• Entrepreneurs

    At new and growing ventures

  • Solving

    Boosting personal and business
    productivity, fighting diseases,
    innovating in hardware, software,
    online, mobile and social media

  • Changing

    Improving health, education,
    peace and sustainability
    through technology, passion
    and entrepreneurship

  • We Help You
    Form Grow
    and Thrive

    Flexible interim executive, advisory, and
    consulting services



S&A was founded in 2001 to help entrepreneurs and business leaders form and grow better businesses.


Our secret sauce is this unique combination — leading edge organizational design, marketing and product expertise, experience with major tech and consulting firms, top-tier engineering and MBA degrees, entrepreneurial spirit, wisdom acquired through successes and failures, a desire for continued personal growth, and a deep commitment to social good — which we combine and apply in highly practical and flexible ways to create wins along with our clients.


As we’ve filled interim executive positions, partnered with CEOs and investors, assessed new opportunities and led improvement initiatives, our purpose and values have remained at the heart of everything we do.


S&A partners with entrepreneurs and executives to help high-potential
businesses FORM, GROW and THRIVE.

Areas of focus

  • Business plans, market assessments, investor materials
  • Career development and talent management infrastructure
  • Marketing & business development
  • Product portfolio management & decision making
  • Organizational excellence, process improvement and project management


We’re highly flexible and adapt our approach and solutions to our clients’ stage, culture, priorities, and budgets.

  • Interim CMO, COO, CEO roles or partner-to-a-founder
  • Advisor or board member
  • Short, planning or execution projects
  • Management of major initiatives
  • Outsourced marketing services


Whether your next goals are launching an MVP, establishing initial operations, reaching product/market fit, raising funds, making a pivot, or hitting a key revenue milestone, you need to make critical decisions, execute, test, learn and iterate quickly.  We’ve done all of these successfully (see examples below and articles in the Startups category of News & Views) and we partner with you to:

  • Assess new market opportunities including customer, competitive, and product analysis
  • Create financial projections, business plans and investor materials
  • Perform due-diligence on investment opportunities
  • Define go-to-market strategy and positioning
  • Recruit management team or board members, key vendors and freelancers
  • Create / manage a plan and timeline for product development and launch
  • Establish core marketing components such as website, customer relationship management system and PR
  • Define / establish initial business processes



Planning & Fundraising

Planning & Fundraising

  • Market opportunity assessments and market approach recommendations in Media, Mobile, Social Media, Enterprise Software, Wine, Tech Devices, Venture Capital, Online Gaming, Events, Internet Travel, Clean Energy, and Social Good
  • Developed business plans,investor materials and/or raised funds in Internet, Media, Enterprise Software, and Social Ventures
  • Completed the Springboard Enterprises accelerator program
  • Performed due diligence and served as advisor to venture firm portfolio companies
Establishing New Ventures

Establishing New Ventures

  • Interim CMO, COO, CEO or partner-to-the-founder in Internet, Media, Social Media, Mobile, Venture Capital, Internet Privacy,  Events/Awards, Enterprise Software, Professional Services, Social Good, and Green Construction Products
  • Assisted in establishing initial operations and resources including recruiting management team members, finding key vendors and freelancers, and defining basic processes, in these same industries
  • Recommended go-to-market strategy and positioning for these industries
  • Managed product development and launches in many of these
Outsourced Marketing Services

Outsourced Marketing Services

  • Developed messaging and marketing plans based upon market research in Internet, Media, Social Media, Mobile, Venture Capital, Internet Privacy,  Events/Awards, Enterprise Software, Professional Services, Social Good, and Green Construction Products
  • Managed creation ofcore marketing components such asidentity, websites, mobile and social media presence, videos, and story
  • Established sales lead management andcustomer relationship management systems
  • Developed and executed programswith help of vendors, including digital marketing, events, direct mail and email, PR, channel partner programs, sales tools, technical materials and white papers
  • Established metrics and reporting including acquisition cost and lifetime value assessments


  • Created awards program and helped found a major event and a new fund to finance innovations in global education
  • Advised on decision making best practices
  • Advised startups in all previously mentioned industries plus retail, internet travel, e-commerce, internet procurement, educational software, senior care and nonprofit


Taking your organization to the next level of performance, efficiency, consistency during rapid growth may involve any of following (also see examples below and Business Growth and Life Science sections of News & Views):

