

    montana-logoAAVIN closes an investment with Montana Silversmiths. Montana Silversmiths has been creating western buckles and jewelry for over 40 years. Check out their products at http://www.montanasilversmiths.com/

  • 8/31/2016

    American Industrial Machine

    AAVIN closes on an investment in American Industrial Machine (AIM). The Company is based in Odessa, TX and specializes in the repair and manufacturing of industrial engine and compressor components serving oil and gas processing operations. You can visit the company website at http://www.aimodessa.com/

  • 7/20/16

    Verrex, LLC

    Verrex Logo

    AAVIN closes an investment with Verrex, LLC, a globally certified audiovisual provider. Visit their website at

  • 6/30/16

    CPI Luxury Group

    CPI Luxury Group

    AAVIN closes an investment with CPI Luxury Group, a proud seller of a bountiful and diverse catalog of pearls to nearly 10,000 retailers across the United States. Visit their website at http://www.cpilg.com/