Meet Our Business Plan Consulting Team
Cayenne Consulting's expert business plan writers are second to none. We are experienced entrepreneurs and understand what you are going through. We have deep and broad experience in creating and executing upon business models of all kinds. We have a keen sense of what works in the marketplace and what doesn't. Many of us have MBAs or PhDs from schools like Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Wharton, CalTech, Cornell, Columbia, and Chicago. We also have experts in market research, FDA/regulatory issues, financial modeling, and other fields.
Akira Hirai - Founder & CEO
Orange County, CA
With over 20 years of experience in entrepreneurship, management, business planning, financial analysis, software engineering, operations, and decision analysis, Akira has the breadth and depth of experience needed to quickly understand entrepreneurs' businesses and craft the most suitable solutions.
Before founding Cayenne Consulting in early 2001, Akira started two Internet companies in Silicon Valley. Previously, Akira held various management positions in New York at Salomon Brothers, most recently as Vice President in Fixed Income Derivatives Trading, focusing on new business development and risk management. He has also worked as a senior financial risk management consultant to the financial services industry; software engineer; advertising sales manager for the popular Let's Go travel guide series; general manager of an advertising and graphic design agency; and engineering intern at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center.
Akira is a regular guest speaker on the topics of business planning, financial forecasting, and capital formation at the Phoenix chapter of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation's FastTrac entrepreneur training program and at various programs affiliated with Arizona State University (ASU). He also mentors companies preparing to present before the Arizona Angels and the Arizona Venture Capital Conference (AVCC). Akira has also served on the Board of Directors for ITASA (Information Technology Association of Southern Arizona). He was named Entrepreneur of the Week in October 2000 by vCapital.com.
Akira earned his BA in Engineering Sciences from Harvard University.
Roger Anderson, Ph.D. - Principal Consultant
Orange County, CA
Roger brings over 20 years of experience in research, sales, marketing, product development, programming, and management to his consultant role. His training as a scientist increased his analytical skills and ability to break a problem down to the fundamental elements for analysis and presentation. His industry expertise includes internet/e-commerce, database development, logistics, supply chain, immunology, medical device, In Vitro Diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, and detection systems. He has been an executive in and fund-raiser for several start-up companies, and has worked with over 50 established and start-up businesses to develop business and revenue models, prepare business plans and investment memorandums, conduct valuations, discover new products, create strategic alliances, carry out due diligence, and raise private equity financing.
Roger has conducted negotiations and business deals across the US as well as in Europe, Japan, and China. He has dealt with the largest pharmaceutical companies, high valued pre-IPO technology companies, and the smallest of start-ups. His pioneering work to create the first online purchasing system for lab supplies created connections he continues to use to discover new products and business opportunities. He has received standing ovations and awards for his presentations on entrepreneurship and is the author of "Maps for Modern Magellans: Charts for Captains of Commerce," the first in a series aimed at technical entrepreneurs from the sciences and engineering.
Roger earned his BA in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from UC San Diego and his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the California Institute of Technology. He is fluent in SQL and Italian.
Devin Berger, MBA - Principal Consultant
Devin has over 18 years of experience in marketing and senior management of emerging growth companies, startups, and global consumer products companies, and has advised companies in numerous industries including high tech, biotech, internet/social networking, telecommunications, footwear/apparel, media & entertainment, and consumer products and services.
Earlier, she was the President of Apollo Eye Gear (performance sunglasses endorsed by Ken Griffey Jr.), CEO of Le Coq Sportif in Paris, France (athletic footwear and apparel), and President of a startup apparel company. She was also the VP of Marketing and Sales for a telecommunications company that provided wireless phone services for low income families in Tanzania, Africa. Previously, she was the Director of International Marketing for Converse, where she managed the $200 million basketball category and doubled the sales and profits of the worldwide business. Earlier, Devin was the Director of Marketing and Communications for a billion-dollar commercial real estate development project and a Senior Tax Policy Consultant for Price Waterhouse.
Devin earned her MBA from Harvard University and her BA in Economics from George Washington University.
Brian Bohr, MBA - Principal Consultant
Los Angeles, CA
Brian possesses over fourteen years of experience in investment banking, corporate development, corporate finance, merger and acquisition advisory, financial planning and analysis, and venture investing. Brian has evaluated and written numerous business plans and financial models for both clients and internal stakeholders, with a particular emphasis on media companies. Brian consults with William and Henry Associates a boutique investment bank, specializing in sell side advisory and capital raising for small and mid-sized companies. Brian also worked as an investment banker with Transpac Media, a boutique financial advisory firm with an international client base of middle-market media and entertainment companies. During his time at Transpac Media, Brian advised clients with regards to capital raising, mergers and acquisitions, optimal capital structuring and strategic advisory services.
Brian was previously employed by News Corporation in various financial positions. While with the company's corporate finance and development group, he participated in numerous corporate financings, acquisitions and divestitures including the initial public offering of the Fox Entertainment Group, the acquisition of DIRECTV and the sale of TV Guide. Brian also worked for News Digital Ventures, a News Corporation subsidiary that made strategic venture investments in new media companies.
Brian began his career with Public Financial Management, the country's leading consulting firm to municipal debt issuers, where he structured over $3 billion of new bond issues and refinancing for clients such as the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, the Piedmont Municipal Power Agency and the Turlock Irrigation District.
Brian holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. from the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Brian is a passionate supporter of Philadelphia sports teams and the study of fine wines and has passed the Introductory Sommelier Course administered by the Guild of Master Sommeliers.