  • Identify and assess new business opportunities (see services for new ventures)
  • Design scalable organization and team structures
  • Create infrastructure for attracting and developing a strong talent and leadership pipeline
  • Increase effectiveness product portfolio management and decision making
  • Establish new capabilities
  • Improve performance of critical functions and processes
  • Integrate organizations post-merger or -acquisition
  • Establish and train an internal consulting and/or project management function



Research & Assessments

Research & Assessments

  • Best practices studies in Management Decision Making, Online Marketing, and Product Portfolio Management.
  • Assessed new business opportunities in Wine, Tech Devices, Life Sciences, Internet / Media
  • Designed tool for assessing attractiveness of new markets for clean energy initiative
  • Organizational assessments using the S&A Pyramid of Organizational Excellence including R&D, Medical Directors, Clinical Operations, Marketing Services, and Engineering groups.  CASE STUDY
  • Customer or partner value analysis conducted for Media, Technology, Retail, and Enterprise Software companies
  • Lessons learned or root cause analysis sessions following product launches or process breakdowns in Biotech, Tech and Financial Services
Outsourced Marketing Services

Outsourced Marketing Services

  • Served as interim head of marketing for a late stage Enterprise Software company, a Venture Capital Firm, and Internet / Media companies
  • Developed positioning, messaging and a marketing plans based upon market research
  • Managed creation of websites, sales lead, customer relationship management sytems
  • Developed and executed programs including events, direct mail, channel partner programs, sales tools, technical materials and white papers
  • Conducted ROI assessments and developed dashboards for tracking and management
Smaller Scale Improvements

Smaller Scale Improvements Initiatives

  • Post-acquisition integration in Website Analytics, Marketing Software, Media and Financial Services
  • Improved marketing and sales effectiveness through new tools for lead management, email marketing and channel partner data management for a Global Financial Services Firm
  • Improved product development effectiveness in Internet Search and Media
  • Process definition and improvement in several functions and industries
  • Provided outsourced project management services for multiple organizational change initiatives CASE STUDY
Organizational Improvements

Organizational Improvements Initiatives

  • Design of a complete cross-functional product development team system (including matrix structures, deliverables, roles, processes, training and performance management) in Drug Development, Technology Hardware, and Internet / Media. CASE STUDY
  • Organizational excellence initiatives (including assessments, group and leadership off-sites, group identity development, roles, career paths, recruiting practices, performance management, onboarding, training and communications) to transform a critical, bottleneck function into a high-performing, model organization. CASE STUDY
  • Enabled the success of a major corporate initiative to establish a new capability across all products, CASE STUDY
  • Globalization initiatives for in Services and Life Sciences
Training Programs

Training Programs delivered include

  • Management Decision Making
  • Process Mapping
  • The Consulting Process
  • Project & Meeting Management
  • Interviewing


Our deep experience in biotech and life sciences includes dozens of projects for all sizes of biotech and other life sciences companies and multiple industry-wide studies.

Research & Assessments

Research & Assessments have included:

  • Best practices studies in Management Decision Making, Globalization of a Tech Company, Drug Portfolio Management and DNA Collection.
  • Hosted “High Tech in Biotech” event to explore the impact of new technologies on the Biotech industry
  • Organizational assessments using the S&A Pyramid of Organizational Excellence including Early Stage Drug Development, Medical Directors, Clinical Operations, Marketing Services groups.  CASE STUDY
  • Opportunity assessment for automated solutions in Sequencing
  • Lessons learned or root cause analysis sessions conducted after major drug launches and process breakdowns, and as a part of organizational change initiatives.
Large Organizational Change

Large Organizational Change Initiatives have included:

  • Design of a complete cross-functional product development team system (including matrix structure, deliverables, roles, processes, training and performance management) for a 27-function, 1,200-person Clinical Drug Development organization, a mid-sized Drug Development Function, and a large Pre-Clinical Drug Development group. CASE STUDY
  • Organizational excellence initiative (including an assessments, offsites, group identity, roles, career paths, recruiting practices, performance management, onboarding, training and communications) to transform a critical, bottleneck function into a high-performing, model organization CASE STUDY
  • Enable DNA banking for all Drug Development projects, a major corporate goal CASE STUDY
  • Enabled globalization of clinical trials, a major corporate goal
  • Establish a robust leader development system
  • Create and implement comprehensive career development infrastructure including roles, responsibilities, competencies, career pathways and training tools.
Smaller Scale Organizational Development

