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Early Growth Financial Services (EGFS) offers a complete suite of outsourced financial services, from high-level financial strategy to day-to-day accounting, taxes, valuation, and administration services. Our mission is to reduce the financial burden that comes with running a business. Headquartered in the Bay Area, EGFS has offices in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle, Las Vegas, Seattle, Austin, Boulder, Chicago, and New York City with 300+ small to mid-sized business clients nationwide.
EGFS was ranked #5 in Silicon Valley Business Journals’ Fastest Growing Private Company Award for 2013. We are proud of this achievement and see it as proof positive that we provide an invaluable service to small businesses.
Our Senior Team
David Ehrenberg – Founder and CEO
David Ehrenberg founded Early Growth Financial Services (EGFS) in 2008 to address the lack of on-demand financial support available to startups. David’s passion for mentoring entrepreneurs, and helping early-stage startups to thrive, led him to create the integrated financial solution that EGFS provides, from day-to-day accounting to strategic finance, tax, and valuation support.
As CEO, David has overseen incredible growth at EGFS, leading to its being ranked #5 in Silicon Valley Business Journals’ annual Fastest Growing Private Companies award for 2013. David’s articles and insights are frequently posted in such prestigious publications as Forbes, Inc, VentureBeat, Huff Post Small Business, Yahoo! Small Business Advisor, Startup Nation, and more. He is an active speaker and event leader who presents regularly to founders and others within the startup ecosystem. He also co-founded and moderated Pitch Flip LA 2013 in which investors from Silicon Valley presented to a broad sampling from the LA startup community.
David has strategic and operational expertise in all areas of early-stage finance, including strategic planning, forecasting, venture funding, debt financing, and M&A. Prior to founding EGFS, David was the first CFO for Abound Logic, playing an integral role in building out the company’s finance and administrative infrastructure. Before that, David was a Controller for Microsoft, in a division that focused on creating new products and business solutions. Earlier in his career, David was a key member of the finance team at Extreme Networks and Voice Stream Wireless and VP of Finance for Radiant Research, where he was responsible for selling the company in two transactions and ensuring a successful exit for investors and management.
After graduating from Georgetown University with degrees in accounting and finance, David started his career on Wall Street doing mergers and acquisitions work for Deloitte & Touche. He went on to earn his MBA from the University of Washington.
While David’s focus these days is primarily on expanding EGFS’s service offerings, opening up new markets, and forging strategic relationships, he still relishes the time he gets to spend with enthusiastic founders, helping them to do what they do best.
Brian Young – Chief Financial Officer
Brian brings almost 25 years experience in senior financial management positions in early stage through late-stage companies, primarily in high tech. Prior to Early Growth Financial Services, Brian was Vice President – Corporate Controller of BigFix, a leading global provider of high-performance enterprise software and security management solutions where he was charged to build a public company ready accounting department and prepare for an IPO. Prior to filing, the company was acquired by IBM. His previous positions include being the CFO at MindBox, a worldwide leader in providing artificial intelligence enterprise software that automates complex business and decision processes. He was Senior Vice President of Finance at SBT Accounting Systems, an international manufacturer and distributor of business solutions software. In addition, he was an Audit Manager/CPA with KPMG.
His expertise includes applying financial and operational skills to guide organizations through rapid growth, turnaround, mergers and acquisitions, and start-up challenges. In addition, he is skilled in business planning/forecasting/reporting, financing, and directing the implementation of financial applications to position companies for growth.
Brian holds a BS in accounting from Michigan State University.
Glenn McCrae – Chief Strategy Officer
Glenn McCrae is an experienced CPA with extensive early stage company experience. Glenn’s experience with smaller growth companies has helped him develop a deep understanding of how sales, strategy, financing, operations, and accounting each play a critical role in the successful growth of a young firm. Glenn’s CFO career began when he joined a small broker-dealer after a successful stint as an options market maker. Over time, he assumed the role of Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer and helped the firm reach INC. Magazine’s 500 fastest growing companies list 4 years in a row. After serving as the VP of Business Development for this start-up, Glenn served as VP Finance and CFO in several dynamic organizations, including: a non-profit organization, a real estate firm and a broker-dealer.