Ryan Chester - Principal Consultant
Ryan has served as a Principal Consultant for Cayenne Consulting since 2005. He has over 15 years of strategic, financial, and growth experience in a wide variety of businesses. His multinational client list spans diverse industries including green tech, recycling, municipal waste, and mining; broadband; media and entertainment; software, Internet and eCommerce; ambulance and private fire protection services; regenerative and apnea medical devices; and manufacturing and fulfillment to name a few.
In his work for Synaptix Impulse, he played a key role in the development of business tactics that led to the formation and growth of new strategic divisions for U.S. West Communication's broadband and digital subscriber line (DSL) services. Most recently, he worked with a team engaged in a recycling operation turnaround.
Nancy Clauss - Principal Consultant
Orange County, CA
With more than 25 years of Management, Marketing, Sales, and Operational experience, Nancy Clauss has developed a sharp eye for how businesses can become bloated with inefficiencies, lack of direction, and miscommunication – and how they can be retooled to a sleeker, smoother, more strategically focused organization. As an entrepreneur who quickly built her own successful consulting business, Nancy also empathetically helps other business owners develop winning business models, create business and marketing plans, and attract the funding they need for growth.
Before joining Cayenne Consulting, Nancy had extensive experience working with dozens of entrepreneurs and as a multiple business owner. She has consulted with and written business plans for distributor organizations, construction, service businesses, retail, as well as manufacturers. Nancy loves startups and entrepreneurial ventures, helping owners generate revenue, profitability, and sustain job and employee satisfaction. She has seen and experienced firsthand what works and what doesn’t. This unique perspective has given her the insight needed to assist owners and their teams to create business and financial models that drive growth and revenue.
In today’s marketplace a company’s growth depends on working smarter, faster, and more competitively. This happens consistently when the four main pillars of business success are working together: Leadership based on a solid business plan, robust financial modeling, operations and systems for a smooth infrastructure, and sales and marketing generating and converting quality leads. Nancy believes it’s all about the proper application of tools, the effective use of resources, and nurturing the critical human element.
Nancy earned a BS in Liberal Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara and holds a California Real Estate license.
Jon Cooper - Principal Consultant
Jon has over 20 years of entrepreneurship, business strategy, planning, product management and marketing experience. He has started a number of companies in different industries, and worked with dozens of others to help develop plans and presentations for investment from both angels and venture companies.
Prior to Cayenne Consulting, Jon served in various leadership roles in technology, communication, and media companies. Most recently, was co-founder of Aventura, a context-aware computing company that has created 26 new advanced computing patents. Jon has served as President, VP of Strategy, VP of Marketing, and VP of Product during his tenure at Aventura. Before Aventura, Jon co-founded SkyWay Systems, an "On-Star"-like solution for Ford Motor Company, where Jon was VP of Marketing and Product. At both firms, Jon lead and participated in both angel and venture financing that resulted in raising $15M+ at each firm.
Jon also has worked on the global strategy team of Level3 Communications, was a consultant at Accenture, and led a business development department of a motion picture production and financing company. Independently, Jon has lead business planning efforts for companies in many different industries including cleaning and restoration, meetings and events, online dating, media and entertainment, online consumer content, alternative energy transportation, consumer electronics, and video conferencing and communications.
Jon earned his BA from University of Colorado.
Tom Dykstra, MBA, CFPIM - Principal Consultant
Tom has over thirty years of experience in business planning, finance, strategy development, software design, engineering management, sales, marketing, channel creation, consulting, business modeling, decision analysis, capital acquisition, and new venture creation.
He is the co-founder of two ERP software companies: Effective Management Systems (ERP for discrete manufacturers) and EMS Solutions (ERP for automatic merchandising companies). Effective Management Systems appeared on the Inc 500 twice (28 and 37), acquired venture funding, and was taken public.
Before founding Effective Management Systems, he was with the Data Systems Division of AO Smith Corporation, a Fortune 500 diversified manufacturer. He was responsible for all financial and HR systems used by the corporation and the service bureau customers. He also founded the firm's small business computer line of business and the IT consulting practice.
He currently serves on the board of directors of Synergex International, a software firm.
As an adjunct faculty member at Grand Canyon University and Arizona State University, he has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in strategy, supply chain / operations management, project management, information systems, statistics, business modeling, and decision analysis.
Tom has an MBA from the University of Chicago and a BA in Mathematics from Hope College. He is also a Certified Fellow of the American Production and Inventory Control Society.
Aaron Gillum, MBA - Principal Consultant
Aaron brings over 12 years of experience in management and turnaround consulting, venture capital, entrepreneurship, and finance advisory. He has worked extensively with companies at all stages from startups to middle-market to the Fortune 500. In 2012, Aaron was named one of the “Top 40 under 40” by M&A Advisor. He was also honored with the Turnaround Management Association's “Turnaround of the Year - Small Company” award for Analytics, Inc. in 2011.
Aaron has evaluated and written numerous business plans and financial models for both clients and internal stakeholders, with a particular emphasis on technology enabled startups. As an entrepreneur and tech enthusiast, he is very involved in the local tech startup community. Aaron enjoys advising startups and entrepreneurial ventures, helping owners generate revenue, obtain new customers, and grow their teams. Aaron has first-hand experience after working with several startup companies in the past and can provide lessons learned on what strategies work best. This unique perspective has given him a solid foundation to help businesses and entrepreneurs create business and financial models that drive growth and revenue.
During Aaron’s consulting career, he earned substantial industry experience in manufacturing, business services, telecommunications, retail, government, health care, and automotive. He assisted companies with turnarounds, organizational change, financial management, private equity investment, sales, and marketing strategy.
