About Early Growth Financial Services (EGFS)

We get small businesses. We understand your challenges—and we can help.

With our full suite of outsourced financial services, from outsourced CFOs to day-to-day block and tackle accounting work, our team of finance professionals is committed to being your partner, reducing the financial burdens and administrative headaches that come with running a business.

Headquartered in the Bay Area, EGFS operates in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Seattle, Austin, Boulder, Chicago, and New York City with 400+ small to mid-sized business clients nationwide.

EGFS was ranked #13 in Silicon Valley Business Journals’ Fastest Growing Private Company Award for 2014. We are proud of this achievement and see it as proof positive that we provide an invaluable service to small businesses.

Our Leadership Team

David Ehrenberg – Founder and CEO

David Ehrenberg_WEBDavid 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.

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 WEBErika 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 events 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 development. 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.

Our CFO Team

Bay Area

Joan Varrone – Bay Area

Joan Varrone 4x6 110dpiJoan 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, and nano technology. 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 previously held the position of president of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of Financial Executives International, and she is currently a Growth Awards committee member for the SF Chapter of Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), the co-founder of Treasury Executives Network and International Finance Forum in Silicon Valley, and she is on the Board of Advisors to the Statistics Department at Purdue University.

Mike Hilberman – Bay Area

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.

Steven Olson – Bay Area

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.

Benson Fong – Bay Area

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 Ismail – Bay Area

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.

David Chu – Bay Area

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.

Christopher Bunn – Bay Area

Christopher BunnChristopher Bunn is a Chief Financial Officer with Early Growth Financial Services. Chris has previously been a CFO for private companies and has held a variety of senior finance positions, contributing to the rapid growth of a number of hardware, software, and system start ups including three successful IPOs: Fortinet Inc. (2009), LeapFrog Enterprises (2002), and Cobalt Networks (1999).

Chris began his career as an electronics and cryptologic engineer with the U.S. National Security Agency. Prior to his work in Silicon Valley, he was an equity analyst in New York and San Francisco for Morgan Stanley, Union Bank of Switzerland, and DLJ Securities. Chris was the Director of Investor Relations at Siebel Systems when that company was acquired by Oracle, and Cobalt Networks during its acquisition by Sun Microsystems.

Chris holds an MBA and a BSEE from Columbia University, an MSEE from Johns Hopkins University, and a BA from Colgate University. He is also a Chartered Financial Analyst with the CFA Institute and a U.S. Patent Agent.

Daniel Chen – Bay Area

Daniel ChenDaniel A. Chen has 12+ years of corporate finance and accounting experience ranging from pre-funded startups to large public companies in software, e-commerce, and technology.

Daniel started his career as a forensic auditor at KPMG, where his clients included SAP, AT&T, and ATI. After KPMG, Daniel was Director of Finance at Trapeze Software where he led the finance IPO effort and integrated an acquisition in the UK. Daniel then served as Assistant Controller of North America at eBay, and then VP Finance at Hexify. Since then, Daniel has co-founded 2 FinTech software startups.

An entrepreneurial-minded CFO, Daniel’s focus is on helping early-stage teams make strategic financial decisions.

Daniel is an Illinois CPA, a Canadian CA/CPA, and he holds a BBA from the University of Toronto, and an MBA from the Wharton School.

Rick Liebman – Bay Area

Rick LiebmanRick Liebman has a 30 year track record of working with Entrepreneurial companies. Following his graduation from business school, Rick spent 14 years on Wall Street, with L.F. Rothschild, Unterberg Towbin and Oppenheimer & Co., focused on IPO’s and growth capital for tech companies. Beginning in 1998, Rick served as the Chief Financial Officer of four different enterprise and B2B software companies, two of which were public and two private.

More recently, Rick has consulted with Family Offices and HNW Investors to help navigate the wide world of Alternative Investing, including Hedge Funds, Real Estate, and Specialized Fund analysis.

Rick holds a B.A. from Brown and an MBA from Columbia University School of Business.

Los Angeles

Katherine Gaffney – Los Angeles

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, an (inactive) 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.

Lori Murphree – Los Angeles

LoriMurphreeLori 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.

Tim Maher – Los Angeles

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.

Paul Meyer – Los Angeles

Paul MeyerPaul Meyer is an experienced finance executive with a 25+ year track record in senior roles at start-ups and Fortune 500 technology companies. He has significant experience in fundraising from angel and venture capital to leasing/debt financing and initial public offerings. For the past six years, he has run a CFO consulting practice, focused on early stage to mid-market technology companies in the greater Los Angeles area.

Most recently, he was the CFO of Cynvenio Biosystems, Inc., an early stage medical device company. He was also General Manager of their plastic consumables manufacturing business, BioMolded Products LLC. During much of his career, Paul was with Interlink Electronics [NASDAQ:LINK] a developer of intuitive interface technologies for business and home applications, serving for sixteen years as CFO and Executive Vice President. He joined Interlink as CFO when it was a start-up with 25 employees, managed its transition through an IPO, and oversaw its growth for over 10 years as a public company to more than 200 employees worldwide, establishing offices in the US, Japan, China and Taiwan.