Glenn McCrae’s expertise includes capital raising (from seed stage to IPO), strategic analysis of business opportunities, business development, developing plans for growth, financial analysis, strong technical accounting abilities, human resources, legal and corporate governance, facilities, IT and administrative functions.
After graduating from Duke University with a degree in Managerial Science, Glenn McCrae earned his CPA as an auditor at Arthur Andersen & Co. Glenn is an actively licensed CPA.
Sirk Roh – Chief Operating Officer
Sirk is an accomplished finance executive focused on leading early-stage companies through strategic financial decisions. His areas of expertise include debt and equity financings, planning/budgeting, financial analysis, cash flow management, high growth management, and cost reductions/right-sizing, when needed.
Sirk brings more than 25 years of experience to Early Growth Financial Services, including 17 years of financial leadership roles with high-tech companies. His early-stage company experience includes: CFO at Nuezra, an IT consulting company; VP Finance at Kovio, a semiconductor printing innovator; CFO at Gale Technologies, a leader in testing automation software; VP Finance at Attune Systems and Controller at Nishan Systems, both data storage networking manufacturers. Prior to focusing on early-stage companies, Sirk held positions as Controller for the Palm Operating System division and several divisions within 3Com.
Sirk holds an MBA in Finance from UCLA’s Anderson School of Business and a BA in Business Economics from UC Santa Barbara.
Steven Olson – Chief Technical Officer
Steven is a senior finance and operations executive with more than 25 years of executive-level management experience, specifically within technology-focused organizations. His specialties include: enterprise software/SaaS, international setup, M&A, raising capital, financial planning and modeling, and mergers.
In his position as Managing Principal at New Venture Support, Inc., Steven provided CFO/COO support for early-stage companies and new ventures, with a focus on raising investment capital, international expansion, organizational infrastructure, financial planning and analysis. Previously, as Vice President Finance of Dexterra, Inc., an enterprise mobile software company, Steven raised $106M in venture funding and built global corporate and financial infrastructure to support international operations. Prior to that, as Vice President, Financial Consulting for Corollary Solutions, a customer management solutions provider, Steven removed over $12M in costs in the first year after re-engineering, and moved Compaq from #5 to #2 in the market for customer satisfaction.
Steven has also served as Director, Support Operations for Conxion, Vice President Operations for Brigade Corporation; Vice-President, Business Operations for Telepost Inc.; General Manager for Techmar; Vice President, Chief Financial Officer for Softbank Inc.; CFO for PC-SIG/Spectra Publishing; and Controller/Operations Manager for Pacific Data Group, Inc.
Steven holds an MBA in International Business from Santa Clara University and a BS in Business Finance from San Jose State University.
Gadiel Morantes – Chief Revenue Officer
Gadiel Morantes is an accomplished executive with 15+ years of sales, marketing, and operations experience. He has proven experience building and maintaining profitable business relationships with key corporate decision-makers and establishing large-volume, high-profit accounts with excellent levels of retention and loyalty. In his role as Vice President of Venture Banking at Square 1 Bank, Gadiel worked with entrepreneurs and startup CEOs, providing banking solutions and serving as an advisor and connector. His vast experience — both as an entrepreneur and working extensively with founders — has given him great insight into what it takes to forge strong partnerships and build successful companies.
Previously, Gadiel focused on business development for Moss Adams LLP (formerly Mohler, Nixon, & Williams) and Bowne. In his role as a business development executive, Gadiel identified new sales opportunities, developed pursuit strategies, increased new business generation, established sales and marketing strategies, and increased overall sales performance within these organizations.
Gadiel earned his BA in Psychology from San Jose State University, is an advisor and mentor for Spartups (a startup accelerator), and is an active member of Founders Network, a peer mentorship organization of founders helping founders.
Erika Malzberg – Chief Marketing Officer
Erika Malzberg is a marketing and communications executive with more than 13 years of professional experience across multiple industries. She brings to EGFS her proven expertise in creating strategic marketing campaigns, increasing customer engagement, building leads, and developing entertaining, educational, and accessible content.
