Monthly Archives: April 2010

FundingPost Venture Funding Panel

Yesterday I participated as a panelist in an Early-Stage VC and Angel Investor event organized by FundingPost.com.  The event was sponsored by Perkins Coie and the panel was ably facilitated by Partner, Ben Straughan (see 3rd photo from top with Ben standing far left).  Also serving on the panel pictured above(see top photo above from l-to-r) was Saqib Rasool, CEO and Angel Investor of Conceivian; Petra Franklin, Managing Director of Vault Capital; me, Lucinda Stewart, Managing Director of OVP Venture Partners; Bill Bryant, Venture Partner at Draper Fisher Jurvetson; Bill McAleer, Managing Director of Voyager Capital, and Janis Machala, Angel Investor of Paladin Partners.
The event began with at least 15 or more entrepreneurs each sharing a two minute elevator pitch.  The entrepreneurs varied widely from those with just the seed of an idea to those with companies that are already producing revenue.  The most memorable was a young man who presented first, wearing a shiny white satin suit and who boomed out his elevator pitch at top volume.  Many of the presenting entrepreneurs had just completed a pitching workshop earlier that day and for some, this was their first public pitch.  There were a few entrepreneurs who have previously pitched at ZINO Society; Michael Williams of Reality Gap (also winner of 2008 ZINO Zillionaire Investment Forum best presenter award), Burt Hamner of Hydrovolts (also winner of ZINO Green 2009 Best Investment Opportunity and current fund finalist in ZINO Green 2010 Best Investment Opportunity), and Greg Lambrecht of Text-a-Day.
The future funding outlook as presented by the panel was relatively positive with the exception of self-described contrarian, Bill Bryant.  See second photo above with Bill 3rd from left smiling and looking not like a contrarian at all!  Panelists answered questions about what investors look for in a pitch.  Here are my top ten:
1.       A one sentence description right up front in laymen’s terms explaining what problem the business solves.
2.       A reasonable valuation.
3.       How is the product or service is better than what others are doing?
4.       Is there already proof of concept and actual revenue?
5.       What is the addressable market and who are most likely competitors?
6.       What market channels have been identified and how will they be accessed?
7.       How will the funds being raised be used?
8.       What is the entrepreneur’s past experience and expertise and that of his/her team?
9.       What is the envisioned exit strategy and who are likely acquirers?
10.   What rights, deal sweeteners, preferences, etc. does the investor get for participating?
We each were then asked to share an important piece of advice on what to do or not do to be most effective in raising money from investors.  My advice was to take the time to listen to potential investors and hear out their feedback and advice.  The biggest turnoff is an entrepreneur who comes across as arrogant or a know-it-all and who refuses to listen.     

Master of Wine Tuesday at Rovers!

Last night, the staff of Rovers did an incredible job of presenting the ZINO Society Master of Wine Tuesday at Thierry & Kathy Rautureau’s beautiful restaurant, RoversScot Smith, Rovers Wine Director/Manager, shared information on the wines that were paired with the seven courses of exquisite food.  The design of the menu was to take an escorted tour of France so each course was specifically paired with a beautiful wine that is recognized as a hallmark wine of that particular region.  Chef Thierry’s (aka “The Chef in the Hat”), masterful food pairings, as delicious as they were visually beautiful, were great manifestations of the regional cuisine of France.  We were encouraged to imagine a trip through France with the only criteria being the pleasure of our senses . . . Sight, Smell, Touch, Taste and Sound!
We began the evening with a crisp Taittinger Champagne and then our palate was titillated with a sensory Amuse Bouche (see photo above) that included duck confit, house-smoked salmon with crème fraiche and velvety asparagus soup.
Taittinger, Cuvee Prestige, NV Champagne FR
Amuse Bouche
Sancerre, Francois Crochet, 2008, Loire Valley, FR
Dungeness Crab with Fennel, Celery Root-Apple Salad and Orange Dressing
Pessac-Leognan, Lagrave-Martillac, 2004 Bordeaux FR
Alaskan Halibut with Red Quinoa, Roasted Baby Turnip and Arugula
Gevrey-Chambertin, Les Seuprees, Premiere Cru 2004, Burgundy FR
Braised Pork Belly with a Quail Egg, Parsnip Puree, Leek and Meyer Lemon Confit
Rhubarb Sorbet with Ginger White Wine Pearls
Saint Joseph, JL Chave, Offerus 2004, Rhone Valley FR
Roasted Muscovy Duck Breast with Spinach, Herbed Farro, Mushroom and Thyme
Banyuls, Olivier of Chrystel Saperas, Vial Magneres, Tradition 4 Years, Languedoc FR
Warm Goat Cheese Crottin with Preserved Fruit Chutney
The ZINO Society members and guests all had a wonderful time, the noise level in the room escalating as the evening progressed.  Two of our guests, Eden and Hank Waggoner,  were celebrating birthdays and they were properly serenaded by the rest of the group (see photo above).  For a few, it was their first visit to Rovers, and they were hugely impressed with the quality of the food and service as were those of us who were happily returning for yet another amazing and impressive dinner.
Photo Gallery Above:
Top photo:  Bernadine Dochnahl, Chef Thierry, Cathi Hatch, Denny Dochnahl, Ken Hatch
2nd photo:  Amuse Bouche
3rd photo: Eden & Hank Waggoner
4th photo: Randy Squires & Angela Polin
5th photo: Bob & Katie Nowlin, Mary & Don Gher, Isabella McPeak
6th photo: Debe Doran & Dana Reid

