Category Archives: Roundtable Investment Meeting

Libations on Location (LOL!) at Local 360

Lucas Schenck, Brian Gawthrop, Cathi Hatch, Ed Brennan, Supida Sanders,
Michael Roupp and Kate Holmes

Last night, a group of ZINO Society members and guests got together at Marcus Charles’ Local 360 Cafe and Bar on First Avenue in Seattle for a ZINO Society Libations on Location! networking event.  It was my first visit to Local 360 and when I walked in, I realized that it is located in the old Flying Fish restaurant location.

Dr. Ben Conmy, Bernie Dochnahl,
Christine Gilbert
Cathi Hatch with Tim Narby,
:Note Bene Cellars

Karen Ducey, Mary Holmes,
Lucas Schenck
David Palmer, Carla Sanders,
Jeremy Ruby, Ricky Holm

ZINO Society plans several networking events such as this LOL! during the space of a year in addition to the eleven investment meetings and forums that occur every month except August.  These events give our investor members, our entrepreneur members (ZINOpreneurs), our sponsor/corporate members and our social members a chance to interact and connect.  It is always fun to see old friends and meet new ones at each of these events.

Ken Hatch, Randy Squires
Denny Dochnahl, Eric Blackstone

Local 360 provided delicious hors d’oeuvres including Bocorones and Soft Boiled Egg, Goat Cheese and Tapenade Crostinis, Rosti Potato with Smoked Salmon and Salmon Roe and my personal favorite, Pork Belly Rillette with Pickled Shallot.  The featured ZINO Society Wine Professional Member was Tim Narby of :Note Bene Cellars and he poured a selection of four of his wines which included his 2007 Syrah, and three Bordeaux blends; 2007 Abbinare, 2007 Miscella and 2008 Cheval du Ciel Vineyard.  Though I liked each of the wines, my two favorites were the Syrah and the Cheval du Ciel Vineyard blend which included a major component of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.

It was a great party once again!  Thank you Marcus and Tim!

Featured ZINOpreneur of the Week: Kelly Ogilvie of Blue Marble Biomaterials

Kelly Ogilvie, Blue Marble Biomaterials

Our ZINO Society featured ZINOpreneur Member this week is Kelly Ogilvie, CEO of Blue Marble Biomaterials. Kelly presented his company at the ZINO Society Investment Roundtable Meetings in May, 2011. We asked him to share the answers to a few questions about his company.

What is your one-sentence elevator pitch? . . . Blue Marble manufactures specialty chemicals from plant material that directly replace petrochemicals from oil.

How did you come up with the idea for your company? . . . We saw the need to solve the “other oil problem,” petroleum chemicals in all consumer goods. 

The word that best describes your company culture is . . . innovative.

How are you different from your competition? . . . We produce chemicals from bacteria and plants, not from petroleum. 

What is the biggest challenge you face? . . . Scaling is the biggest problem we face and being able to produce large quantities to an industry thirsty for change and sustainable solutions.
How much money have you raised to date? . . . $4MM.

If someone gave your company $3 million tomorrow, how would you use the money? . . . We would use the funds to commercialize our operation, invest in capacity, and hire key personnel to grow our business.
What is the oddest or most unusual things about your company? . . .The founders met on Craigslist.

What is one thing missing from your business? . . . A Chief Operating Officer.

Why will your company be successful? . . . We have a proven technology, and customers who want our product. We have to deliver molecules to market.

Featured Wine Professional Member: Jay DeWitt of Dumas Stations Winery

At our recent ZINO Society February Roundtable Investment Meeting, our featured winery was ZINO Society Wine Professional Member, Dumas Station Winery. Co-Owner, Jay DeWitt, was on hand to pour a selection of his current releases. I asked him a few questions about Dumas Station Winery that I would like to share with you here:

What is your position in the company? Jay DeWitt, Co-owner with Doug Harvey, winemaker and vineyard manager. I also do the dishes.

How long has your winery been in business? Our first vintage was 2003

How many total wine cases did you produce last year? 1,000 cases

What style(s) of wine do you produce? We are focused on Bordeaux, but also have made a little Syrah from time to time

What made you decide to get into the wine business? I have been involved with wine grape production for 20 years as a consultant and grower. But more importantly, I love great Cabernet Sauvignons, as does Doug. We made garage wine together prior to getting into this business.

What ratings have any of your wines received? And from which experts? Our wines have been very well received by the critics, the long list can be found on our website, http://www.dumasstation.com/. We are most pleased with the 93 point rating for our 2006 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon from The Wine Advocate; and 94 points from Wine Enthusiast for our 2006 Minnick Hills Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.

Please list your current year wine labels.
2007 Minnick Hills Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
2007 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
2007 Estate Merlot
2008 Cow Catcher Red

Where can consumers purchase your wine? Several options including from our website, Pete’s in Bellevue, Esquin, Compass, West Seattle Wine Shop, and several restaurants.

What is the biggest challenge you face? The Weather. We are vineyard oriented and our farming practices are science-based and very precise. Adjusting practices to fit each year’s weather is always the toughest part. This is also the most rewarding part of the business for me personally.

