At new and growing ventures
Boosting personal and business
productivity, fighting diseases,
innovating in hardware, software,
online, mobile and social media
Improving health, education,
peace and sustainability
through technology, passion
We Help You
Flexible interim executive, advisory, and
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
SERVICES FOR NEW AND EARLY STAGE VENTURES
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
SERVICES FOR GROWING LATER STAGE STARTUPS AND PUBLIC COMPANIES
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
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
About REX: Well-funded, early stage startup that provides better experiences for home buyers and sellers at a fraction of the traditional cost, through innovative technology and concierge services.
S&A Contribution: Partnered with the founder & CEO to establish the firm including the team, operations, website, and board. Then served as an interim, part time executive team member before assuming a full time position as COO and CMO.
Client: Founder & CEO
Biomarin is a leading biopharmaceutical firm in Marin, California
S&A has worked with several area of the company including research and development, medical affairs and commercial to assess and improve career development infrastructure including clarifying roles and responsibilities, defining competency models and building career pathways.
Direct client: VP Development Sciences Operations Management, VP Clinical Operations, VP Medical Affairs & VP Commercial Brand Management
S&A worked with one of the 360 Group owners to develop a social mission for the company, assess potential nonprofit partners, and establish the program which included managing modifications to the company website and regular communications. S&A continues to facilitate the giving program and manages marketing, PR and communications for 360 Group.
About The Glue Network: On the Glue platform, companies of all sizes engage customers and employees in giving to good causes they choose. Glue’s white label and gift card programs provided unprecedented branding, engagement and social media value that translate to customer and employee affinity, retention, advocacy and ultimately increased revenue.
S&A contribution: A team of two from S&A conducted a market assessment, managed the complex platform development project, developed financial projections, raised angel funding, developed and executed marketing plans, temporarily filling the CMO, COO and CFO roles.
For three years, Lynley Sides served as CEO and a member of the Glue board of directors, completing the Springboard accelerator program and raising a Series A round of funding.
Direct client: Executive Chairman
About Goodsnitch: Goodsnitch is a mobile app where consumers give feedback that’s delivered to the management of any businesses in 30 seconds and recognize “everyday heroes” who provide good service. The app gets an A+ from consumers for easy of use and a rewarding experience. Business clients like The Dallas Cowboys and Life Technologies that pay to customize the app enable Goodsnitch to give the custom app away to support the work of many non-profits.
S&A contribution: S&A acted as partner to the CEO and CMO to develop a go-to-market strategy and positioning and to secure vendors for website development, video creation, PR, and design, and to put core marketing programs and communications in place. Currently partnering with the CMO to ensure the success of digital and social marketing, content, PR, and market research and forging partnerships with nonprofit organizations to accelerate downloads and usage of the app.
Direct client: Founder & CEO
S&A has worked with Onyx drug development and manufacturing groups to assess organizational effectiveness improve processes, define roles and competencies to enable efficient, effective development as well as recruiting and retention of top quality people in a competitive environment. Establishing “right size,” scalable approaches today is setting the organization up to grow rapidly while avoiding growing pains that are common in rapid growth companies.
Direct client: SVP of Technical Operations, VP of Quality and VP of Clinical Operations
About The Intersection: A unique event, held by The Gratitude Network, that brings together thought leaders from the technology, entertainment, investing, education, media, and nonprofit spaces to advance innovation and social impact. Speakers have included Susan Sarandon, Tim O’Reilly, Steve Jurvetson, Barry Zito, Greg Brandeau CTO of Disney, Guru Singh, and Sheryl Wudunn, co-author of Half The Sky.
S&A contribution: S&A created and led The Gratitude Awards to recognize and support global social entrepreneurs who are moving the needle on the most critical social issues through ground-breaking innovations. The 2013 awards honored social ventures based in India, Kenya and Northern California, all of which have attracted significant funding and launch new products or programs since the event. The awards have grown in 2014 and 2015 in partnership with SOCAP and S&A continues to serve as an advisor to The Gratitude Network.
Direct client: Founder and Director, The Gratitude Network
About Private.me: Private.me is a “forgetful” platform that protects internet users’ private data by storing it in a distributed manner across multiple non-profit organizations. Private.me keeps users’ data private and amplifies security mechanisms such as encryption, offering protection from service provider snooping, hacks, and misuse.
S&A contribution: Strategic advisor to the CEO regarding the market, product direction, establishing a tech venture, fundraising, launch planning and marketing.
Direct client: Founder & CEO
About The Gratitude Network: A social venture fund that provides financial support, access and mentorship to innovative social entrepreneurs with the highest potential to advance the world’s most important social causes, with a priority on those serving the bottom of the pyramid. The Gratitude Network sponsors The Intersection Event and The Gratitude Awards are the primary source of The Gratitude Fund’s pipeline of social entrepreneurs.
S&A contribution: S&A created and led The Gratitude Awards which recognize and support global social entrepreneurs who are moving the needle on the most critical social issues through ground-breaking innovations. The first year of the awards honored three social ventures based in India, Kenya and Northern California, all of which have attracted significant funding and launch new products or programs since the event.
Direct client: Founding Partner
S&A provided project managers for change initiatives which have included a CRM implementation to improve sales effectiveness and the centralization of Events management across functions and geographies to increase ROI on events and ensure consistency of branding.