Smaller Scale Organizational Development Initiatives have included

  • Processdefinition and improvementin Early Development,Clinical Drug Supply and other key drug developmentfunctions
  • Post-acquisition integration of key drug development and commercial functions
  • Integration and education of Health Economics with other Drug Development departments
  • Defined drug development deliverables and timelines
  • Provided outsourced project management services for multiple organizational change initiatives
Training Programs

Training Programs delivered include

  • Management Decision Making
  • Product Development Team Systems
  • Drug Development Process & Deliverables
  • The Consulting Process
  • Project & Meeting Management
  • Interviewing


Our clients are innovating in mobile and social, fighting disease, improving consumers’ lives and the performance of businesses through innovative technology and models, creating jobs, and addressing some of the most daunting social issues of our time. We are privileged to work alongside you!

Companies in high-growth areas

  • Internet / mobile services and marketplaces
  • Technology / software
  • Life sciences
  • Financial services including venture capital
  • Social ventures


Entrepreneurs and executives

  • Forming and launching new businesses
  • Pursuing critical milestones
  • Transforming their organizations
  • Facing temporary leadership or skill gaps
  • Balance new projects with management activities

We’re proud that over 90% of our business has come from existing client referrals.
See what clients are saying about S&A

Through this initiative, our group became so highly functioning that it was no wonder other parts of the company tried to replicate the process S&A led us through.

—Bob Mass, former head of Medical Directors, Genentech

With S&A's consulting and project management assistance, we boosted critical CRM capabilities and sales effectiveness, on time and on budget. I recommend S&A for top-tier consulting firm quality work without excessive cost, rigid approaches, or ego.

—Kat Panos, former head of project management, Barclays Global Investors

Following three new drug launches S&A led Lessons Learned assessments that examined the entire development and commercialization process that Genentech followed. Their work enabled us to understand the root causes of issues, assess their business impacts, identify best practices, and improve our approach in critical areas such as Healthcare Economics and Managed Care. They brought an understanding of the many commercial, development and manufacturing functions involved and did great work for us.

—Bill Annett, Director, Commercial Blueprint Initiative

Lynley's experience building new ventures enabled Glue to regain control of our product development project and launch the platform that runs our rich sucessful programs today. She made sure all key components of the launch were in place and created financial projections and investor materials that led to a round of funding. Because of her effectiveness as a partner to me, she was selected to become Glue's CEO when I retired.

—Greg Hawkins, Executive Chairman, The Glue Network and former CEO, Buy.com

Private.me is a big idea that needs A players to achieve the vision. S&A’s experience and flexible structure has enabled me to receive expert advice and top notch strategy and marketing assistance while I'm bootstrapping the company through our launch.

—AJ Esmailzadeh, Founder and CEO, Private.me

The key processes and tools S&A worked with us to create were essential nuts and bolts to help us manage growth. But, even more importantly, the process of creating them ensured that all management took ownership of what it means to grow a highly functioning organization while our products and revenue take off.

—VP, Product Development

Recommended to us by our VC, Sigma Partners, Lynley Sides filled the VP, Marketing role for an interim period during which we integrated an acquired company and repositioned our offering to focus on Fortune 100 customers. Lynley is a top notch consultant whose experience and relationships with vendors and specialists enabled S&A to plug in and quickly make an impact at a critical time.

—George Weidemann, CEO, UMarketing, former CEO, Responsys
and Chairman of the Board, Direct Marketing Association

S&A first helped us agree upon clear objectives then worked with us to identify the most critical improvement opportunities including process, roles, tools, templates, communications and training. The program infused new thinking and delivered a "right-sized", scalable foundation that will benefit the company into the future. And they were an absolute joy to work with.

—Debbie Ogasawara, Director, XenoPort

With the S&A team, I've successfully led multiple major initiatives while continuing to run a large organization. They conducted assessments, designed solutions, and supported implementation to accomplish critical corporate goals and position us well for the growth we've experienced since. They are a pleasure to work with and have regularly exceeded my expectations.

—VP, Major Biopharma Company

As we prepared to launch a new fund, Lynley conducted a market assessment and worked with us to formulate a new positioning and communicate it through an integrated marketing plan. We successfully launched Outlook Ventures under a new brand and website which were received very positively, largely due to Lynley's unique expertise - understanding of the VC market, start-ups, and multi-media marketing. We subsequently invited her to become a "catalyst" for the firm and have partnered with her on numerous occasions since.