Erika is responsible for creating and implementing marketing strategies that directly impact sales efficiencies and that drive and support EGFS’s rapid growth. Since Erika joined EGFS, company content has been featured in such business publications as Forbes, Inc., Huff Post Small Business, VentureBeat, and more. Erika also plans and coordinates startup nationwide, including Pitch Flip LA 2013, a well-attended reverse demo day and networking event that connected entrepreneurs from the LA area with investors from VC firms throughout Silicon Valley.
Prior to joining EGFS, Erika served as Content Manager for LiveCareer, with a focus on product development and content management. Prior to LiveCareer, Erika worked in Member and Marketing Communications for Kaiser Permanente, supporting member marketing campaigns and the development of marketing collateral. In previous positions for online companies such as Monster and HiringTools, Erika was responsible for product and content development and marketing communications.
Erika earned her BA in English from Rutgers University and pursued her MA in English Literature from San Francisco State University.
Mike brings to EGFS over twenty years of executive leadership and consulting experience in assisting both large and small organizations through difficult realignments of their strategy, finances, and business processes. Mike’s expertise includes aligning business strategy, improving operations, and driving both top- and bottom-line financial performance for all types of businesses. Mike is also an expert in financial modeling and developing scenario-based financial forecasts.
Mike began his career at Booz, Allen & Hamilton, successfully helping large Fortune 500 companies like Chevron, Mobil Oil, Apple, Fox, First Nationwide and Bechtel. While consulting at M Squared, he helped Cisco on a series of programs including incubating and growing a multi-billion dollar sales initiative. He has also held a variety of management positions within small companies, and has been an outside advisor to over a dozen start-ups.
Mike also served as Senior Director of Financial Business Technology at Levi Strauss & Company, reporting directly to both the CFO and the CIO, managing all finance related technology initiatives. At Corrigo, a small startup focused on mobile workforce management which was backed by CMGI, Mike served on an interim basis as both the VP of Sales and the VP of Finance, taking responsibility to restructure the company’s debt and work with new venture money to put the company back on stable footing for continued growth through the full dot-com era bubble.
Mike received an MBA in finance, marketing, strategy, and entrepreneurship from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern, and a BA in economics, mathematics, and psychology from Claremont McKenna College.
Benson Fong’s expertise includes successful corporate development & financial experience in the BioPharma industry, as well as operations experience getting products into preclinical studies and clinical trials.
Prior to Early Growth Financial Services, Benson was President and CEO of Lapis Theraputics, formed to identify and evaluate clinical stage products to in-license and develop. He has also served as the Senior VP of Corporate Development at CoTherix, Inc. where he identified & licensed US. rights for iloprost (Ventavis™) for pulmonary hypertension (PAH) from Schering AG, generating over $65M revenue. At Imperial Bank, he served as First Vice President of the Emerging Growth Division responsible for evaluation of and structuring debt for venture capital backed technology companies.
Benson Fong received a BS in biology, and began his career as a certified public tax accountant. He has held key financial and leadership positions in the biotech industry.
Alaa is an accomplished CFO with two decades of finance, management and operating experience with Internet, Software, SaaS, Hardware and Services companies.
Prior to Joining Early Growth Financial Services, Alaa ran his own finance consultancy, providing accounting and financial guidance to emerging and high growth Companies.
Alaa began his finance career at Arthur Anderson where he gained significant experience in mergers and acquisitions ranging from financial compliance of definitive agreements and due diligence. Alaa spent 10 years at Aptix Corp., where he helped the company grow from a small start-up to a company generating $60 million in sales with over 250 employees. Alaa sold Aptix to a major competitor in 2005.
Alaa is a CPA (inactive) and has a BA in Economics from UCLA.
Joan is an experienced finance executive with over 15 years acting as CFO for many venture-backed technology companies in the Bay Area, including Enterprise Software, mobile gaming, SaaS, nano technology, and. Joan has managed everything from setting up and running entire administrative functions to accounting, business planning, strategy, valuations, M&A, sales operations and raising funds. Her key capabilities include building infrastructure, capital markets, financial planning, international finance, and turnaround and restructuring.