Direct client: Head of Project Management Group
Designed project team system including team structure, roles, and portfolio management approach to enable growth and improve decision making. Conducted a separate process improvement initiative to dramatically improve speed and reliability of drug development efforts. For both projects, developed supporting documents and managed organizational change.
Direct client: SVP, Development and CEO
About Cadence: Cadence is a technology company and leading developer of semiconductor processing equipment.
S&A contribution: Provided a perspective on approach and best practices in globalization of services businesses. Conducted a situation assessment of the Cadence organization and recommended a multi-year approach to globalization of the Cadence services business.
Direct client: Head of Global Services
Dozens of organizational change and process improvement initiatives to improve the speed, decision making, effectiveness and repeatability of product development, launches and ongoing commercialization.
For the C-level executive team, conducted a global Decision Making Best Practices Study, developed an assessment tool and improvement methodology including training that was implemented company wide and led to dramatic improvement in many areas.
Direct client: The Executive Committee, VPs and Directors from Product Portfolio Management, Development, Finance, and Commercial
About Illumina: Illumina develops sequencing technologies and manufactures and commercializes sequencing instruments.
S&A contribution: Conducted a market assessment of next-generation sequencing equipment. Assessed unmet market needs in various sectors, potential solutions, the competitive situation, and potential for each. Provided recommendations regarding which sectors and solutions to pursue.
Direct client: Head of Product Marketing
About Outlook Ventures: Outlook Ventures is an early stage venture capital firm that invests in internet and enterprise software companies.
S&A contribution: As Outlook Ventures approached the launch of its third fund, S&A developed new positioning based on market research, directed the design and developed the content for a new website and recommended marketing plans across events, PR, thought leadership, direct marketing and online presence to improve the quality of deal flow. We then worked with the firm to implement the marketing plan and transition its ongoing maintenance to internal personnel. The S&A team included an interim head of marketing, one specialist and affiliates for specific projects.
Direct client: Managing Partner
For Responsys, S&A developed new positioning post-acquisition of a web tracking company, conducted market research and developed marketing programs including an integrated lead generation program, a cross-sell program and several new communication tools. The S&A team included an interim VP, marketing, an interim lead generation director and specialists for specific roles.
Direct client: CEO
For Elements, S&A acted as a complete outsourced marketing department. S&A’s principal, specialists and vendors have collaborated with Elements executives to develop a branding strategy, positioning, core messages, a web site, and other marketing materials.
Direct client: Company Founder
Work for early stage startups has included business plan writing, financial projections, market research, securing key team members and vendor relationships, and establishing core marketing and product development functions. Each project resulted in a subsequent round of funding.
Direct clients: Founders
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Specialists & Vendors
A diverse pool of experts including following areas of expertise and more
- Website design & development
- 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
News & Views
NYT Article: Goodsnitch Offers Consumers a Way To Say Something Nice
This article is reproduced from the Goodsnitch blog at goodsnitch.com and was originally published by…
Goodsnitch Blog: Mia Recognizes a Hero in Lafayette
S&A Founder, Lynley Sides, contributed this article to the Goodsnitch blog As a contributor to…
Goodsnitch Launch Announcement: Welcome To The Feedback Revolution
S&A is grateful for the opportunity to work with Goodsnitch, a company that’s making feedback…
S&A Founder Wins Enterprising Women Of The Year Award
We’re excited to announce that S&A founder, Lynley Sides, has been honored with an Enterprising…
OnMedia NYC Startup Showcase Includes The Glue Network
Thanks AlwaysOn for the opportunity to speak at OnMedia NYC next week on behalf of…
How To Write A Business Plan: Interview with Lynley Sides
The “How To Write A Business Plan” site is about a lot more than business…
Giving On Tuesday Sells On Friday, Article for American Marketing Association and CSRWire
This article was originally featured by the American Marketing Association (AMA) and CSRWire. How “Giving…
Introducing S&A Nonprofit Partner: The Max Cure Foundation
What would you do if you learned that your child had a rare form of…
Springboard Enterprises Selects Lynley Sides To Accelerator Program
Lynley Sides, founder and president of Sides & Associates and co-founder and CEO of The…
CASE STUDY: Enabling the Success of a Major Corporate Initiative
S&A enabled the VP of a large organization to achieve a major corporate goal for…
Glue Launch Announcement: Turn the Lights On and Watch the World Shine
The following is S&A Client The Glue Network’s launch post, reproduced from thegluenetwork.com When we…
CASE STUDY: Designing a Project Team System for Scalability
S&A designed a drug development project team and committee structure to ensure clear accountabilities and…
Do Not Operate This Business Under The Influence Of Wine
Contributed by Kristen Sager Once a cottage industry that relied on sommeliers and industry experts…
Testing the Waters: Next-Gen Sequencing in Molecular Diagnostics
Contributed by: Alejandro Gutierrez Most sequencing companies today would never pass up an opportunity to…
Automated DNA Sequencing Industry: Far From Commoditization
Contributed by: Alejandro Gutierrez Automated DNA sequencing ramped up in the late 90s with the…
Why Do Companies Employ Misfit Product Portfolio Management Approaches?
Companies place high hopes on PPM but are often disappointed. PPM is seen as the…
Innovative Business Model Enables Boutique Consulting Firm to Deliver Quality Services To Cost-Conscious Companies
S&A’s business model enables the firm to offer flexible, practical, cost-effective work to cost-conscious growing…
Management Decision Making in Early Stage Companies
This article was published in Outlook Ventures’ newsletter. It was written based upon extensive, global…
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