Drinking and Driving!

It was grey and overcast this morning with a stiff wind blowing, but Deb Doran, Dana Reid and I decided to play our scheduled game of golf anyway at my home course, Overlake Golf & Country Club. OGCC still has the archaic rule that only men are allowed to play on Saturday mornings until after 11:00 am. Of course, the fact that Deb, Dana and I all work fulltime during the week along with many other female golf members is not a consideration. I will save this fight for another time, but don’t you think it is time for these private golf clubs to recognize that we are in a new century and embrace the fact that it is a different world now than it was when these rules were initially established? Some may still be surprised to learn that women even have the right to vote now! I digress . . .

Deb and Dana are both beautiful golfers with long, clean drives and precise and accurate putting. I, on the other hand, tend to flail about the course almost always at least a couple of strokes behind. Though I am pleased that I did make one par today on hole #12, beating both of them on that hole only.

Throughout our game, the wind continued to get more aggressive and though we all had jackets, it was very cold. On the back nine, Tim, one of the assistant pros, stopped by to talk with Deb and me to see how we were doing and offered to bring us a drink. Dana had been talking about a hot chocolate with Peppermint Schnapps from the moment she alighted shivering from her car, so Deb and I were happy to surprise her with one when Tim returned bearing three piping hot chocolates laced with Peppermint Schnapps.

It was a drink that I hadn’t tasted in years, but I have to admit that it was absolutely delicious. In fact, my drives improved almost immediately so I have decided that I am now a proponent of “drinking and driving” (only golf balls of course)!

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ZINO Life Seattle a Success!

Yesterday at the beautiful Pan Pacific Hotel, ZINO Society was the proud presenter of ZINO Life:  Life Sciences Investment Forum along with our partner, WBBA.  We were very pleased to have around 120 members and guests in attendance to hear 15 entrepreneurs present their companies’ needs divided into three dealflow flights:  Seed Stage, Launch Stage and Expansion Stage.  (See alphabetical list and links of the 15 presenting companies below at the bottom of this blog post.)  Each of the entrepreneurs was carefully screened and then coached to be successful in presenting their pitches succinctly and clearly in 7 minutes each with 2 minutes following for questions and answers.  Though we are usually quite time sensitive and strive to stay on the agenda schedule at all of our events, we were thoroughly impressed with the results and that we were able to stay completely on schedule for the entire afternoon with Events and Marketing Manager, McKenzie Powell’s chimes warnings and agenda timing tools.  Or maybe it was the delicious chocolate treats that brought people back to their seats so effectively that sponsor, Stoel Rives, shared as part of the coffee break they sponsored.
In addition to the entrepreneur presentations, we had the opportunity to hear insights and experiences from keynote speaker Patrick Jensen of SpaceLabs during the “Fireside Chat” portion of the afternoon (see top photo above).  However, in the spirit of full disclosure, there was NOT a fireplace in sight!  Following the keynote, the expert panel discussed some of the opportunities and the challenges facing life science companies and included David Schubert, President of Accelerator Corporation; Marty Simonetti, President of VLST Corporation; Chris Rivera, President of WBBA; Michelle Burris, COO of Trubion; facilitated by ZINO Life major sponsor Alan Smith, Partner at Fenwick & West, (see 2nd photo above).  Alan did his usual great job of extracting and managing the plethora of information that our expert panelists were ready to share.
Patrick Jensen then joined the expert panel to participate in the Due Diligence LIVE! process to question the three entrepreneur finalists  (see 3rd photo above) selected by the ZINO Life 2010 Investment Fund investors.  The three finalists gracefully surviving their due diligence grilling were Kevin Connolly of SRS Medical, Carole Spangler of Seattle Sensor Systems and Paul Slowey (aka “Dr. Spit”) of Oasis Diagnostics Corporation, who was also last year’s winner of the ZINO Life 2009 Investment Fund.
The ZINO Zenith Award winners were selected by all the attendees at the event via written ballot.  Winning the award for Best Presenter was Richard Lazar of DeltaPoint and for Best Investment Opportunity was Carole Spangler of Seattle Sensor Systems (see 4th photo above).
The event concluded with fantastic passed hors d’oeuvres provided by our venue sponsor, Pan Pacific Hotel, and wine and beer courtesy of our ZINO Society Wine/Beer Professional Members, Don Wood of Icicle Ridge Winery, Joseph & John Miglino of Martedi Winery, and Charles & Rose Ann Finkel of Pike Brewing Company (see 5th, 6th and 7th photos above).  Along with the excellent beer and wine selections, conversations flowed!
Next stop is ZINO Life Portland on April 29th with a new set of sponsors, expert panelists and keynote speaker, but the same screened and coached presenting entrepreneurs.  Click here for registration info.
ZINO Life Presenting Companies:

