Category Archives: angel investors

What a Night for Men and Women at ZINO Woman

l-r: Renee Behnke of Sur La Table, Fran Bigelow of Fran's Chocolates, Caitlin Cameron of Otometrix, Inc., Colette Courtion of JeNu Bioscience and Bill McAleer of Voyager Capital
l-r: Renee Behnke of Sur La Table, Fran Bigelow of Fran’s Chocolates, Caitlin Cameron of Otometrix, Inc., Colette Courtion of JeNu Bioscience and Bill McAleer of Voyager Capital

ZINO Woman Intentional Investment Forum this past week at the Columbia Tower Club was a big success with 200 angel investors, entrepreneurs and business professionals attending including 24 Judges, 13 Elevator Pitchers, 8 Volunteers, 7 Business PItchers, 6 Panelists, 5 ZINO Team Members, 4 Winemakers, 2 Event Sponsors, 2 Dealflow Flight Facilitators, 1 ZINO Annual Angel Fund $100,000 check presented and 1 Traction Updater.  Surprisingly however, there was not a partridge in a pear tree.

The big “Triple Crown” winner of the evening was Lori Salow Marshall of BYNDL with a brilliant business that provides a mobile transaction services platform, enabling companies to extend their own software or machines to transact with any mobile device.  For example, it enables mobile payment and customer data collection at unmanned vending machines.  She received the Judges’ Award for best investment opportunity, the ZINO Zenith Award for best investment opportunity and was also one of the 3 potential fund finalists selected for further consideration for an investment from the ZINO Annual Angel Investment Fund-2014.  Runners up for both awards and also potential fund finalists were Justine Smith of Kids Go Co. and Mhairi Voelsgen of broVo Spirits.

Lori Salow Marshall of BYNDL
Lori Salow Marshall of BYNDL

The Judges’ Award for best presentation of the 13 Elevator Pitches went to Jamie-Rose Edwards of  Young Women Empowered with runners up Corey Fagan of Owl Outcomes and Deborah Semer of Joyboxx.

Zoe Mesnick-Greene of StartMark
Zoe Mesnick-Greene of StartMark

One of the very early-stage ZINOpreneur members that pitched was 21 year old UW student, Zoe Mesnick-Greene of StartMark. Passion and enthusiasm for her lip care product which also supports cleft palate surgery for children in developing countries, was so abundant that we didn’t have a chance to hear enough of the business side of the business in the limited time she had available to pitch.  She is definitely someone to watch.  I personally look forward to watching her continue to grow her business and become more polished at sharing her message more succinctly.

Congratulations to all the entrepreneurs who pitched at ZINO Woman!

Cool Yule, Cool Jazz, and a Baby Reindeer Too!

Patty Barrier and Cathi Hatch at Cool Yule

On Thursday, ZINO Society’s annual Cool Yule Holiday Party was a memorable evening.  The theme this year was:  Unleash Your Inner Vixen (and Blitzen)!  First, we were in the “coolest” of showrooms at the new Barrier Mercedes of Bellevue.  Shiny red and black Mercedes automobiles were the backdrop for an evening of fun and frivolity.  Thank you to our dear friends and annual sponsors at Barrier Motors, Patty & Jimmy Barrier, Michael Vena, Kjell Schei and Lisa Hess!

Baby Rogue the Reindeer with Elf Handlers

Glasses were clinking, saxophones swaying and bold brush strokes of an artist at work were some of the sounds of this year’s Cool Yule Holiday Party.  We welcomed Jazz Canvas as part of the evening’s entertainment which blended live jazz musicians with live unrehearsed art in motion. The artist literally painted to the feeling of the music on a huge canvas that was raffled off at the end of the party.  Pike Brewing Company, O Wines, DeLille Cellars, Dineen Vineyards, Martinez & Martinez, Woodhouse Wine Estates and Sozo Planet while Ray’s Boathouse & Catering provided the hors d’oeuvres.