—Randy Haykin, Managing Director, Outlook Ventures

This organization was my #1 problem a year ago. Now, it is not even in the top 50 problems. The changes in this organization resulting from the [S&A-led] initiative have been overwhelmingly dramatic; well beyond what I had imagined was possible.

—Chief Medical Officer, Publicly Traded Company

S&A's assessments and best practices research helped the Genentech executive team to fully understand the root causes and business implications of issues and to chose a path forward. They designed complex solutions for large, matrixed organizations and successfully facilitated change. I found them to be highly skilled, intelligent, and flexible and have recommended them since.

—Amy Burroughs Nader, former Head of Commercial and Business
Development, APT Pharmaceuticals and Director, Genentech

Lynley Sides has been a phenomenal asset for my companies. Her range of abilities, devotion to client satisfaction, and intuition for solving underlying problems is a tremendous benefit. My experience with startups is that often the problem you think needs solving is a symptom of the real issue. Lynley has the ability to shift functions and execution targets rapidly to solve these types of issues where single vertical consultants would come up short.

—Christian Buckley, Co-founder, The Glue Network and COO / Strategic Advisor, Goodsnitch

XenoPort was experiencing delays and excessive costs in clinical trials at a time of rapid company growth. S&A worked effectively with a senior cross-functional team, helping us sort through strong and sometimes conflicting views to streamline critical activities, establish clear accountabilities, and identify “quick wins” that reduced costs and timelines. S&A’s planning and follow-through were outstanding and I look forward to working with them again.

— Dave Sevello, Senior Vice President of Development, XenoPort

I brought Lynley in to help us think through our go-to-market strategy, messaging and launch plan. Her experience creating new startups and products was invaluable in helping us put many key elements in place such as a website, videos, PR, and social media presence and successfully launch the Goodsnitch mobile app.

—Rob Pace, Founder & CEO, Goodsnitch,
former Senior Partner, Goldman Sachs and National Chairman, Salvation Army


Seasoned business leaders and principal-level consultants do all of S&A’s work. We’ve been founders, CEOs, board members, CMOs, COOs, operational managers and consultants with leading firms. We bring top-tier MBA and engineering degrees, deep tech, media, life science, and social venture experience, and a strong sense of purpose. Among us are an “Enterprising Women of the Year” award winner, an Ad Age “Top 100 Marketer”, a UCLA MBA course lecturer, a Control Engineering “Product of the Year” award winner, the Gratitude Awards Creator, and a Six Sigma black belt.

We thrive on turning possibilities into realities in the midst of constant change. For the specific expertise or capacity to get it done for our clients, we draw from an extensive pool of fellow alumni, former colleagues, vendors and partners.

team-img-1 Lynley Sides Lynley Sides, Sides & Associates founder, CEO of The Glu ...



Lynley Sides

Lynley Sides, Sides & Associates founder, CEO of The Glue Network, and 2013 “Enterprising Woman of the Year” award winner, is obsessed with the intersection of business success and social good.

A serial entrepreneur, Lynley started her first successful business at age ten and has been a part of founding and growing more than a dozen startups since. As a seasoned tech and digital media executive, she’s launched award-winning new products and marketing programs for companies such as IBM, Westinghouse, and Red Herring, where she led 3X growth of users, subscribers and revenue and launched the industry’s first profitable suite of email newsletters. And in parallel, she’s founded or supported dozens of nonprofit projects and influenced companies and schools to contribute positively to society.

In 2001, she founded Sides & Associates, an interim executive and consulting services firm for new and growing ventures that has remained socially conscious and profitable. While leading S&A and as a consultant with A.T. Kearney, she’s helped companies including Genentech, HP, Touch Revolution, Outlook Ventures, and Responsys assess, develop, and market new products, establish new businesses and grow responsibly. After adopting a child from China in 2005, she founded a Mandarin language program for kids that became a successful business while helping special needs orphans in China.

In 2010, she partnered with The Glue Network founders to launch a platform that enables companies of all sizes to improve their bottom lines through giving and social media. In 2012, for The Intersection Event, she created the global “Gratitude Awards” that recognize new ventures driving positive social change through innovation.

Lynley has been a speaker and contributor to Sustainable Brands, INC.com, AlwaysOn, Women 2.0, The Future Buzz and others on topics including digital media and social good in business. Lynley holds an MBA from The Anderson School at UCLA and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech. An avid skier and runner, Lynley lives in Lafayette, California with her husband and two children.

team-img-2 John Harlow John leads S&A Life Sciences practice and focuses his time w ...



