Category Archives: ZINO Green

Featured ZINOpreneur of the Week: Mark Owen of Puralytics

Mark Owen of Puralytics
Our ZINO Society featured ZINOpreneur Member this week is Mark Owen, Founder and CEO of Puralytics. Mark presented his company at the ZINO Society ZINO Green Investment Forum in April, 2011. We asked him to share the answers to a few questions about his company.
  • What is your one-sentence elevator pitch? . . .  Puralytics has pioneered a new technology for water purification using LEDs and nanotechnology, which is able to destroy chemicals and microorganisms and remove heavy metals making it ideal for industrial processes and decentralized drinking water applications.
  • How did you come up with the idea for your company? . . . While travelling in Tokyo, I saw a building with a sunlight activated nanotechnology “self-cleaning” coating that prevented algae growth and pollutant build up and I thought “ how could I get the light of the sun and the surface area of a building into a can?”  Over time we identified the exact wavelengths and intensities could be applied with LEDs, the surface area of a building could be achieved with a nanotechnology coated mesh, and have found other extensions that broaden the efficacy, efficiency, and breadth of contaminants that can be treated.
  • The word that best describes your company culture is . . . focused.
  • How are you different from your competition? . . .  Existing solutions merely move contaminants around into filters and waste streams, and are not effective with organic chemicals, whereas these are our strengths, and the contaminants are completely destroyed in our process.
  • What is the biggest challenge you face? . . . Building the channel to market that supports the size of the opportunity.
  • How much money have you raised to date? . . .  $940,000 through angel investors and the management team, and $516,000 through government research grants.
  • If someone gave your company $3 million tomorrow, how would you use the money? . . .  To support our go-to-market plan, tool up our product for higher volume production, complete additional IP filings and certification tests, and add to our sales and engineering teams.
  • Why will your company be successful? . . . We have a unique technology that is hitting the market at the same time that organic contaminants (pharmaceuticals, endocrine disrupting compounds, petrochemicals, pesticides, etc.) are of growing interest, and have a team that is experienced at the process of starting a company and introducing new technologies to markets.

Planning ZINO Green Investment Forum

Mary Holmes & Kristie Lanum

ZINO Society Chief Dealflow Officer, Kristie Lanum and Chief Marketing Officer, Mary Holmes, discuss ZINO Green Investment Forum coming up on April 26, 2011.  Kristie is accepting applications from entrepreneurs and organizing screening to select which companies will present and organizing coaching assignments to make sure that each entrepreneur selected to become a ZINOpreneur will be able to give a presentation about his company in the most compelling and concise manner possible within the allotted five minutes. 

Mary is finalizing the expert panel and featured business members and sponsors to complete the program as well as handling all the details of the day’s events with the help of new Marketing and Events Coordinator, Bridget Naidu.

I have been finalizing the investors in our combined angel fund who will select a company that presents at ZINO Green to receive a $50,000 investment in their company in addition to any other investments that will be made as a result of connecting investors with entrepreneurs at ZINO Green Investment Forum.

I look forward to another fascinating program at ZINO Green and the opportunity to meet and connect with members and guests. 

ZINOpreneur of the Week: Burt Hamner

One of our ZINO Society featured ZINOpreneurs this week is Burt Hamner, Founder and CEO of Hydrovolts, Inc. and the winner of the ZINO Green 2009 Investment Fund.  Burt will be one of the 5 minute presenters at the upcoming ZINO Zillionaire Investment Forum (ZZIF) on September 15th at Bell Harbor Conference Center. We asked him to respond to a few questions about his company.

What is your one-sentence elevator pitch? . . . New portable hydropower technology to tap an overlooked global energy resource of water currents in canals.

How did you come up with the idea for your company? . . . I directed a study of tidal energy generation for Tacoma Power and concluded that freshwater canals are a better energy resource than tidal currents, and I invented a new turbine that is ideal for canals.

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

In one sentence, how are you different from your competition? . . . Our unique turbine technology and award-winning business plan enables us to grow fast in thousands of locations, creating big economies of scale and significant barriers to future competitors.

What is the biggest challenge you face? . . . Creating the right technical team within company so we can reduce use of outside experts.

How much money have you raised to date? . . . $300k already, $500k in pipeline, $100k in various services.

If someone gave your company $3 million tomorrow, how would you use the money? . . . Salaries for new VP Engrg, VP Ops, VP Sales; R&D, patents, demonstration projects, global business development, first production run, contingency fund.