We toasted one another and another successful year of angel investing, entrepreneurism and connecting having just surpassed $19 million in angel investing amongst our ZINO Society Seattle investor group.  For sipping and toasting, featured winemakers and beverages included

Cathi Hatch with Monte Regier of Sozo Friends.

Rogue (aka Blitzen), the baby reindeer was on hand with his two “elf” handlers for photo ops and was a real hit with everyone (except perhaps Pepper Payne, the Papipoo who was attending with mom Patti Payne, whom I am sure thought Rogue was just another big puppy).

Mary Holmes oversaw the entire event and made it a family affair convincing her husband, Jerry to pour wine and daughter Jacqueline who was there with friends to sell raffle tickets and hang up coats. 

Mary & Jerry Holmes

Christine Gilbert, our resident songster, along with assistance from creative mind, Jamee Nunnelee, developed the ZINO Society version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” now known as “The Twelve Days of ZINO” with apologies to English composer, Frederic Austin, which was performed with enthusiasm by the following ZINO Society cast of members including staff team, coaches, sponsors, investors, entrepreneurs and winemakers. We all donned reindeer antlers and gave it our best.  The vocal standout was definitely Christine, who had the “five wine rings” part and sounded like an opera singer.  Here are the lyrics:

On the First Day of Christmas, my ZINO gave to me: (All)

A year full of Opportunity!  (All)

Cathi Hatch and Gregg Bennett

On the Third Day of Christmas, my ZINO gave to me:
Three Nametag Ribbons (Cathi Hatch)

Two Mercedes Benz (Mary Holmes)

And a Year full of Opportunity

On the Sixth Day of Christmas, my ZINO gave to me:

Six Friends Connecting (Patty Barrier)
Fiiiiive Wiiii-iiine Riiiings (Christine Gilbert)
Four Passport Cards (Jamee Nunnelee)
Three Nametag Ribbons (Cathi Hatch)
Two Mercedes Benz (Mary Holmes)
And a Year full of Opportunity! (All)

On the Tenth Day of Christmas, my ZINO gave to me:  (All)
Ten Wineries Pouring (Andrew Martinez)
Nine Elevator Pitches (John Faccone)
Eight Investors Investing (Gregg Bennett)
Seven Funds a-funding (Kate DesRosier)
Six Friends Connecting (Patty Barrier)
Fiiiiive Wiiii-iiine Riiiings (Christine Gilbert)
Four Passport Cards (Jamee Nunnelee)
Three Nametag Ribbons (Cathi Hatch)
Two Mercedes Benz (Mary Holmes)
And a Year full of Opportunity! (All)

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, my ZINO gave to me: (All)
Twelve Coaches Coaching (Chuck Roxin)
Eleven Angel Investors (Brian Vowinkel)
Ten Wineries Pouring (Andrew Martinez)
Nine Elevator Pitches (John Faccone)
Eight Investors Investing (Gregg Bennett)
Seven Funds a-funding (Kate DesRosier)
Six Friends Connecting (Patty Barrier)
Fiiiiive Wiii-iiiine Riiiiings (Christine Gilbert)
Four Passport Cards (Jamee Nunnelee)
Three Nametag Ribbons (Cathi Hatch)
Two Mercedes Benz (Mary Holmes)
And a Year full of Opportunity! (All)

We all got our “Blitzen” on and a great time was had by all!

Impressive Gathering of Angels and VCs

Atlas to ZINO Investor Open House
On Tuesday evening, Atlas Accelerator and ZINO Society co-hosted the Atlas to ZINO Investor Open House,  inviting 23 funded and companies seeking funding to present to 100 Angel Investors and VCs.  Though ZINO Society merely assisted Atlas Accelerator in producing their event, of the 23 Atlas Accelerator clients presenting, it was interesting to note that 15 had also previously been through the ZINO Society screening and coaching processes presented to ZINO Society Angel Investor Roundtable members at monthly investment meetings and/or investment forums and 5 had received some funding through ZINO Society.

Bill Furlong of Escapia opened the evening speaking about the inherent optimism of entrepreneurs and investors while Bill McAleer of Voyager Capital was the final speaker providing data on the “lost decade” and the return to normalcy or ROI for investors.

