For a new venture to succeed, founders must be able to establish a competitive advantage, attract a strong team and obtain adequate funding.

Assembling these is an iterative process with many hurdles to be overcome.  Challenges include assessing market need, protecting the innovation, assembling an effective team, accurately assessing costs of development, funding the venture, and focusing spending on value-creating activities.

Equally important are the leadership, entrepreneurial spirit, optimism, enthusiasm, "all in" commitment, and tenacity of the founding team.
Meet the Expert

About Brian

  • Silicon Valley entrepreneur, board member, and private investor. Extensive experience in founding and financing new companies and improving the performance of existing companies.
  • Previously served as CEO, Chairman, COO or CFO of four successful startup companies that achieved an exit for investors, either through M&A or IPO.
  • Functional areas of expertise include: general management, product development, fundraising, licensing, finance, marketing strategy, and governance.
  • Specialties: Managing the start-up and high growth process, research and product development strategy, team-building, and M&A/IPO preparation and implementation.


President, CEO and Director • Tosk, Inc.
2006 — Present
  • Tosk, an oncology pharmaceutical company, discovers and develops drugs to improve outcomes for patients by blocking the adverse side effects of therapies with dose-limiting side effects and making existing drugs effective for patients who currently do not benefit from treatment.
President • AnVent Group
2000 — Present
  • Private investor and advisor to early stage life science companies
Centaur Pharmaceuticals, Inc. • President, CEO and Director
1992 — 2000
  • Pharmaceutical discovery and development company specializing in neurodegenerative diseases and diseases of aging.
Chairman and CEO • Vesta Medical, Inc.
1992 — 1996
  • Therapeutic medical device company specializing in women's healthcare products. Sold to Pfizer.
President, CEO and Director • Adeza Biomedical, Inc.
1988 — 1992
  • Diagnostic device company discovering and developing products for prenatal medicine and women's healthcare.
COO, CFO and Director • Genelabs Technologies
1984 — 1988
  • Therapeuetic and diagnostic products company specializing in infectious diseases and immunological disorders.
Director of Corporate Planning • Syntex Corporation
1982 — 1984
  • Pharmaceutical and diagnostics company with 10,000-plus employees was acquired by Roche.
Principal • Booz Allen & Hamilton
1980 — 1982
  • Led management consulting assignments in a variety of industries, including consumer products, aerospace and forest products.
Consultant • The Boston Consulting Group
1978 — 1980
  • Strategy consultant to companies in a variety of industries, including medical products, analytical instruments, airlines and consumer products.
Lieutenant, Director, Officer Physics Program • United States Navy
1972 — 1976
  • US Navy Nuclear Power School
  • Physics Division Director, US Navy Nuclear Power School


Stanford University
MBA, Finance, Marketing, 1978

Academic Honors

Graduated first academically in class.
Stanford University
BS, Physics, Chemistry, 1972


  • Director, SanBio, Inc., developer of cell therapy products for recovery of function in patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases, 2007-present.
  • Director, The Golden Capital Network, a non-profit organization providing training, support and fundraising assistance to entrepreneurs and regional development organizations, 2000-2012.


  • Co-Chairman of Membership Committee, The Band of Angels, 150-member Silicon Valley angel investment organization, 1998-present


  • U.S. Patent #7,998,967, cancer chemotherapeutic side effect reduction
  • U.S. Patent #8,227,517, cancer chemotherapeutic side effect reduction
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