He is an avid participant in the entrepreneurial ecosystem of greater Los Angeles: He is the incoming President of Tech Coast Angels (Central Coast chapter), the Vice Chair of the MIT Enterprise Forum of Santa Barbara, a Technical Advisor for the Ventura Ventures Technology Center (V2TC) tech incubator, Founder and Chair of the Tech Industry Roundtable of Ventura County, Founder and Chair of the Entrepreneurial Speaker Series at the Ventura BioCenter life science incubator, Chief Financial Advisor for the Cal X-Stars life science incubator and Board Member of the Business & Technology Partnership of CSU Channel Islands.

Starting his career with Price Waterhouse, Paul obtained his CPA (license inactive) and has a BA in Economics from UCLA.

Andy McCormac – Los Angeles

Andy McCormacAndy McCormac comes to Early Growth Financial Services with 15+ years of accounting and tax executive specializing in growth companies. Andy has senior level expertise in mergers and acquisitions and turnarounds and core strength in the areas of equity accounting, cash management, forecasting and budgeting, corporate tax, management and board of directors reporting, and more.

And has experience servicing multiple early and mid-stage companies as a part-time CFO, primarily in the technology and professional services industries. He was Chief Financial Officer at venture capital funded Storactive where he was responsible for preparing financial reporting for Management and the Board of Directors, tax planning and compliance, tax audits, due diligence as target, fundraising, and budgeting for both growth and contraction. He also supervised Risk Management, Information Technology and Human Resources. Prior to Storactive, he served as Controller at Event411.com.

Andy began his career in public accounting, moving up to Senior Tax Manager at KPMG. During his tenure, he served clients in the mortgage banking, banking, hospital and physician groups, consumer products and technology industries. Subsequently, he held senior positions at SEC reporting companies such as Countrywide Home Loans, and Quarterdeck Corporation.

He earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California and is a CPA in California. Andy is an avid tennis player, a Los Angeles Lakers fan, and lives near Venice Beach, California.


Jay Menton – Chicago

Jay Menton_ThumbnailJay is the initial Chief Financial Officer for Early Growth Financial Services office in Chicago. Additionally, he is a Managing Principal with JAMCAP LLC, a corporate development advisory focused on growth opportunities with emerging and operating businesses. Jay has over 14 years experience in private equity, venture capital, investment management, and structured finance. He has worked at global investment banks structuring securitized loans on commercial real estate, a multi-generational family office, a multi-strategy hedge fund, and as a Board Director and advisory COO/CFO to several institutionally backed businesses.

Jay has an MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and a BA from Colgate University, where he was a member of the Varsity Lacrosse team. He currently serves on the Auxiliary Board of the Big Shoulders Fund and is married with three children.

Sue Mulligan – Chicago

MulliganSue Mulligan is a licensed CPA who brings nearly 20 years of accounting and finance experience in her role as Chief Financial Officer for Early Growth Financial Services. Most recently, she started her own outsourced financial staffing firm providing finance and accounting services to start-ups and small companies. Her clients included software, hedge fund, investment banking and on-line education companies. She has been actively involved in fund raising for client companies and performing due diligence.

Prior to that, Sue was a CFO for a venture capital firm focused on high-tech and bio-tech industry. She managed the financials for the firm and worked their portfolio companies.

Sue has significant audit experience in both internal and external roles with the Tribune Companies and KPMG, respectively. She has also served on several international engagements in the systems consulting group.

Sue holds a B.S. in accounting from Marquette University. She is a licensed real estate broker and is actively involved in several charitable organizations.

Las Vegas

Shawn Hassett – Las Vegas

Shawn HassettShawn Hassett is a Chief Financial Officer with Early Growth Financial Services. Throughout his career, Shawn has demonstrated his ability to build and manage strong leadership teams, and has been the Chief Financial Officer and Controller for multiple companies with budgets in excess of $20,000,000. He has raised over $50,000,000 in equity funds for various companies and managed over $100,000,000 in real estate development projects.

At his core, Shawn is an entrepreneur who has formed several successful companies and is well versed in all aspects of running and funding start-up and early stage companies. During college, Shawn was one of the founding members of a student-run Venture Capital Fund that worked with established funds and raised $18,000,000. More recently, he was asked to consult with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in the establishment of another student-run venture fund called the Rebel Venture Fund.

In 2001, he started his career in investment banking and consulting where he created complex financial models, analyzed business operations, and prepared business plans for start-up companies. During the real estate bust in Las Vegas, he acquired, renovated, and resold more than $20,000,000 in distressed real estate assets and was able to maintain an average annualized ROI in excess of 40%.

Shawn was also the founder and CFO of a $25,000,000 water park project in Henderson, NV. He developed the business plan and financial models; raised millions in equity; built collaborative relationships with city officials, consultants, and investors to bring this project to reality; and recently had a successful exit.

Shawn holds degrees in Finance and Accounting from the University of Utah.

New York City

Michael Couper – New York City

Michael CouperMichael Couper has over 20 years of executive experience in corporate finance, strategy, M&A, capital markets, and business development in a host of traditional and emerging businesses globally and is skilled in distribution, licensing, content, sales, technology and operations.