ZINO Life just two days away!

The ZINO Society team has been working very hard over the past few weeks to put together our upcoming ZINO Life Investment Forum which will occur this coming Tuesday, March 8th at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Seattle.  I want to recognize them with a big THANK YOU for all their efforts to produce what I know will be a fascinating and productive angel investment forum!

Kristie Lanum, our Chief Dealflow Officer, has done a masterful job of recruiting, screening, scheduling coaching and preparing 13 ZINOpreneurs to share 7 minute pitches describing their companies during the afternoon event plus a traction update from our ZZIF 2007 Fund Winner, Healionics.  Please see the full list of presenting entrepreneurs at the end of this blog posting.

Mary Holmes, our Chief Marketing Officer, has put together a fascinating, expert panel including John Bowers of SonoSite, Tom Clement of Pathway Medical Technologies, Chris Rivera of WBBA,  Dave Schubert of Accelerator Corporation, and Alan Smith of Fenwick & West who will share their perspectives on the life sciences business sector and also ask the selected ZINO Life 2011 Fund Finalists follow-up Due Diligence LIVE! questions at the end of the afternoon.

ZINO Life attendees will choose the “best investment opportunity” and the “best presenter” ZINO Zenith Awards which will be awarded at the end of the business session.  The ZINO Annual Angel Investment Forums Fund investors will select four “best investment opportunity” finalists whom the investors will enter into due diligence following the forum.

Robin Moore, Events and Marketing Director, has handled hundreds of details including all the communication to attendees, reservations and event organization. If you are interested in attending, you can click HERE to make reservations.

Here is the full list of ZINO Life 2011 ZINOpreneur presenting companies:

Aspetica, Inc. / David Hatton
Aseptica’s technology prevents catheter related infections. We save tens of thousands of lives and hundreds of millions of dollars every year.

Cerevast Therapeutics, Inc. / Kendall SteverCerevast Therapeutics, Inc. is a medical technology company focused on the development of SonoLysis for the treatment of acute ischemic stroke.

Del Mar Pharmaceuticals / Jeffrey Bacha
Del Mar is developing proven drug candidates that have previously demonstrated human clinical activity in orphan and large-market cancer indications.

DNA Guide, Inc. / Bill KimmerlyDNA Guide develops software to navigate the personal genome for use by pathologists, genetic counselors, health care professionals, and patients.

Emergent Detection / Eric Fogel
Emergent Detection’s BodyKey helps people lose weight more effectively by providing personalized, daily feedback about their body through a simple biochemical test.

Empowering Engineering Technologies / Brian Glaister EETech’s ExoWalk products help people with wheelchairs walk their way to better qualities of life.

FiatLux Imaging, Inc. / Max Lyon FiatLux provides a secure online service for the transport, viewing, sharing and storage of, medical images by medical professionals and patients.

GenQual Corp. / Jonathan Mirich
GenQual designs molecular diagnostics to facilitate early disease detection, diagnosis, and treatment approaches.

Impel NeuroPharma / Michael Hite
Impel is developing a novel drug delivery device to enable central nervous system drugs to bypass the blood-brain barrier.

Network Immunology Inc. / George Hoffman
Network Immunology has made discoveries expected to significantly advance the fields of both vaccination and organ transplantation.

Sinuwave Technologies Corp. / Jim BalcomSinuwave is adapting an already proven, high gross margin, disposable drug-device combination technology for the treatment of chronic sinusitis (CS).

S-Ray Incorporated / Steve Baird S-Ray owns a unique way of using ultrasound to detect cracks and cavities in teeth, without radiation.

VacuPractor / Paul Hagen VacuPractor is a revolutionary new treatment device for lower back pain. It is patented and registered with the FDA.


MIT Forum – Meet the Angels!