Aaron earned his BA in Economics and Political Science from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and his MBA from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. He is semi-conversant in Spanish.
Jenifer Grant, MBA - Principal Consultant
New York, NY
Jenifer has been involved with finance, strategy, and marketing in a wide variety of roles and industries for over 15 years. In addition to third-party clients, she developed plans and implemented strategies for internal new businesses within IT and investment banking during the corporate phase of her career. Jenifer's clients range from start-up through high middle market companies in fields including IT, software, green tech / renewable energy, telecom services, wireless, financial services, Internet/e-commerce, media/entertainment, healthcare products and wellness, consumer and industrial products, retail, mining and commodities, energy and tourism.
Prior to working as an independent consultant, Jenifer structured and managed transactions in global merchant banking and derivatives, and held strategic planning and management positions within investment banking and IT functions at Bankers Trust Company. Earlier, she worked in credit corporate finance at Manufacturers Hanover and portfolio strategy, equity and fixed income research at Kidder Peabody.
Jenifer has an MBA in Finance from Wharton and a BA in Economics from Columbia.
Richard Hasenpflug, MBA - Principal Consultant
Richard has been bringing Fortune 100 expertise to startups and small to mid-sized businesses since 1985. He is both a consultant and serial entrepreneur and has participated in several startup teams either as CEO or CFO. After an extensive career in Silicon Valley, he relocated to Arizona in 2008.
Richard has worked with clients spanning a variety of industries, both domestically and overseas, including healthcare, high-tech market research, international trade, multinational operations & marketing, offshoring, publishing, semiconductor equipment, supply-chain management, and telecommunications.
Richard's focus internationally has been on building strong multi-national teams and bringing the lessons learned in Silicon Valley to other industries and countries. He was active in Russia during the 1990s, working with privatized state-owned companies and supporting local startups and multinational joint ventures. He also led the creation of a worldwide trading network focused primarily in Europe.
Prior to 1985, Richard held a variety of management, development, finance and marketing positions in international and high-tech companies. Based in Singapore, he was Director of Finance and Corporate Credit for Monsanto Corporation's Asian operations for several years, establishing corporate risk levels throughout the region and actively working with and supporting customers. Richard has served as an officer and/or director of several industry associations and non-profit organizations. He was named Los Altan of the Year in 2002 for his many years of work in support of local education, worldwide AIDS education, and international understanding.
Richard earned an MBA in International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management, a BA in History from The Ohio State University, and graduated from the Marketing Management Executive Program at Columbia University's Graduate School of Business.
Shyam Jha, MBA - Principal Consultant
Shyam’s consulting practice focuses on iOS and Android mobile apps, e-commerce, Internet hardware and software, software-as-a-service, consumer electronics, medical devices, and other high technology venture areas. He is certified by Alex Osterwalder’s Strategyzer Institute as a Business Model Design Coach. He leverages three decades of international corporate, entrepreneurial, and executive education experience to help entrepreneurs and enterprise clients develop compelling business models and plans.
Shyam gained international business experience at Fortune 100 companies such as Schlumberger, Hewlett-Packard, and Nortel. Starting as Field Sales Engineer at Schlumberger, he rose progressively in marketing and business development area to become Vice President of business development and strategic planning at Nortel's $5 billion Carrier Packet Solutions Business Unit. Later, he was the first Vice President of Marketing at Corvis, an optical networking startup funded by Kleiner-Perkins, New Enterprise Associates, and Cisco, where he played a key role in its $1.1 billion IPO.
Shyam gained his first experience in "intrapreneurship" at HP, where he led the development of a ruggedized version of HP Vectra PCs for use in offshore drilling platforms. He led the product management team at HP to develop the world's first Palmtop PC - the HP 95 LX - that combined Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet with personal organizer functions. Later, as director of product management at Bay Networks (acquired by Nortel), he led the development of industry's first high-capacity edge routers sold to ISPs such as AOL and EarthLink.
Shyam has worked as a Venture Partner at Mercator Capital, an early stage fund based in Virginia. He is also a limited partner in a technology-focused venture fund in Silicon Valley. He has mentored many entrepreneurs as an angel investor and board member over the past decade.
Shyam has taught executive MBA courses on innovation and corporate strategy, as well as undergraduate courses in operations and engineering management at the University of Arizona's Eller College of Management and College of Engineering. He has won three "Professor of the Year" awards for teaching excellence. He was an Entrepreneurship Scholar at the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Arizona, where he mentored student entrepreneurs.
Shyam is a frequent speaker on innovation and strategy. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, and has made television appearances in France. He has written an online text on operations management for McGraw-Hill Connect Series, and has published an Amazon Kindle book on Strategic Planning.
Shyam earned his MBA from Oregon State University, and holds a Bachelor of Technology degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.
David Kaplan, JD - Principal Consultant
David has written investment grade business plans, consulted in strategic planning and facilitated crucial strategy decisions for operating companies since 1994. He has advised scores of scientists, doctors, researchers, inventors and business innovators in turning nascent ideas into concrete, executable business plans. Client engagements have included medical devices, biotechnology and early stage drug development, elder care, and healthcare and consumer products and services, software, Internet, high tech, fish farming, automotive products and services, publishing and others.
