Autism Investor Summit

February 12, 2019 in Los Angeles, CA - SOLD OUT!

This event is co-chaired by Sara Gershfeld Litvak, MA, BCBA and Ronit Molko, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Sara Gershfeld Litvak, MA, BCBA
Ronit Molko, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Premier Sponsor
Autism Investor Summit – Los Angeles, CA
Location Sponsor
Autism Investor Summit – Los Angeles, CA

Please note that this event is closed to the media and all comments are off-the-record. Video and pictures may not be taken at any of the conference events. Purchase of tickets indicates that you accept these terms.
Location information provided upon registration.

Autism affects about 1 in 59 children, an increase from 1 in 68 two years ago, according to the latest data recently released by the Centers for Disease Control, meaning that 2.5% of the U.S. population has autism. These numbers will likely increase as individuals in underserved markets are better identified and receive an accurate diagnosis.

Because of these growth rates, access to funding and demand for services is increasing exponentially resulting in intense investor interest in this sector. Autism services cost U.S. citizens approximately $250 billion annually, with the individual lifetime cost per person ranging from $1.4 million to $3.2 million depending on the intellectual capacity of each individual.

Currently, the autism services / therapeutic market in the U.S. is conservatively estimated to be valued at $5-7 billion dollars and growing. This includes programs that serve individuals with autism as well as drugs targeting behavioral issues in autism. The supply constraint and the growing demand for services has created a very attractive market that is growing rapidly. Revenues of ABA programs are estimated to generate $2B- 7B annually. These estimates are considered conservative and we believe the market is substantially larger, with a TAM (total addressable market) of up to $70 billion.

This private event will provide participants with valuable insights on the outlook for financial investment in autism healthcare services. This summit will bring together a select group of autism industry service providers, investors and professionals to discuss the autism services landscape, opportunities for investment and what the future holds for autism services.


Investors are in a strong position to consolidate, expand, and create the kinds of economies of scale that are common in other sectors of healthcare, and in other industries.​ The autism service market is a highly fragmented marketplace with many opportunities for consolidation, favorable returns on investment and the elevation of regulation and oversight of care. Because autism treatment is a fairly new field, the industry lacks regulation and oversight. While this is a challenge when evaluating the quality of treatment centers, it’s also an opportunity to implement cutting-edge treatments and technologies. Despite concerns about how modifications to the Affordable Care Act (aka the “ACA” or “Obama Care”) has affected coverage of autism treatment services, from a long-term perspective, the sector is poised for long-term growth.

Important factors in the current autism provider landscape:

The predominant treatment for autism is based on the science and methodology of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). ABA is one of the few areas that attracts bipartisan political support and as of September 2018, 48 states in the U.S. mandate insurance coverage of autism services. Services are provided in the home, at center-based programs, at school, or in hybrid models that serve multiple locations. The National Research council recommends a minimum of 25 hours per week of student engagement.


With greater awareness, we are seeing the beginnings of a reduction in the social stigma of autism, developmental delay, and a formal diagnosis of autism leading more families to seek intervention and support. As funding for autism services and awareness of autism is expanding, more and more families are seeking services nationwide. Most providers report waiting lists for both assessment and diagnosis and intervention leading to rapid growth in this industry.


In smaller communities, the shortage of providers is especially acute. Other than a handful of large providers, such as PE-backed Trumpet Behavioral Health, CARD, Aveanna (previously Epic), Autism Learning Partners, and LEARN Behavioral, providers are mostly very small to medium-sized businesses resulting in a highly fragmented autism services provider market. ​The nine largest ABA therapy companies are estimated to generate less than a third of the total industry revenue​ leaving much room for growth and innovation of autism services.


The total annual costs for children with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) in the United States were estimated to be between $11.5 billion and $60.9 billion — a significant economic burden. Many autism treatment organizations, and some of the largest competitors are located in California. This is due to the fact that funding for treatment programs has been in place there since the 1990s, prior to the insurance mandates that were later put into place.

The summit will discuss the following
For Potential Investors
  • What are some barriers to entry when looking for investments?
  • There’s no single gold standard of care in autism services - what are some new and evolving standards that investors should know about?
  • What are the most compelling consolidation opportunities?
  • How are changing regulations and reimbursement policies impacting investment?
  • Is uncertainty regarding the ACA impacting the industry and expansion opportunities?
  • How is due diligence different from other sectors, and what do investors need to look for?
  • What are some of the challenges investors face in building or expanding autism treatment centers?
  • Why should business owners “take the call” with investors?
  • What does the process entail when bringing on an investor?
  • What methodologies do investors use when evaluating opportunities?
  • How do you balance clinical quality with fiscal sustainability?
  • What are the most compelling reasons to sell, and not to sell?
  • How do you evaluate a potential investor offering? How do you evaluate a potential partner?
  • Where is the market heading and what should providers be concerned about?
  • What opportunities exist for providers and how can they benefit from financial investment?
Reasons to attend
Reasons to attend
  • Meet fellow service providers with the opportunity to have new and different conversations regarding the market and future of the industry.
  • Enhance your personal database with valuable new connections.
  • Share both ideas and business cards.
  • Great information for investors about the continued competitiveness of U.S. ABA therapy companies.
  • Understand which service models have the most robust outlook.
  • Discuss the opportunities for building larger companies through diversification versus taking a more focused strategy.
  • The right questions to ask when conducting due diligence on companies in the industry.
  • What to look for in an investor and how to know when investment is right for you.
  • How to ensure the highest quality of care.
Recent Middle-Market
ABA Deals​
  • Autism Learning Partners
  • Invo Healthcare
  • The Shape of Behavior
  • California PsychCare
  • Center for Autism and Related Disorders
  • Total Spectrum Care
  • ABA of North Texas
  • ChanceLight Behavioral Health

Registration and Buffet Breakfast


Welcome Address: Sara Gershfeld Litvak and Ronit Molko


The State of the Autism Services Industry


Maximizing Value: Running a Smooth Sales Process  (1 BACB CEU)


Coffee Break & Networking


Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow: The Reimbursement Landscape for ABA and Disability-Related Care


Key Healthcare and Regulatory Issues from the Policymaker, Provider, Payor and Patient Perspective (1 BACB CEU)


Buffet Lunch


Selling the Value of Your Organization: A Guide for Investors and Operators


Practice Expenses: Reimbursement Rates, Fee Schedules, & Contract Terms  (1 BACB CEU)


Coffee Break


Valuation: A Look at How Key Trends are Impacting Valuation in ABA


New Directions: Technology, Virtual Reality & Genetics


Happy Hour @ Napa Valley Grille


Happy Hour Sponsor – Intrepid Investment Bankers

Autism Investor Summit- Intrepid Happy Hour Sponsor

Download Autism Investor Summit 2019 Full Program

Agenda Autism Investor Summit
Agenda Autism Investor Summit