Working as CFO for such varied companies as Cloud Cruiser, KarmaWell, SenSage, HIP Investor, Omidyar Network, Optiva, Personic, Food.com, and Catapult Communications, Joan has raised over $100M in venture capital and debt, lead a successful IPO and helped to scale companies both domestically and overseas. Prior to holding the title of CFO, Joan held Senior Management positions at multinationals where her responsibilities included financial planning, international tax, foreign currency risk management, real estate and financing of 40 overseas affiliates.
Joan has a BA in Mathematics magna cum laude, an MS in Statistics from Purdue University, and an MBA from NYU in Finance and International Business. She is currently the President of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of Financial Executives International, Growth Awards committee member for the SF Chapter of Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), and the co-founder of Treasury Executives Network and International Finance Forum in Silicon Valley.
Tim Maher is a licensed CPA with over 25 years of financial and accounting experience serving companies from startup to Fortune 500. His experience includes structuring and streamlining accounting procedures and building accounting teams from the ground up. He offers a breadth of knowledge with experience from a wide variety of diverse industries including media, entertainment, digital, tech, and healthcare.
As a CPA, Tim’s has extensive experience serving as interim CFO, preparing and filing SEC 10-Q’s and 10-K’s, compiling financial statements, writing business plans, creating annual budgets, creating and implementing an Activity-Based Cost system, forensic accounting, forecasting, and fundraising. Tim’s clients have included Nestle, Solgenix, Global Gaming League (GGL), Sara Lee Fresh, and Rentech.
Tim holds a B.S. in Accounting from Saint Cloud State University.
Katherine Gaffney brings to EGFS 13 years of finance experience. Before joining EGFS, Gaffney founded Startup CFOs, a strategy, finance, and operations consulting practice advising tech startups and digital media companies worldwide. Prior to this, Katherine served as Head of Finance & Strategy for Hearst Business Media and Director of Finance for Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment where she developed numerous startups within the digital space including gaming, music, and mobile. She specializes in business model optimization, strategic planning and implementation, P&L management, growth management, valuation modeling, new market development, and talent management with businesses in growing markets.
Gaffney holds an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Business, a CPA from the beautiful state of California, a Business Economics degree from UCSB, and is the recipient of the first fellowship ever offered by the Founder Institute. She is also conversational in Spanish and can order food and find a bathroom in French, Portuguese, and Italian.
Katherine’s passion is to create a better future through the use of new technologies. As such, she is focused on developing Los Angeles into an entrepreneurial hub. Her other passions include fine art photography and all things wanderlust.
David Chu comes to EGFS with almost 20 years of global experience in financial management, investment analysis, and entrepreneurship. With his comprehensive investment background, David’s insight and value-oriented approach are of particular value to entrepreneurs, in fundraising and beyond. His areas of expertise include financial modeling, financial analysis, forecasting, budgeting, investor due diligence, pricing analysis, fundraising, product positioning, and compensation planning.
Prior to joining EGFS, David generated investment ideas and opportunities for his clients, first as a Managing Director at LAB Advisors and most recently as a Vice President at Merlin Securities in San Francisco. Prior to that, David co-founded Soma Asset Management, a long-short hedge fund investing across the capital structure. David also worked as a securities analyst at Scion Capital, a fundamental analysis, deep-value hedge fund. While at Scion, David launched the firm’s Hong Kong office and served as the company’s Executive Director.
David has a strong background in management consultancy and private equity, with experience both nationally and internationally, as a Research Associate at Abacus Capital Investments, an investment banker at Goldman Sachs in New York, and a private equity executive in Singapore with Equinox Capital.
David received his MBA from Harvard Business School and graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University with a BSBA degree in Finance and International Business.