Earlier, David founded several successful start-ups. At DSK Cars in Marblehead Mass, his team manufactured custom sports/racing cars of David's design by hand from raw materials. He later founded PoleStar LLC, a consultancy to entrepreneurs; Your Auto Expert, an alternative Internet based car retailer and; Purgatory Cove Press, that published fishing guide books that he wrote about Middlesex County Massachusetts. David served seven years as an affiliate with Boston University's Healthcare Entrepreneurship Program and taught Entrepreneurial Management at BU's School of Management.
Earlier, David consulted to the world-wide auto industry at Temple, Barker and Sloan; served as General Counsel and Director of Marketing at Callaway Engineering; and litigated on behalf of Native Americans in state and federal courts.
David earned a Phi Beta Kappa and BA Magna cum Laude at Amherst College and a JD with honors from Harvard Law School.
Charlie Kickham, MBA - Principal Consultant
New York, NY
Charlie brings 17 years of experience in finance, strategic partnership development, organizational restructuring, real estate development, and business development to Cayenne Consulting. Charlie's experience extends from Wall Street to start-ups, delivering large-company fiscal and operational discipline to emerging companies whose structures are most fragile in their early years. Operating both in the trenches as an entrepreneur and on the outside as an investor/advisor, Charlie understands the needs and demands of both. Such experience lends well to start-ups, not only in their quest for capital but also in their need for sound judgment in getting their business off the ground. This includes organizational management, operational strategies, process and technology roadmaps, revenue and cash flow projections, financial models and forecasts, legal and capital structures, advisory board and ramp-up strategies, technology development, and team building.
Charlie's core financial strength blends operational efficiency with a mandate to always improve existing structures and best practices. Such strengths were evident at TD Waterhouse where Charlie helped develop the firm's global treasury operations and then rose to provide leadership for one of its most profitable and critical business units, directing strategic/operational planning, financial forecasting, budgeting, securities lending, firm funding, cash management, and risk management initiatives, with ultimate responsibility over the firm's cash maximization. Charlie employs such tactics in the start-up environment where the early years of launching are some of the most critical.
Charlie has been, and continues to be, a founding member of multiple internet start-ups in all fields, and operates as managing partner at Avos Holdings focusing on opportunistic investments in real estate and corporate finance.
Charlie holds MBA degrees from both New York University's Stern School of Business and the London School of Economics, and is a mentor both at NYU's Berkley School of Entrepreneurial Studies, and with entrepreneurial programs involving inner-city New York City high school students.
Jan Knight, MA - Market Research Specialist
Jan delivers both marketing and advertising experience to her role as our market research specialist. Her focus is on providing customized business intelligence and secondary market research and her work helps to shape business plans, marketing strategies, and new business development for a diverse set of clients. She has research experience in fields such as medical devices, software, IT, healthcare, cleantech, publishing, beverages, and many others. Jan has access to professional subscriber-only databases that provide authoritative data, nationally and internationally, and help her to go far beyond what the Internet alone can offer.
Previously, Jan has spent over 15 years working as a client liaison for two successful Advertising/Marketing Agencies and as a Purchasing/Manufacturing Manager for an international educational publisher. She regularly speaks to business groups on the topic of advanced online search strategies and market research related topics. Most recently Jan has begun working with a number of start-up companies researching both government grant funding as well as research for the companies' SBIR/STTR proposals.
She is also a reviewer of information and research products for Freepints Online Magazine and regularly reviews global databases and services.
Currently Jan is an active member of the Association of Independent Information Professionals and has been active in both committees and conferences since 2001. She has previously served as a Board Member for a local Chapter of National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), on committees for the American Marketing Association and is currently involved as a partner or mentor at a number of Arizona based business incubators.
Jan earned her M.A. in Information Resources & Library Science from the University of Arizona, and her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley.
Nicholas Kondon - Principal Consultant
Nick’s experience includes founding, generating finance for, and operating medical, dental, and other technology companies. He has created and executed on plans designed to attract very early (less that $250,000) financing. He has developed or assisted legal counsel in developing the commercial foundations for private placement memoranda, and he has successfully negotiated venture capital investments – often encompassing several rounds. In addition he is experienced at finding creative approaches to staged equity rounds.
He understands the importance of targeting the “ask” to the audience, and tailoring the size and price of the investment to the capacity of the offerees. He also assists in developing exit strategies that can be articulated to investors with different horizons. Nick skillfully integrates risk descriptions into the business plan narrative and into investor presentations so as to anticipate questions or potential objections. Doing this well often creates a high degree of confidence among prospective investors.
Nick has spent years negotiating with investors, banks, venture capital firms, vendors, potential strategic partners or joint venture partners, and with universities and hospitals where the goal was out-licensing. He can assist you in establishing your bona fides and in spotlighting the importance of your company in its market segment.
Nick is Entrepreneur in Residence at the Metropolitan Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Providence, RI. He has been a guest speaker at colleges and universities throughout the Northeast. He successfully negotiated out-license agreements with Brown University, The Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and the University of Florida.
He was educated at Boston University and attended Suffolk University Law School.
Van Lanier, MBA, EA - Principal Consultant
Van is an accomplished business practitioner who helps entrepreneurs start, grow, and harvest their ventures. Van has prepared over 300 business plans, financial forecasts, and funding memorandums in industries ranging from data mining to water disinfection. He also has deep knowledge of government contracting, environmental technology, and financial analysis.
Van is a Certified Management Consultant whose professional career includes 35 years of corporate turnaround consulting, plus creating seven entrepreneurial ventures of his own. He enjoyed success with most, but took it in the gut from one. This combination of technical knowledge and hands-on start up experience has given Van a unique set of skills and know-how.