What is the oddest or most unusual thing about your company? . . . We are actually going to launch a new renewable energy resource, not just a business – turbines in canals around the world will be a totally new energy resource, and the world does not know it yet.

What is one thing missing from your business? . . . A great engineer who understands designing for conditions in third-world countries as well as US canal systems.

Why will your company be successful? . . . We will execute our award-winning business plan with help from a remarkable group of business partners and supporters , so we can punch way above our weight and hit our milestones quickly and confidently. For example, in August we signed up Harvard School of Engineering, MIT, and the Raytheon corporation in development agreements. All three are potential customers as well as developers. We have product inquiries from 18 countries so far because people see our technology (www.youtube.com/hydrovolts ) and they understand immediately that here is an honest-to-god new renewable energy source they can now tap with our products. If you got a canal, we got a turbine for you.

ZINO Green Seattle, A GREEN success!

What an exhilarating day!  Yesterday we produced ZINO Green Seattle at the offices of our ZINO Society major sponsor, McKinstry. The McKinstry team jumped through hoops to make everything for the entire event absolutely perfect for the 150 people attending.  We are so appreciative of all the time, effort and resources that McKinstry used to make this event so successful.  Super stars Genevieve Guinn and Tony Stewart led the effort for McKinstry.  We are also very appreciative of the support of all of our other major sponsors including  Puget Sound Business Journal, Davis Wright Tremaine, Puget Sound Energy, and supporting sponsors Enterprise Seattle, Graham & Dunn, Perkins Coie and Stoel Rives.

Included on the business session agenda were brief 5 minute presentations by 14 entrepreneurs who shared overviews of their businesses, traction to date, market pipelines, financial projections and any important information for potential investors to consider, a “Courtside Chat” with McKinstry CEO, Dean Allen, an expert panel comprised of “green” experts who shared some of their insights with us and then questioned the best investment opportunity finalists in the Due Diligence LIVE! segment.  Facilitating the panel was George Erb, Editor of Puget Sound Business Journal and included on the panel were Ash Awad, VP-Energy, McKinstry; Bert Gregory, CEO, Mithun; Rick LeFaivre, Managing Director, OVP; Steve Reynolds, CEO, Puget Sound Energy; and Haeryung Shin, Clean Tech Chair, Davis Wright Tremaine.  At the conclusion of the business session, awards were presented, wine was uncorked and guests were invited to tour the new McKinstry Innovation Center under construction across the street.

The best investment opportunity finalists who will be going forward into due diligence as potential fund winners are Nano Ice, Eco Carpet Inc., Hydrovolts, Virticus and Canvas Solutions.

The ZINO Green Seattle ZINO Zenith Award Winners (aka people’s choice awards) were Burt Hamner of Hydrovolts for Best Presenter and Nano Ice for Best Investment Opportunity!

The full list of presenting companies who presented at both ZINO Green Portland on February 24, 2010 and at  ZINO Green Seattle on March 4, 2010 includes:

AmeriStar Solar Tracker

Nano Ice

ZINO Green Portland a Success!

The ZINO Society team is figuratively walking on air since the successful inaugural ZINO Green Portland event on Wednesday this week!  The entire staff handled hundreds of details with good humor and expertise in order to produce such a stellar event.  We were so pleased to work with our major and venue sponsor, Schwabe, Williamson… Continue Reading

We’re off to Portland tomorrow for ZINO Green

The 4th annual ZINO Green Seattle Investment Forum and inaugural ZINO Green Portland Investment Forum are right around the corner.  Tomorrow we leave for Portland to prepare for our very first investment forum outside of Seattle.  ZINO Green Portland will occur on February 24th in the afternoon at the offices of Schwabe, Williamson and Wyatt… Continue Reading

Save the Planet! ZINO Green is coming! Companies selected.

Last Thursday at Davis Wright Tremaine for the second ZINO Green screening session, the ZINO Society Screening and Coaching Board reviewed another group of 8 companies vying for a space at our upcoming ZINO Green Investment Forum scheduled this year for the first time to be held in both Portland and Seattle.  ZINO Society COO… Continue Reading

So far, Kermit the Frog is Wrong!

As I mentioned in my recent blog postings, we are very pleased to present our inaugural ZINO Green Portland on February 24, 2010 in Portland.  Since my last blog posting, ZINO Society VP of Business Development, Mary Holmes, and I travelled to Portland and met with the ZINO Green Portland Advisory Committee to ask for… Continue Reading