Category Archives: ZINO Entertainment

Let Us Entertain You . . .

Keynote Tom Skerritt with Cathi Hatch
Yesterday was ZINO Society’s inaugural ZINO Entertainment Investment Forum where we focused expert panels and featured entrepreneurs in the three business sectors of Gaming, Mobile and Film. Though we have seen some dealflow in each of these three sectors over the past six years, we had never before focused one of our larger targeted investment forums on businesses that come only from these genres.
The event was held at the Seattle Harbor Club, where there was plenty of room to spread out for the over 150 guests who were there to meet the entrepreneurs and panelists.  We heard many positive comments from both our regular ZINO Society members and featured ZINOpreneur members as well as friends and guests.  The agenda included three separate dealflow flights interspersed with expert panels from each of the three business sectors.
Our first expert panel focused on Gaming was moderated by Kristina Hudson, Founder of the Washington Interactive Network and included Jeff Pobst, CEO of Hidden Path Entertainment, Joseph Tung, Executive Producer of Bungie and Chris Erhardt, President of Academy of Interactive Entertainment followed by mobile and gaming dealflow presentations from Mobile On Services, Choopy Games, Arc Computer Co., and BeDynamic facilitated by ZINO Society Elite Roundtable Member, Charles Finkelstein.

Mobile Expert Panel: James Sun, Colleen Brown,
Bala Subramanian, Kraig Marini Baker, Rob Strickland

The Mobile Expert Panel came next which included Colleen Brown, President & CEO of Fisher Communications, Rob Strickland of Strickland Consulting, Bala Subramanian, VP of Enterprise Architecture for T-Mobile, and James Sun, CEO of Pirq  all facilitated by ZINO Society major event sponsor, Kraig Marini Baker of Davis Wright TremaineBrad Harlow, ZINO Society Elite Roundtable Member, facilitated the second flight of gaming and mobile dealflow presentations which included Novel, Splat Interactive, CrowdCompass, Swagger.com, and Open Mobile Solutions.
ZINO Society CMO Mary Holmes, facilitated the “Back-of’the-Napkin Pitch” dealflow flight which included two-minute pitches with only one powerpoint slide for each of the four presenters.  The Mobile Expert Panel was then asked to choose just one company of the four that they would “invest” in knowing only the small amount of information that they had gleaned from the brief pitches.  It was interesting to note that three out of the four companies making the brief presentations were selected by one or more of the panelists as what they deemed to be the “best investment opportunity”.

Film Expert Panel:  Scilla Andreen,
Steve Edmiston, Matt Hooper,
Amy Lillard, Carl Spence

Following a cookie and coffee brief networking break, ZINO Society Chief Dealflow Officer (and avowed film buff), Kristie Lanum, moderated the Film Expert Panel which included Scilla Andreen, CEO & Co-Founder of IndieFlix, Steve Edmiston, an independent filmmaker and attorney with Invicta Law Group, Matt Hooper, an attorney with Foster Pepper who focuses on film production, Amy Lillard, Executive Director of Washington Filmworks and Carl Spence, Artistic Director of Seattle International Film Festival.

The final dealflow flight facilitated by major sponsor, Kraig Marini Baker of Davis Wright Tremaine, featured film projects from Low Fidelity Films LLC, Sit Forward Entertainment, Footprint Features, Truth Cabin Productions, and Tender Brisket, LLC.

Eliza Flug-Coburn & Cathi Hatch

We completed the business session with ZINO Entertainment Investment Forum major event sponsor and Elite Roundtable Member, Eliza Flug-Coburn, Founder of Gaia Indie Films, introducing our keynote speaker, Emmy Award winning Actor/Director, Tom Skerritt.  The audience hung on his every word as he shared his perspective on what really makes a successful film project.  He thinks it is all really about the “story” more so than the actors, special effects, etc.

Following his remarks, Tom remained at the podium with me to present the ZINO Zenith awards (as selected by all the attendees) to Sue Cocoran of Tender Brisket for Best Investment Opportunity and to Matthew Donegan-Ryan of CrowdCompass for Best Presentation.

Best Presenter: Matthew Donegan-Ryan
Best Investment Opportunity: Sue Corcoran

From there, we all proceeded to the entrepreneur displays and exhibition space for the networking and wine reception featuring Italian sausages courtesy of Frank Isernio of Isernio’s Sausage, wine poured by ZINO Society Wine Professional Members, Jess Zander of Fidelitas, Brad Sherman of Michael Florentino Cellars, Jon Staenberg of Hand of God Wines, and Beer Professional Members, Charles and Rose Ann Finkel of Pike Brewing Company.