Van earned his MBA with highest honors before personal computers made the math easy. He is a long-time member of the Institute of Management Consultants and the Superior Business Firm Roundtable.
Van is a director and adviser to businesses, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. He writes and speaks on business issues for the International Finance Corporation, Small Business Development Centers, and other organizations.
Jimmy Lewin - Principal Consultant
Phoenix, AZ | Deer Valley, UT
Jimmy's background includes over 40 years in international, commercial and investment banking, and nearly a decade as the principal shareholder and CEO of a rapidly growing manufacturing and distribution business in California. Today, Jimmy spends his time advising and consulting with entrepreneurs on matters related to business planning, as well as capital markets and funding strategies. In addition, he serves in an advisory role to the National Science Foundation where he provides recommendations on the funding of SBIR/STTR grant proposals.
Jimmy serves on a number of Advisory Boards for emerging companies that have recently raised capital or are about to raise capital. In all of his work, he expresses a strong belief in the importance of customer acquisition, customer retention, and understanding the financial consequences of each and every business activity.
During his 20 years at Security Pacific Bank, Jimmy served in a number of senior management positions in the U.S. and internationally. Applicable assignments included responsibility for the funding of all of the institution's subsidiaries and affiliates domiciled outside of the U.S., general management of two overseas affiliates and general management of the bank's California staff departments.
For two years, he served as President, Director and CEO of Guardian Bancorporation, Los Angeles, California. Jimmy has extensive senior management and Board of Director experience. He is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati where he earned a B.A. in Political Science.
Tom Miller - Principal Consultant
Over the past 30+ years, working independently as a serial entrepreneur as well as a serial intrapreneur within multi-national corporations, Tom has focused on recognizing outstanding new technology opportunities and successfully forming and leading new enterprises. His career has included leadership roles at both Fortune 1000 companies such as Texas Instruments, NCR, Fairchild Semiconductor, Fujitsu and DuPont, and entrepreneurial ventures such as Integrated CMOS Systems, VIA Technologies, Quantum3D, and Anadigm. Tom's extensive experience and expertise spans business development, sales and marketing, brand management, operations (general management), and manufacturing.
Tom's earliest successes were at Texas Instruments where he led business development efforts to develop electronic sound generators and controllers for integration into leading consumer electronic products for the toy and game industry. Parker Brothers, Coleco, Milton Bradley and many others introduced products incorporating the TI technology, resulting in revenue growth from zero to over $50 million annually within 3 years. Tom later led efforts to commercialize the first RISC microprocessors, initially at NCR and then at Fairchild, followed by his first entrepreneurial efforts with Integrated CMOS Systems (sold to Toshiba) and VIA Technologies (now a major international IC company in Taiwan). At Fujitsu Microelectronics from 1992 to 1996 Tom initiated efforts to restructure US semiconductor operations, reducing operating costs by more than $20 million while increasing sales from less than $190 million to over $600 million within 3 years.
Since 1998, Tom has advised or participated in the formation of more than 30 other high technology start-ups, most recently as President and general manager of DuPont Displays passive matrix polymer OLED displays business headquartered in Santa Barbara, CA, and as interim COO for Anadigm, a field programmable analog array company headquartered in Tempe, AZ. From 2007 to 2010, Tom served as Executive Director for the Society for Information Displays, a professional society dedicated to advancing the state of the art in electronic displays for every product class from televisions to cell phones. Additionally, Tom currently serves on the Board of Directors for Project InVision International and is a trusted advisor to numerous other public and private companies in the displays, semiconductor and software industries.
Tom began his career as a hardware and firmware designer for microprocessor systems and holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, NY.
Joan Morgen, MBA - Principal Consultant
Joan is committed to the belief that challenges can be turned into opportunities when companies recognize they should seek expert advice before they are at that pivotal juncture facing critical decisions.
Prior to moving to Arizona from New York, Joan's professional background spans over two decades on Wall Street. Her extensive career includes forming and leading marketing and strategic/business planning departments for Merrill Lynch Futures. Subsequently, she worked for boutique firms as portfolio manager and then as a SVP, investment banker for Jesup & Lamont. She focuses on diverse industries and sectors within, including: technology, life sciences/medical devices, consumer electronics, communications, professional services and special situations. As an investment banker she successfully raised capital for multiple companies, preparing business plans and pitch decks, coaching CEOs and CFOs on how best to position themselves and present a compelling story and investment thesis to potential funding sources.
Joan has a hands-on, strategic and creative management style that produces collaboration between disciplines and functions, yielding better outcomes, to advance corporate growth and goals of start-ups/emerging businesses, small and mid-sized companies. She has been advising C-level management in the identification and pursuit of business building opportunities through a sound, disciplined business planning process and comprehensive strategic approach, resource optimization, and fostering team consensus and buy-in for effective implementation and execution. She also advises business owners on exit planning and positioning their companies for future sale. Joan's reputation for being client-centric can be seen in her long term client relationships.
Since moving to the Valley, Joan, having been an entrepreneur herself, has been committed to advancing and supporting entrepreneurship and innovation in Arizona. She has worked on various industry association committees (AZ Tech Counsel, AeA, Connect AZ), as well as serving on the Dean's Corporate Advisory Board (ASU's Fulton School of Engineering) and currently as a mentor for the newly established Center of Entrepreneurial Innovation, one of Phoenix's newest business incubators.
Joan has an MBA (marketing/finance) and a BA (sociology/psychology) from Hofstra University and advanced finance courses from NY Institute of Finance.