Michael is a specialist in business analysis, strategy, valuation and planning across film, television, music, consumer products and emerging technology, with wide-ranging experience in management and consulting environments within the U.S., Asia, and Europe.

Prior to joining EGFS, Michael has been involved in a number of financings and has extensive experience in corporate structuring, due diligence, capital structure and M&A for both private and public companies, most notably Sony Corp’s multibillion dollar acquisiton of MGM where he was a key member of the negotiations and subsequent corporate restructuring and integration of the two companies. Michael was also a founding member and CFO for Metapa (later Greenplum) where he closed a significant Series A funding round and scaled operations culminating in a $150M+ sale to EMC in 2010.

As Senior Vice President, Strategic Operations at Sony Pictures Television from 2003-2010, Michael was responsible for driving transformative strategy to increase revenue across all platforms including television, film, mobile (Sony Erickson), gaming (Playstation) and electronics (Sony Electronics).

Michael has spent the majority of his career delivering optimal results and articulating the business strategy and conveying competence and excitement to key constituencies including employees, business partners, M&A candidates and the capital markets. Developing innovative and convergent opportunities across major fortune 50 companies including Sony Corp, Disney, NBC Universal, and Miramax Films.

Michael has a B.A. in Finance from Michigan State University and a M.B.A. from Wayne State University. Michael currently resides in Brooklyn, NY.

Duncan Urquhart – New York City

Duncan Urquhart brings to EGFS almost 30 years experience both as a self-employed consultant and as a financial manager in a wide variety of industries, including software, high-tech manufacturing, chemical processing, and pharmaceuticals. He has extensive experience in the preparation of 10Q, 10K and all filings required of public companies. He is also well-versed in many areas of strategic finance functions including GAAP accounting, cost accounting, financial reporting, financial modeling, budgeting, cash management, and financial presentations. With his wealth of experience, Duncan is able to quickly separate problems from symptoms and communicate proposed solutions to clients and management.

Duncan began his career with Standex International Corp, working his way up to controller of a $20MM manufacturing plant in Poughkeepsie, NY. Prior to joining EGFS, Duncan’s varied professional experience also includes serving as the first company controller and treasurer for Sono-Tek Corporation following its IPO. In this position, he helped to establish all accounting controls and procedures to assure compliance with GAAP and introduced aggressive pricing increases resulting in the first profitable year in company history. At Pepsi Bottling Group, which boasted $300MM in annual sales, Duncan was acting controller responsible for monthly close and financial reporting.

Duncan holds a BS degree in Business Administration from Nasson College.


Larry Braden – Seattle

Larry BradenLarry Braden is Chief Financial Officer for Early Growth Financial Services – Greater Seattle. Larry is an accomplished finance and business executive with more than 24 years diverse experience. He earned his Big-4 CPA with Deloitte & Touche; performed litigation, valuation and expert witness consulting with PricewaterhouseCoopers and independently; and earned his Project Management Professional (PMP) certificate with BearingPoint’s World-Class Finance practice. A sample of his impressive client experience ranges from advising numerous technology start-ups to leading major international companies including Microsoft, T-Mobile, Fisher Communications, PIMCO Investments, SilverCreek Capital, Corbis, and Nordstrom, among others.

Previously, Larry worked in various Audit and Controller positions of increasing responsibility for Paramount Pictures, Time Warner, Universal Music Groups’ eLabs, and Paul Allen’s Investment Company at Vulcan. At Universal, he contributed in due diligence and finance integration of many investments and acquisitions including MP3.com, Emusic.com, Napster, GetMusic, among others. In addition to full-scope direct controller experience at Vulcan and Universal Music Group, Larry has significant experience in start-ups, due diligence, acquisitions, public accounting, internal and operational audits, Sarbanes-Oxley, ERISA compliance, expert witness work in litigation and valuation, cash flow analysis, commercial real estate sales and leasing, selling businesses off market, and solving complex financial problems often with companies in either start-up mode or financial distress.

Larry earned his BS in Accounting from the University of Southern California and MBA in Marketing & Strategy from the Anderson School at UCLA, and is a designated real estate broker of record in both CA and WA.


Mollie Ring – Boulder and Chicago

Mollie RingMollie Ring is an accomplished executive with 14+ years of financial, manufacturing, marketing and energy services experience. Mollie recently served as General Manager at energy.me, LLC, an energy wholesale firm in Chicago, IL. In this position, she oversaw the finance & accounting, legal & compliance and human resource functions.

Prior to joining energy.me, Mollie served as Controller of Dalco Metals, Inc., a steel processing operation in Southeastern Wisconsin. In this role, Mollie managed and coordinated the company’s corporate finance and accounting activities, which include financial investment planning, debt financing, working capital analysis, and budget management functions. She was also actively involved in human resource management, 5S lean initiatives, and strategic marketing efforts. Prior to joining Dalco, she was a senior analyst in the Business Services sector coverage group at Bank of Montreal where she managed a $575 million diverse and complex lending portfolio.

Mollie received an Executive MBA at the University of Notre Dame. She received her B.A. degree from Marquette University with concentrations in Finance, International Business and Spanish.