Wine Tasting at King Estates in Oregon

On Sunday morning, bright and early, I flew down to Eugene along with Michael Heijer and Basant Singh to attend a two-day bank board retreat.  Michael and I are the Seattle Directors for the Pacific Continental Bank Board of Directors and Basant is the Pacific Continental Bank Market President for Seattle and Bellevue.  We spent all day on Sunday in an ALCO Committee Retreat, but were rewarded at the end of the day with dinner at a spectacular local winery, King Estate.
Founded in 1991 by the King family, King Estate is comprised of over 1,000 acres and includes 465 acres of organically certified vineyards, 15 acres of orchards and a state-of-the art winery.  The winery, which reflects the architectural traditions of Europe, is majestically situated atop a hill surrounded by vineyards and produced around 175,000 cases of wine last year.  Located within the winery is an excellent restaurant where we were led to a private room with a wood-burning fireplace for our wine tasting and dinner.   
It was a great opportunity for the Pacific Continental Bank Board of Directors and management team to spend some non-meeting time together relaxing and talking about other topics in addition to bank business.  CEO, Hal Brown, toasted the group as did Chairman of the Board, Bob Ballin.  President, Roger Busse, toasted Shannon Coffin for all of her efforts in pulling off the entire weekend so seamlessly and efficiently with every detail handled.
We began the evening with a blind wine tasting of three Pinot Gris white wines and were asked to guess which was the correct vintage for each; 2004, 2007 or 2008.  Several of us got all three of these wine vintages correctly.  Next we were asked to guess which was the correct vintage for three Pinot Noir red wines; again 2004, 2007 and 2008.  Only one of us identified both flights of wines correctly and the winner was Casey Hogan, the Chief Credit Officer for the bank.  It appears that Casey has a nose for more than low risk bank credits!
Top photo from L to R:  Basant Singh, Bob Ballin, Michael Heijer, John Rickman
2nd photo from L to R:  Don Krahmer Jr, Hal Brown
3rd photo from L to R:  Rachel Ulrich, Casey Hogan, Cathi Hatch
4th photo from L to R:  Shannon Coffin, Roger Busse, Charles
5th photo from L to R:  Charlotte Boxer, Dan Hempy
6th photo from L to R:  Mike Holcomb, Mike Holzgang, Don Montgomery
7th photo from L to R:  Roger Busse, Cathi Hatch, Charles
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Cooking Class at Bastyr University

My fingertips still smell faintly of garlic following our cooking class tonight at Bastyr University.  Our hosts, Sue and Robert Holmes (see 2nd photo above of Sue & Robert with Ken) invited us along with eight other couples to join them for a hands-on “Whole Foods” cooking class taught by, Cynthia Lair, Bastyr University faculty… Continue Reading

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Book Club at The Panama Hotel

Though I usually have to miss it due to all my activities and work at ZINO Society, this week I attended my Book Club, of which I have been a member for around 30 years, which met at the Panama Hotel in the international district in Seattle.  Diane Kuenster was our hostess this month and… Continue Reading

Ode to Mike Kunath

The following poem is a tribute to Mike Kunath penned by Teri Citterman and read to him at his birthday celebration last week.  See photos of Teri, Mike, Kate Harrison, Mike Flynn, Gina Kunath and Michael Steiner above.   Ode To Mike – April 9, 2010   It seems like forever ago — When I… Continue Reading

With age comes wisdom . . .

Yesterday afternoon, Mike Kunath celebrated an auspicious birthday in his traditional corner of the Fairmont Olympic Hotel Bar also known as “The Mike Kunath Club Corner”. Organized by friend, Kate Harrison, and Mike’s son Spencer Kunath, many of his friends gathered to toast his health and congratulate him on achieving the ripe old age of… Continue Reading