Tim O'Connor, MBA - Principal Consultant
Tim O'Connor is a tremendous asset to our Consumer Products practice area and brings the innovation and passion of a proven entrepreneur plus the enormous volume of results from his classic brand marketing experiences on some of the world's best known brands including Betty Crocker, Tropicana Juice, Coors, Star Wars, and many more.
With more than twenty years of experience in traditional consumer marketing, Tim is a hands-on leader in product development, strategic planning, sales management and operations issues. As an executive leader, Tim has built a reputation as a marketing & sales driven executive in corporate turnarounds and brings a level of analysis and urgency to strategic decisions facing large and small organizations. Tim has developed countless strategic plans and presentations in such areas as marketing strategy, business model innovation, consumer research, channel management, new product development, brand renewal and product launches to name a few.
Tim is also the Founder of Brightspot Brands, the company he created to focus on the emerging functional candy segment. His company created the world's first healthy candy brand known as gimme. The brand featured great tasting, premium chocolate candy packed with nutrition like real dairy calcium, Omega3 from flaxseed and probiotics. The business was sold to a strategic investor in 2010.
Tim earned his undergraduate degree in Economics at the University of Minnesota and earned his MBA from the JL Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University with emphasis in Finance and Marketing.
Rick O'Hara, MBA - Principal Consultant
With over twenty years of experience in senior management, management consulting, strategic and business planning, financial modeling and analysis, and launching new ventures, Rick has the broad-based experience to quickly comprehend the nuances of your business and create winning solutions that get results.
Rick served as CFO for startups in multiple industries, including Inland Environmental & Remediation (where he recently spearheaded a $15M mezzanine raise), Carter Aviation Technologies, Paramount Digital Entertainment (a division of Paramount Television), and CallSpace. While Director of Business Planning at The Becker Group of Companies, he oversaw development of business plans and financial models for four technology startups, and participated in the merger and IPO of a software firm and hardware manufacturer. As Marketing Manager at Teledyne Analytical Instruments, he managed the launch of four new product lines.
As a management consultant, he has developed business plans, financial models, engineering models, proposals, and white papers used to successfully raise millions of dollars. While still a student at the University of Southern California's MBA program, he founded a software firm that developed and published the first business graphics software for microcomputers. Rick received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University.
Patrick O'Hearn - Principal Consultant
Paso Robles, CA
Pat is a serial entrepreneur and has held senior executive positions in management, marketing, operations and engineering during over 35 years in the electronics industry. He began his career as a custom silicon chip designer at National Semiconductor and became manager of the Motorola European Design Center, developing embedded microprocessors. He transitioned to marketing, heading up International Marketing for Philips in the Netherlands then into General Management, managing Profit and Loss accounts of $200M+. He has been a senior executive in the communication and semiconductor industry in large multinational corporations such as Plessey, Philips, Fujitsu, Motorola and Cirrus Logic.
While holding an executive position at Philips, Pat helped to form Silicon Architects, an innovative ASIC design company. He arranged a Philips investment and helped to attract leading venture capitalists to form an independent start up. The company was sold 4 years later to Synopsis, earning a healthy return for the stakeholders. Pat served as the founding President and CEO of ATM Limited, a network switching company and raised over $20M in venture investment from leading Silicon Valley venture capitalists. Prior to its IPO the company was renamed Virata Corp. and subsequently merged with Globespan to become GlobespanVirata. Pat served as President and CEO of InTalk, a pioneer in Wireless LAN (WiFi). He negotiated the sale of the company to Nokia, earning a significant return for the stakeholders.
Prior to joining Cayenne Consulting, Pat was Founder and Managing Partner of Sapiential Prime, an executive mentoring company which provided hands-on support to early stage companies. Pat's skills include creating compelling business plans, financial models and powerful marketing strategies and aligning management teams behind them. He has specialized skills in intellectual property management and creating long term partnerships and contracts. Over 70% of Sapiential Prime's clients achieved significant success and either executed IPOs or were acquired.
George Papaioannou, CFA, MBA - Principal Consultant
Princeton, NJ (Serving Philadelphia and New York)
George Papaioannou has two decades of experience in developing, analyzing, evaluating and executing upon business models, from an investment as well as an operational perspective. He is one of Cayenne's resident experts on business and startup valuation.
George has spent the bulk of his career on Wall Street, valuing equity securities and positioning investment opportunities with institutional investors. As a research analyst for Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, he covered the media & entertainment sector. George played a central role in executing public offerings and M&A transactions while at DLJ. As product manager for Thomas Weisel Partners, George oversaw all aspects of the equity research department's daily output. He collaborated with the firm's research analysts to develop thematic investment ideas and position them with appropriate investors. George was a member of TWP's Research Review Committee, which reviewed and approved stock rating changes. As a management consultant for IBM Global Services, George specialized in the development and execution of Internet strategies for Global 2000 media & entertainment companies. At online music retailer CDNOW, he formulated a strategy and business model for selling digital downloads.
George holds a BA in History from Cornell University and an MBA in Finance and Media Management from Columbia Business School. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. George is a member of the New York Society of Securities Analysts (NYSSA) and the CFA Institute.
George is an Adjunct Professor in the MBA program at Rider University. George serves as an Advisor for Tigerlabs Ventures, a Princeton, NJ-based venture capital fund and accelerator program. He is a member of the Entrepreneurial Sounding Board of the Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center at Columbia University.
Dennis Pape, Ph.D. - Principal Consultant
Dennis brings over twenty nine years of experience with high technology companies, from research scientist to manager to start-up founder to entrepreneur, corporate, and investor advisor. His primary expertise is in advising and directing new venture business, technology, and product development. He has strong technical, communication, organizational, and business skills with technical expertise in optics, photonics, optical networks, acoustics, electronics, communications, and medical devices.