Ken McEwan has 25 years of experience as a Silicon Valley CFO and COO. He co-founded 5 high-tech startups, two reaching IPOs, and helped manage 15 rounds of private financing, as well as several rounds of public financings. As a successful serial entrepreneur, Ken has practical, hands-on experience building companies and proactively managing company growth. He knows what founders go through from business planning to making financing decisions to establishing cost-effective systems and controls. His areas of expertise include financial planning and analysis; revenue recognition; GAAP compliance; IPO prep; M&A; SEC filings; and tax returns, provisions, and audits.
Ken started his career at Price Waterhouse-San Jose, auditing high-tech companies such as Applied Materials, IBM, and HP. With his Big Four experience, he co-founded RasterOps Corporation, a pioneer in PC and MacIntosh color graphics. He served as CFO/COO as the company reached $100 million and went public. Ken then became the CFO of Creative Technology-Singapore and helped start Creative Labs in the U.S. (company completed an IPO). As CFO of both Creative and Creative Labs, he helped the company grow from $25 million to $400 million in 3 years. He then co-founded Airwave Corporation, a radio frequency device company (acquired 1997) and Zap International, a joint venture with Sony marketing early web-based video email systems (acquired 2002). He was also the CFO of Absolutely New, which achieved a $20M revenue run rate, and IDEA Corporation. Most recently, Ken has been consulting with startup companies, focusing on business planning, investor pitches, QBS implementation, and tax compliance.
Ken holds a BS in Accounting from San Jose State University and is an active CPA. He is also the chairman of the non-profit music organization AVA (Artist-Venue-Audience).
Lori Murphree comes to EGFS with almost 20 years of experience in strategic and financial roles within business, investment banking, and private equity. Currently, Lori acts as a consultant and part-time CFO for companies in tech, media, mobile, and consumer industries with an emphasis on management and execution of financial transactions (private capital raise and M&A). Lori’s financial expertise includes business planning, financial modeling, deal structuring, company valuations and commercial reviews, market research and analysis, management and client presentations, and business development.
Lori’s prior experience includes both commercial lending and investment banking roles at Silicon Valley Bank (SVB – Palo Alto, CA & London, UK), Grant Thornton (London, UK), and boutique investment bank Results International (London, UK). In these roles, she managed both M&A and private capital raise transitions, did analysis and due diligence on several tech and media companies, and was responsible for growing both tech and digital media practices, engaging new clients such as Sapient and Velti.
After spending 5 years working in London, Lori moved back to the U.S. and became Director at Bacchus Capital Management, a Private Equity Fund that invested in wineries. There, she analyzed and managed new buy-side transactions, built initial financial models for operations and strategy; and acted as Director of Finance for newly acquired wineries.
Lori holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University, Chico and a Master of Business Administration and International Management from Thunderbird, The Graduate School of Global Management.
Rachel E. Williams
Rachel Williams is an accomplished finance and operations executive with over 15 years of experience in finance, operations, and strategic leadership positions. Her work includes providing financial and managerial oversight, consulting with clients on a wide range of finance and accounting matters, leading the reorganization of complex entities, successfully launching new business lines, building and developing teams, and founding a tech start-up company.
Rachel has served as an expert consultant providing advice on complex finance and accounting matters to entrepreneurs and businesses across a broad range of industries including gaming, financial services, consumer products, technology, non-profit, alternative investment products, real estate, banking, and hospitality. In addition, she spent several years as a CFO for a successful Native American gaming tribe where she assisted the tribal council in reorganizing the operational structure, implementing financial transparency, developing policies and procedures, and overseeing the tribe’s diverse portfolio of investments and businesses. Prior to joining EGFS, Rachel started her own company, Wigot, Inc., a SaaS based technology company.
Her expertise include managing accounting and finance operations, developing budgets, creating financial models, P/L management, creating and executing on business strategies, negotiating complex agreements, building financial reporting processes, designing operational structures for corporate governance, and scaling business operations.
Rachel holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Masters in Business Administration from Baylor University. She is a Certified Public Accountant (Inactive) and a Certified Fraud Examiner and is an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University where she teaches accounting, corporate governance, and finance to MBA students and business executives. In addition to her professional commitments, Rachel serves on the Advisory Board for Step Up Women’s Network and Vitreous Partners, a wealth management firm.