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The Brenner Group Joins Armanino

I have some very exciting news to share!  After nearly 30 years of building The Brenner Group into one of Silicon Valley’s most well-known and respected professional services firms, we have found a strategic partner to continue to grow the business, and provide succession planning for our leadership team. (more…)

August 10, 2015 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Financing a Start-up in 2013

Much is being written about how “broken” our current venture capital financing model continues to be. One of the most seriously broken areas is financing an early stage company. Venture capitalists continue to publicly state that they wish to fund early stage companies. The true facts are that most early stage venture capitalists are not looking for early stage companies but rather companies either in revenue or very close to it. The line has shifted, and the definition of early stage seems to have moved or been changed for most venture funds. (more…)

February 22, 2013 at 2:45 pm 1 comment

Will the New JOBS Act Change the IPO Landscape?

The pendulum is swinging back from very expensive, tight controls on smaller companies to more relaxed, less costly methods. The new JOBS Act will have a big impact on IPOs and access to private capital. (more…)

April 30, 2012 at 3:26 pm Leave a comment

The Brenner Group Celebrates 25 Years

As I reflect back on the past 25 years, the company and I have seen many changes in Silicon Valley. The types of industries that venture firms invest in has changed dramatically, and there have been a number of business cycles – both up and down. (more…)

February 2, 2012 at 11:37 am 3 comments

What is the “Zone of Insolvency” We Keep Hearing About, and What Must an Officer or Director Do Once They Enter This Zone?

During the past few years, most small companies have heard someone refer to the Zone of Insolvency, and reference how dangerous this is to the Directors and Officers.

In this post, we will review what the definition of “zone of insolvency” is, and what Directors and Officers are supposed to do, and say, if they find themselves in or approaching this zone.


October 26, 2011 at 11:00 am Leave a comment

Where Are All the Tech IPOs in 2011? Part Two.

In my last post we examined the IPO history in Silicon Valley and wondered why we have not seen more IPO activity this year. There are some big, well known consumer internet companies poised for IPOs with ostensibly favorable market conditions, but none have gone out. How come? My take is there are three key several reasons:

1. Institutional buyers are very cautious, and their liquidity might still be an issue.

2. These are still young companies and need more time to cement their business and financial models and don’t need the distraction.

3. They don’t really need to go public. (more…)

May 12, 2011 at 3:22 pm Leave a comment

Where Are All the Tech IPOs in 2011? Part One.

2011 started off as a year anxiously anticipated by investors and tech-watchers alike: the tech IPO market would return. Typical of the sentiment was the DealBook post on Dec 30, 2010: Is 2011 the Year of the Blockbuster Tech I.P.O.?

Several positive indicators underscored that sentiment: rebounding stock market, low interest rates and a poor real estate market suggesting that growth stocks could be attractive investments, several big name private companies were raising institutional funds at billion dollar valuations, and anecdotally the local law firms all spoke to the resurgence in their S-1 filing activity and often referred to a healthy “IPO pipeline”. So confidence in a tech IPO resurgence was high. But with a third of the year gone, there have been few notable IPOs and while activity is up over 2010, we’ re not seeing the kind of breakthrough IPO activity including the big name consumer internet players that most had expected. What happened? (more…)

May 10, 2011 at 2:52 pm Leave a comment

There’s Often Drama in Changing CEOs in a Young Company

As I look back on issues involving changing a CEO, I always pause and sometimes even get a chuckle.

How many times does an entrepreneur with a great idea believe they are the only one suited to run their new venture? Usually, they believe they need to be the CEO. However, even if they are the well suited to lead a venture in the beginning, they are not the one to drive to higher levels beyond development. When this expansion phase occurs, the board usually has the difficult task of letting the entrepreneur/CEO know that it is time for him to take a new role in the company.

Often this communication does not go well, and the end result is that the entrepreneur cannot understand the message and leaves the company. (more…)

July 23, 2010 at 1:06 pm Leave a comment

Only 3 Things Can Go Wrong in VC-backed Businesses

In my many years of working with companies and seeing what works and what doesn’t, I have come to realize that every challenge faced by a venture funded technology company falls into one of only three buckets: (more…)

July 2, 2010 at 3:48 pm Leave a comment

Managing the Tough Choices Facing Tech Start-ups

In a world where securing follow-on venture capital financing has never been more challenging, executives and boards of venture capital backed companies face difficult choices as the cash dwindles.  It is not uncommon, even in cases where fund-raising is ultimately successful, that developing companies at some point are faced with and must navigate insolvency and all that it entails. (more…)

April 19, 2010 at 3:57 pm Leave a comment

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