Dennis has authored or co-authored business plans and investor presentations that have resulted in over $200M in institutional venture capital funding. He has hands-on experience as both a CEO and CTO during a new venture's formative stage. He was a key player in a number of corporate technology spin-outs while he was at Milcom Technologies, a venture capital backed corporate spin-out firm.
Prior to joining Milcom, Dennis founded and was President of Photonic Systems Incorporated (PSI) in Melbourne, Florida. His firm specialized in the development of optical information processing technology products for both government and commercial customers. He secured seed venture capital funding for the firm and was responsible for the firm's technical leadership position in its field, which resulted in the award of over $7 Million of government R&D contracts, which he managed. Before founding PSI, Dennis worked as a Group Leader at Harris Corporation and as a Member of the Technical Staff at Texas Instruments. Dennis is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the University of Central Florida Technology Incubator. He is a member of AUTM, IEEE, SPIE, and OSA. He is the co-editor of a book, the author of 3 book chapters and some 50 publications, and was the organizer of numerous national and international conferences in the field of optical information processing.
Dennis earned an AB in Physics from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in Physics from Duke University.
Eric Pickens, MBA - Principal Consultant
New York, NY
With over 20 years of experience as a COO, CFO and board member, Eric has implemented, strengthened and lead the financial and operational functions for companies engaged in investment management, real estate, business services, consumer products, food production and hospitality. He possesses a comprehensive knowledge across all corporate finance, accounting, audit, tax and financial reporting functions. He also has extensive experience in structuring and closing equity, debt, merger, acquisition and lease transactions.
In the role of entrepreneur, Eric has successfully launched several start-ups including TechSpace; The Core Club; and Workhouse NYC. He is very experienced at developing business plans and financial models; raising capital from both angels and institutions; recruiting and managing teams as large as 240; and implementing robust financial & accounting systems.
As a consultant, Eric has worked with companies operating in a wide range of industries. He is extremely adept at identifying the key drivers behind a venture’s success as well as the potential issues which management must prepare to tackle in order to accomplish its goals.
Eric received an MBA in finance from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from The College of William & Mary.
Michael Robbins - Principal Consultant
Michael Robbins has over 25 years of experience in financial services, and he has contributed to the capitalization of 500 companies that raised hundreds of millions of dollars. As an investor relations account executive on Wall Street, Michael introduced dozens of public company CEOs to hundreds of brokers, analysts, and fund managers. He helped his clients refine their presentations while gaining insights to the scrutiny applied by some of the nation's leading financial analysts.
Michael launched and managed a hedge fund before departing New York for Sydney, Australia, where he traded the fund and started a new investor relations agency. He has worked in an array of verticals, with a specialty in technology, real estate and socially responsible investing. While downunder, he initiated analyst earnings call webcasts for some of Australia's largest companies, supported by his colleagues in the States who started the industry that ultimately lead to Regulation FD.
He programmed some of the world's first investor relations websites in 1995, and taught Wall Street's budding internet analysts about some of the finer points of cookies and encryption. Thus it was inevitable that Michael would start his own internet business, ZeroKlix, which eventually would stream about half the online radio in Australia. Returning to his strengths in critical analysis, he began writing strategic business plans, valuation reports, and PPMs full time in 2002. He has since added management consulting, cinematic investor presentations and SEC filings to his repertoire.
Michael holds a BS in Economics from the University of Colorado, with substantial coursework in Journalism, complemented with accounting from New York University.
Kyle Stoner, MBA - Principal Consultant
Kyle is an experienced entrepreneur with 13 years spent executing in operations, finance, and engineering. In 2014 he founded Alpha Lead, an innovative client acquisition software platform leveraging big data.
In 2012, Kyle started Pangea Payments, where he served as Founder & COO. Pangea is a disruptive peer-to-peer remittance company that was chosen as one of only eight startups for the inaugural class of the Impact Engine venture accelerator. Kyle’s leadership at Pangea, resulted in a "Best in Show" trophy at the Pymnts.com 2013 Innovation Project at Harvard University, and the completion of $5mm+ in funding.
Kyle has advised and mentored a number of tech startups in the Chicago area. He has done everything from pitch book development, and financial modeling, to business plan creation. Kyle enjoys deep ties to the Midwestern tech entrepreneur community, and is a passionate enthusiast for technology startups in general.
Prior to embarking on his entrepreneurial career, Kyle worked for Robert W. Baird as an investment banker executing mergers & acquisitions for consumer branded companies. While at Baird, he advised a number of institutions on the completion of financial transactions, including Adidas’ acquisition of FiveTen and the sale of CamelBak to Compass Diversified Holdings. Kyle has also worked for JP Morgan's investment bank, where he focused on advising auto manufacturers on mergers & acquisitions, and debt instruments as a member of the Industrials group.
In addition to his experience in the tech and financial industries, Kyle has worked for both General Motors and Delphi Automotive as an industrial engineer. As a manufacturing engineer, he improved production efficiencies using Lean manufacturing and Six Sigma techniques.
Kyle earned his BS in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University, and his MBA with a concentration in Finance from Columbia University.
Adam T - Principal Consultant
San Francisco, CA & São Paulo, Brazil
Adam has broad experience in new ventures and investor relations. His employment experience includes the positions of President/CFO at W2 Energy Development Corporation, CFO at Santa Cruz Guitar Company, and Senior Manager at The Charles Schwab Corporation, where he was responsible for project planning in the Schwab Technology Group. In addition to investor relations, Adam has developed expertise in joint ventures and licensing arrangements, both domestic and international.