Villette Nolon, Cathi Hatch, Greg Huey
Last night I was one of the panelists representing ZINO Society as one of the seven local angel groups showcased at MIT Enterprise Forum Northwest also including Greg Huey of Alliance of Angels, Nathan McDonald of Keiretsu Forum, Byron McCann of NW Energy Angels, Stephen Handley of Puget Sound Venture Club, Villette Nolon of Seraph Capital Forum and Tom Kadavy of WINGSRebecca Lovell, Executive Director of NWEN, did a masterful job of moderating the panel
Though there were a few entrepreneurs from other business genres, the room was filled primarily with technology entrepreneurs since the MIT Enterprise Forum is dedicated to the advancement of technology commercialization.  The entrepreneurs had a chance to hear a bit about each of the angel groups and about their primary focus(es).  Of the many specific questions posed by the attendees, the primary answer each time was, “It depends.”, since each company is so individual.  It is impossible to follow a “rule of thumb” for establishing valuation, though some very good advice was given to avoid going over that $1 million valuation number for brand-new startups.
Rebecca Lovell at podium, Byron McCann, Steve Handley,
Nathan McDonald, Tom Kadavy, Villette Nolon,
Cathi Hatch and Greg Huey
There were questions about what percentage of a company should be the equity opportunity for angels and the response following, “It depends” was that angels are generally looking to own around 30-33% of a company with their funding.  Other important advice given to entrepreneurs was how important it is to communicate with their investors once they do receive funding; both the good and the bad things that always occur in starting up a business.  Byron encouraged the entrepreneurs to believe in themselves and not see themselves as “delusional” as they are passionately pursuing their dream and Steve advised that they be relentless in honing their story and continue to communicate it to their stockholders, their employees, potential investors, potential customers and the world at large.

My advice to entrepreneurs was to use the expert coaching that ZINO Society provides as part of our ZINOpreneur membership benefits and assume that they will need to pitch at multiple angel groups before they receive all the funding that they need to make their company successful.  It is in the best interest of the angel investors and the entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs to get that funding   I believe that collaboration and sharing of information and dealflow between the angel groups is of great value because together we can all make the entrepreneur and angel investing landscape a vibrant one for the future health of new businesses in our region while helping entrepreneurs achieve their dreams and providing the best possible investment opportunity dealflow to investors in our community.

Cathi Hatch, Byron McCann, Steve Handley

My Favorite Things from ZZIF

Today I just received the YouTube of Jon Doll’s performance of his original song and lyrics, “On The Shoulders of Angel Investors” that we kicked off the ZINO Zillionaire Investment Forum last week.  I may be biased, but I think it is fantastic and the lyrics are so appropriate for investors and entrepreneurs.  You can view it… Continue Reading

And the ZINO Zillionaire Investment Forum Winners are . . .

After a full day of watching and interacting with presenting entrepreneurs and demo table entrepreneurs at ZINO Zillionaire Investment Forum on Wednesday, we adjourned downstairs to the Bell Harbor Conference Center International Promenade for the “Spiels and Suds” segment of the ZZIF agenda featuring entrepreneur demo tables and beer from Pike Brewing Company and K &… Continue Reading

Strategies for Courting Angel Investors

On Tuesday this week, ZINO Society presented our second Get Funded! Winning Strategies for Courting Angel Investors event for entrepreneurs who are interested in seeking angel funding for start-up or expansion capital.  A fascinating group of entrepreneurs attended representing their companies from various business sectors.  The companies ranged from Software as a Service, marketing, a… Continue Reading

Banshee Bungee stretched our minds!

One of the entrepreneurs who presented at the ZINO Society Roundtable Investment meeting this week was Kevin Veon, CEO of Banshee Bungee.  Banshee Bungee has developed a braided bungee that is used for horizontal sports to launch skateboarders, snowboarders and surfers at a 30 mile per hour speed.  See photo of Kevin and me above… Continue Reading

Our Inaugural “Get Funded!” Workshop

Yesterday afternoon, ZINO Society hosted our inaugural “Get Funded!:  Winning Strategies for Courting Angel Investors” workshop in the stunning offices of our event and annual sponsor, Davis Wright Tremaine.  The four hour workshop followed by a wine and hors d’oeuvres networking reception was conducted by ZINO Society Coaching Member and principal of Business Plans Northwest,… Continue Reading