What a great event ZINO Society hosted yesterday at Bellevue City Hall! It was the 6th annual ZINO Life & Wellness Investment Forum. Emma Landis, ZINO Dealflow Manager, did a superlative job of sourcing 15 great companies that are in just the right place for angel investing and the Coach/Mentor members successfully helped them each be the best they could be. Every single ZINOpreneur Select presenting member was spot on with his or her presentation. And Claire Dillow, Events & Marketing Manager and our crackerjack intern, Jillian Tyack, handled the myriad details that are required to produce such an event from registration to name tags, to programs, to ballots to food to featured libations to . . . and we even ended on time as promised.
The list of Panelists and Judges was impressive. Karl Klassen of Perkins Coie facilitated the panel and put into perspective some of the challenges currently facing life sciences companies. My husband, Ken, said that he loved the panel and it was the best panel we have ever had. (However, to put this in context, he tells me this after every big investment forum, so I like to believe that every panel just gets slightly better than the last since every time they are the “best ever”!). The list of Panelists and Judges included Monty Montoya of SightLife, Marnix Bosch of NW Biotherpeutics, Brad Harlow of Cardiac Insight, Karen Hedine of Micronics, May McCarthy of Bizzultz, Stewart Parker of IDRI, Angel Investor Ky Calder, Caitlin Cameron of OtoMetrix Medical Technologies, Tom Clement of Aqueduct Neurosciences, Brian Glaister of Cadence Biomedical, Michael Heijer of GranCorp, Karl Klassen of Perkins Coie, Hans Lundin of Point B Capital, Rhonda Rhyne of Prevencio, Chuck Roxin of ZBDS and Life Sciences business consultant, Roger Sahm.
One of my favorite parts of the program which brought tears to his eyes along with others in the audience was when Monty Montoya, CEO of SightLife, talked about how emotionally challenging it was for him when he visited China for the first time and was holding an 18 month old boy in his arms who needed corneal transplants and realized that he would not be one of the recipients of the 8 corneas they had available for transplant for the over 150 people who were waiting in line in the hopes of receiving the gift of sight. That was really one of the turning points for him in putting SightLife on an entrepreneurial path to increase the availability of corneas available for transplant.
In addition to the impressive pitches by every one of the ZINOpreneurs, I loved it when I asked several of our Judges to stand up with white boards at the end of the program and simultaneously reveal which company that had presented that they would choose to invest in if they could invest in ONLY one company. Two of the Judges selected KitoTech Medical but the rest all chose different companies including MELT, Precision Image Analysis, DesignMedix, Impel Neuropharma and Liquidity Nanotech.
The winner of the ZINO Zenith Award was emLandmarks with runners-up 3D Product Imaging and Nutristyle and the winner of the Judges’ Award was Impel Neuropharma with runners-up MELT and Precision Image Analysis. Selected as potential fund finalists for an allocation from the 2014 ZINO Annual Angel Investment Fund were KitoTech Medical, Impel Neuropharma, DesignMedix and StratoScientific. You can really tell the quality of the companies that presented by the broad recognition that so many companies received as award winners and honorable mention.
What a (ZINO) Life!