Since 1999 Adam has worked as a professional writer, accepting assignments such as business plans, PPMs, economic reports, and other projects. Adam has prepared successful business plans and investment proposals for a long list of clients in industries such as renewable energy, real estate development, telecommunications, gaming, high technology, ports, music/film production, transportation, and investment services.
Adam graduated from Stanford University with degrees in English and Economics, and later received an MBA from U.C. Berkeley. He is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.
Rick Tifone, MBA, CExP - Principal Consultant
Rick brings over 25 years of executive management, marketing, sales, consulting, and exit planning experience to Cayenne Consulting. He has hands-on experience running startup companies and working with CEOs on strategic planning, performance improvement, and process improvement. In addition to working on business plans, Rick works with the owners of B2B companies to help them increase the value of their business and plan for the single, most critically important financial event of their lives -- the transition out of their business. He has been working with companies involved with software development, IT services, real estate brokerage, commercial and residential real estate, executive recruiting, medical equipment, construction, manufacturing, and government sourcing.
As founder and CEO of Danet, Inc., a consulting and systems integration company providing solutions for the telecommunications industry, Rick managed the profitable growth of the company from one employee to over one hundred. He was recognized by the Pittsburgh Technology Council as the CEO of the fastest growing company in the $10M to $25M range. During his nine years at Danet, Rick guided the company through dramatic telecommunications market changes and a transition from a software company to a systems integration and consulting company. Rick conducted business throughout the U.S. and Canada, South America, Europe, and the Middle East.
Rick's previous public company experience includes positions at General Dynamics, Alcoa, Wang Laboratories, and Tandem Computers. Rick has also operated a residential real estate investment company. He brings a unique perspective from being both a professionally trained business coach and an experienced business leader who has started and grown successful businesses.
Rick's formal education includes a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science from the State University of New York at Potsdam and an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh's Katz School of Business. Rick also holds a BEI Certified Exit Planner Designation.
Tony Vicari - Principal Consultant
Orange County, CA
Tony brings over 20 years of experience in corporate finance, investment management, business development, sales and entrepreneurship to Cayenne Consulting. His industry experience includes working with companies in the financial services, life sciences, software, online services, digital media & entertainment, manufacturing and transportation.
Tony has served as a co-founder of emerging companies in the business services, software, media, medical device, digital cinema and investment management industries. His primary role was in the capacity of Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Development. Tony has helped client companies raise over $400 million in equity, debt and project finance. His experience with evaluating business plans includes serving on the LaunchPad panel of OCTANe and the Babson College business plan competition. Prior to joining Cayenne Consulting, Tony worked for firms such as Fisher Investments, Capital Advisors Group and Provasis Therapeutics.
Tony currently is a member of the Financial Executives Networking Group, Newport Beach Finance Club and California Association of Enrolled Agents. Prior membership in Entrepreneurial organizations include the San Diego Venture Group, Biocom and OCTANe. Tony earned his BS in Management with a concentration in Finance and Entrepreneurial Studies from Babson College.
Howard Wilcox, MBA, JD - Principal Consultant
Howard has spent over 40 years serving small businesses as the president of Wilcox Strategic Management. After founding a computer software and consulting firm, Howard practiced business law for eight years, and then spent over 30 years consulting and coaching small businesses in business plan development, financial modeling and forecasting, strategic planning facilitation, funding, negotiating, mediating, contract management, and turnaround / crisis management. He then purchased a small manufacturing firm from one of his clients and spent approximately 10 years profitably growing the firm, increasing sales by 20% per year.
Primarily working in the manufacturing industry, Howard has developed business plans and financial models and provided other related services for many start-ups and small businesses. His clients included a high tech start-up firm (business plan, securing financing, negotiating agreements with customers and contractors and on-going management coaching), an emerging firm manufacturing a new and unique insulation product (business plan and negotiating with foreign investor), a plastic container manufacturer (contract management), and several specialty retail firms including an emerging automobile transmission repair firm and a bridal shop start-up (business plans and funding).
Howard also developed a business plan for a tech firm developing a new technology for the non-invasive testing for flaws in airplane wings and other structures, and developed a business plan/proposal for a major university to be used in their search for grant funding to expand their plastics processing R&D facility. He also provided various services for consulting firms including a law firm and a fashion and design consulting firm.
Most of Howard’s engagements, especially business plan clients, included strategic analysis and planning. And, frequently, while performing the task(s) originally assigned, additional tasks are discovered requiring additional support. Howard’s policy has always been to sell only the services the client actually needs and no more – and in several instances he has denied a request, directing the client to a more appropriate resource.
Howard earned a BS and MBA (Quantitative Business Analysis), as well as a JD, from Indiana University.
San Francisco, CA
Our San Francisco consultant has over twenty years of experience as a management consultant. He specializes in working with San Francisco Bay Area / Silicon Valley companies seeking venture capital. He is the author of numerous business plans leading to successful multi-million dollar investments. His plans have been used to raise capital, to solve critical business problems, and to persuade investors, boards, and senior management to take action. His plans are effective because they are based upon thorough qualitative and quantitative analysis, yet are able to communicate complex ideas in a simple straightforward manner.
He has client experience in high tech, green tech / alternative energy, commercial real estate, construction materials, financial services, biotech, aerospace, manufacturing, hospitality, and service industries.
He earned his MBA from Harvard University and his BA in Biochemistry from Brown University.