John Harlow

John leads S&A Life Sciences practice and focuses his time working on organizational improvement initiatives across a wide range of functional areas including Development, Medical Affairs, Commercial, Regulatory and Technical Operations. He has developed expertise in areas of organizational design, career development infrastructure, talent management, leadership development, operational improvement, and complex project management.

John has advised life sciences clients including BioMarin, Allergan, Onyx, Amgen, Genentech and Aduro Biotech as well as non-Life Sciences clients including, iShares/Barclays Global Investors, Toshiba, Mitsubishi Motors, Telstra Telecommunications, Alcatel-Lucent and Vodafone. In addition, John spent several years in marketing management in Sydney, Australia at a large South East Asia Telecommunication Company, SingTel Optus, where he set the strategy and managed the performance of a large product portfolio.

John holds an MBA from The Anderson School at UCLA and a BS in Business Administration from The Haas School of Business at University of California at Berkeley.

team-img-3 Kristen Sager Kristen’s nineteen-year career has primarily consisted of ...



Kristen Sager

Kristen’s nineteen-year career has primarily consisted of marketing and P&L management positions at early stage technology start-ups and new business divisions of consumer products companies including Nestle, Disney and Safeway. She has served as Chief Operating Officer of personal healthcare products company Murad where she led sales, marketing, finance and operations. Previously, she was VP of Marketing at eHow, where she was named a Top 100 Marketer by Advertising Age, and a brand marketer at Nestle.

Initiatives under her leadership included: developing and launching new brands and products; designing and executing strategies for growing businesses and market share; improving efficiency of product development, marketing, operations and manufacturing; and designing organization structure and performance management systems.

In addition to her operational experience, Kristen has spent four years as management consultant with S&A, focusing on organizational effectiveness, change management and marketing strategy. Recent engagements include at a large biotechnology company, where she executed a change initiative around DNA banking and conducted lessons learned assessments on three major drug launches to institutionalize best practices. At a successful Internet advertising firm experiencing growing pains, she developed an organization strategy to increase performance in a high-growth investment division and recruiting and retention programs for the understaffed Technology group.

Kristen holds an MBA with honors and a BA in English from Anderson UCLA. Additionally, Kristen lectures in Anderson UCLA’s Entrepreneurial Finance course taught at UCLA and abroad at Warrick University. She has also advised educational foundations and institutions, including the Broad Foundation.

Julie C head Julie Cullinane-Smith Julie is passionate about helping to create successful organ ...


Julie C head

Julie Cullinane-Smith

Julie is passionate about helping to create successful organizations and leaders. She has over 20 years of experience consulting to Fortune 1000 companies in a variety of industries including high technology, healthcare, retail, financial services, and consumer packaged goods. Her client list includes Advanced Micro Devices, Genentech, Gilead, GE, Hewlett-Packard, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Nestle, Safeway and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, among others. Her current consulting work focuses on culture change, leadership development and coaching, change management and organization effectiveness.
Prior to working with Sides and Associates, Julie was a managing consultant at Towers Perrin (now Towers Watson), where was responsible for the planning, oversight and execution of multiple large-scale initiatives. In addition to her experience as an external consultant, Julie has also worked in in-house roles at Pitney Bowes, Kaiser Permanente and California State Automobile Association.


Julie holds an MBA from The Anderson School at UCLA and a BA in Psychology from UC San Diego, where she graduated with honors. She also has a Certificate of Process Redesign Mastery from the Hammer Institute and is a Certified Integral Coach through New Ventures West where she is currently an Adjunct Faculty member. Julie is an outdoor fanatic and in her free time you will find her hiking in the hills near her Marin County, CA home, running on trails with her Labrador retriever or enjoying time at the beach or skiing with her husband and two children.


team-img-6 Specialists & Vendors A diverse pool of experts including following areas of exper ...


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Specialists & Vendors

A diverse pool of experts including following areas of expertise and more

  • Website design & development
  • Video
  • Digital & social media
  • PR & event marketing
  • Direct & email marketing
  • Advertising & branding
  • Finance & IR
  • Event & offsite planning
  • Leadership development & executive coaching
  • Outsourced HR & training
  • Surveys & focus groups
  • White papers & content development
  • Angel investors & startup mentors
  • Venture capital

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