What is your favorite wine to drink other than your own? I am an explorer when it comes to wine, and my item of interest changes 3 or 4 times per year. Currently I am in pursuit of big, soft, over-oaked (by today’s standards) Chardonnays. Any recommendations?

Featured ZINOpreneur of the Week: David Sypniewski of Skora Athletics, LLC

David Sypniewski

Our ZINO Society featured ZINOpreneur Member this week is David Sypniewski, Founder and CEO of Skora Athletics, LLC. David presented his company at the ZINO Society Roundtable Investment Meetings in February, 2011. We asked him to share the answers to a few questions about his company.

  • What is your one-sentence elevator pitch? . . . Skora is striving to become the leader of lightweight performance footwear that helps promote injury-free running.
  • How did you come up with the idea for your company? . . . The seed for Skora footwear was planted when the company founder suffered a year-long injury due to running in over-cushioned shoes.
  • The word that best describes your company culture is . . . Free-thinking.
  • How are you different from your competition? . . . We don’t cling to doctrine new or old, or hold ideology over practicality.
  • What is the biggest challenge you face? . . . The lightweight running footwear segment is red hot and Skora must enter the market as a Spring 2012 product offering.
  • How much money have you raised to date? . . . $115,000
  • If someone gave your company $3 million tomorrow, how would you use the money? . . . Introduce a women’s running footwear line at launch; scale up marketing and enter key overseas markets.
  • Why will your company be successful? . . . Company founder has been barefoot running since 2002.
    We have an authentic story, a strong team and retailers waiting for product. Our footwear approaches design and performance from a rational, honest and realistic understanding of a runner’s real needs.

February 2011 Roundtable Meeting Programming

February 2011 Roundtable Meeting Luncheon, Bellevue

This past week, we produced two successful ZINO Society Roundtable Investment meetings on Tuesday evening at our sponsor host of the evening, Foster Pepper and Thursday lunch at Harbor Club Bellevue to showcase four entrepreneurs who were seeking capital, mentoring and referrals by presenting their businesses to ZINO Society  Elite Roundtable Members, Associate Roundtable Members and Sponsor Members.  The four  featured ZINOpreneurs included Mhairi Veolsgen of BroVO Spirits, Damien Wilson of MyTown Inc., David Sypniewski of Skora Athletics, LLC and Bill Kallman of Scayl.

Bob Toomey, ZINOpreneur Damien Wilson, Gary Wilson

At the Tuesday evening event, we also showcased keynote speaker, John Kueber, COO/Group Publisher for Tiger Oak Media, a provider of regional media including Seattle Business Magazine and over a dozen other major events, web sites, and media projects on the west coast, who shared with us some of the trends, predictions and pitfalls facing business today.  His predictions included Governor Gregoire being re-elected, Mayor McGinn being defeated, and the Huskies winning their upcoming season 8-4. 

Ken Hatch and ZINOpreneur Mhairi Voelsgen

And we also featured new ZINO Society Wine Professional Member, Jay Dewitt of Dumas Station Wines, a small, family-owned winery focused on creating Bordeaux-varietal red wines with grapes from their estate Walla Walla vineyard. One of the wines being poured was their 2006 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon which received 93 points from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.

Featured Wine Professional Member : Freddy Arredondo of Cave B Cellars

Freddy Arredondo At our recent ZINO Society January Roundtable Investment Meeting, our featured winery was ZINO Society Wine Professional Member, Cave B Estate Winery.  Winemaker, Freddy Arredondo, was on hand to pour a selection of his current releases.  I asked him a few questions about Cave B that I would like to share with you… Continue Reading

Bringin’ Home the Bacon!

Kristie Lanum,, Dave Lefkow, “Bacon”, Justin Esch & Cathi Last night at the ZINO Society Roundtable meeting at the fascinating new Urban Enoteca in SoDo, Chief Dealflow Officer, Kristie Lanum, and I had the fun duty of presenting the oversized check for $50,000 to the fund winners of our recent ZINO Marketplace Investment Forum, J&D’s Foods Inc.as… Continue Reading

Entrepreneur of the Week: Torrey Russell of Offers Network, Inc.

Our ZINO Society featured ZINOpreneur Member this week is Torrey Russell, Founder & CEO of Offers Network, Inc. Torrey presented his company at the recent ZINO Society Roundtable Investment meetings on October 19th and 20th. We asked him to share the answers to a few questions about his company. What is your one-sentence elevator pitch?… Continue Reading

Entrepreneur of the Week: Dwight Miles of Whirly Golf

Dwight Miles of Whirly Golf Our ZINO Society featured ZINOpreneur Member this week is Dwight Miles, President/ & General Manager of Whirly Golf Limited.   Dwight presented his company at the ZINO Society Roundtable meetings on October 19th and 20th . We asked him to share the answers to a few questions about his company. What is your one-sentence elevator… Continue Reading

A Culinary Feast Courtesy of Dr. Death and Fairy Godmother Princess

Bob Cremin aka “Dr. Death” Things have been hectic since my recent blog posting about Ken’s knee replacement surgery in Napa Valley a week and a half ago.  Since then I have travelled to Portland for a two day meeting and Board Retreat for Pacific Continental Bank and attended two ZINO Society Roundtable Investment Meetings earlier this… Continue Reading