PromiseONE emerged from the Promise Partners organization. Promise Partners was founded by Professor Richard L. Osborne in 1990 to bring together a select group of entrepreneurial graduates from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU).

Candidates for Promise Partners are nominated and selected for membership based on their passion, potential and “promise” to become business owners. Members meet regularly to cultivate the special characteristics and experiences that facilitate an entrepreneurial mindset and brand of leadership necessary to successfully locate, buy and run a business. Special emphasis is placed on developing the professional and financial resources needed to “launch a search.”

Promise Partners maintains a board of advisors consisting of prominent professionals. Kevin Shaw, a member of the board, offered to sponsor a member using a funded search model. A funded search is an investment vehicle in which investors share their experience and financially support an entrepreneur’s efforts to locate and acquire a company. Scot Lowry was selected by Mr. Shaw from a group of Promise Partner candidates who submitted proposals to lead the "first" funded search effort, called PromiseONE.

Since the group's inception, 11 Promise members have launched searches and have started or acquired over 25 companies. Several Promise members are currently engaged in searches for businesses. Given the depth of talent and the investor interest in the Promise Partners organization, the group expects to launch at least 1-2 members a year. Future searches will use various models, including more funded searches (i.e. PromiseTWO, PromiseTHREE, etc.).