Category Archives: ZINO Life

What a (ZINO) Life!

Panelists Dr. Marnix Bosch, Brad Harlow, Karen Hedine, May McCarthy
Panelists Dr. Marnix Bosch, Brad Harlow, Karen Hedine, May McCarthy

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.

Panelists & Judges Karen Hedine, Stewart Parker, Roger Sahm
Panelists & Judges Karen Hedine, Stewart Parker, Roger Sahm

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 SightLifeMarnix 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.

Judges Caitlin Cameron, Tom Clement, Brian Glaister
Judges Caitlin Cameron, Tom Clement, Brian Glaister

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.

Judges Ky Calder, Hans Lundin, Caitlin Cameron, Tom Clement, Brian Glaister, Michael Heijer, Rhonda Rhynes
Judges Ky Calder, Hans Lundin, Caitlin Cameron, Tom Clement, Brian Glaister, Michael Heijer, Rhonda Rhynes

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.

Judges Brian Glaister, Michael Heijer, Rhonda Rhyne
Judges Brian Glaister, Michael Heijer, Rhonda Rhyne

What a (ZINO) Life!

Featured Wine Professional Member: Mike Conway of Latah Creek Wine Cellars

The Conway Family:  Ellena, Natalie and Mike

At our ZINO Life Investment Forum last week at the beautiful Pan Pacific Hotel, during the Awards Reception, we featured ZINO Society Wine Professional Member, Latah Creek Wine Cellars pouring a selection of their current releases. I particularly liked the Monarch Red Blend.  I asked Mike Conway, the Winemaker/Owner to answer a few questions about Latah Creek Wine Cellars that I would like to share with you here:

  • How long has your winery been in business?  First production was in 1982 – opened our tasting room in 1983
  • How many total wine cases did you produce last year? 16,000 cases
  • What style(s) of wine do you produce?  70% off our production is light and fruity whites: Riesling, Muscat and Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. The balance is reds primarily Sangiovese and Merlot with a new Monarch Red blend and a few, small lot Monarch Series Reserve Reds.
  • What made you decide to get into the wine business?  My first experience in wine dates back to 1972. After departing the Air Force, I restarted my college studies in central California, this time majoring in Microbiology. At the same time I was able to get a night shift job at the Gallo Winery in their Microbiology lab. My job there was to monitor the bottling lines and finished products for sterility. At this time in the wine industry there was a change going on; pasteurization and preservatives were being replaced by the brand new technology of sterile microfiltration. Three years later, with degree in hand, I accepted a position at the neighboring Franzia Bros. Winery and eventually became their head Microbiologist. The experience gained over the past five years gave me the confidence and opportunity to move northward to the Parducci Winery in Mendocino County where I oversaw the installation and use of their first sterile filtration system. It was during my three years at Parducci that I actually got involved in winemaking and where I realized a future in wine was possible. In 1980 my wife and I decided to make a bold move; go even further north to an almost unknown wine region – Washington State. At that time this fledgling wine industry had only 18 wineries. The rest is history.
  • Share a funny, real life experience you have faced in the wine business.  I have this happen all the time, the last time just a few nights ago. We were at a nice restaurant in town and ordered an unknown-to-us bottle of wine from their “specials” list. The waitress brought the wine, unscrewed the top, and served me an “approval” sample. It was quite nice but I made the mistake of making a “screw top” comment. She went on for about five minutes elaborating on the benefits of screw tops: the wines age better, they are easier to open, etc., etc., etc. Not wanting to embarrass her, nothing was said about our being in the wine business. Unfortunately there was a friend of ours at the same restaurant who told her who we were. She came back to us with her shoulders shrugged, apologizing profusely for her misinformation. We have decided we should now have a “winemaker dining here” disclaimer when we first sit down at a restaurant.
  • What ratings have any of your wines received? And from which experts?  Latah Creek’s wines have received numerous awards and accolades over the years, the most prestigious being three different Latah Creek wines selected in The Wine Spectator Magazine’s TOP 100 Wines of the Year in a three year period. We have also been given recognition as producing one of the Best Rieslings in the state year after year.

The Buzz from the ZINO Life Sciences Forum

Sarah Nowakowski

(The following blog post was reposted from an Xconomy Seattle blog post yesterday morning written by Sarah Nowakowski, who is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Washington and works for ZINO Society part-time as an intern.)

There was a great buzz yesterday at ZINO Life: Life Sciences Investment Forum where 14 biotech and life sciences companies pitched to a room full of eager investors. Many exciting technologies were on display, including Empowering Engineering Technologies‘ ExoWalk—the 2010 ZINO Life fund recipient—as well as Cerevast Therapeutics’ ClotBust-ER. All presenters delivered energetic and compelling presentations that demonstrated the persistent enthusiasm and innovation that continues to propel the vibrant life sciences sector of Seattle.

Chris Rivera of the Washington Biotechnology and Biomedical Association reminded the attendees that the No. 1 challenge facing entrepreneurs today is access to capital. The event was a great example of how angel investment groups, such as ZINO Society, are diligently working to bring entrepreneurs and investors together. Following dealflow presentations this afternoon, Cathi Hatch, the CEO of the ZINO Society, announced four finalists were selected by investors:

1. David Hatton of Aseptica—Aseptica’s technology prevents catheter related infections.

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

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

4. Paul Hagen of VacuPractor—VacuPractor is a revolutionary device for lower back pain.

Following due diligence, one of these companies will be awarded a $25,000 investment from the combined ZINO 2011 Annual Angel Fund.

Paul Hagen (VacuPractor) was selected by the audience for Best Presentation and he and Steve Baird (S-Ray) tied for Best Investment Opportunity.

Optimism filled the conference room at the Pan Pacific Hotel as Rivera reflected on the trends in the Seattle life sciences industry, one of the top five job sectors that have demonstrated continued growth, even in the face of the recent economic climate. Alan Smith of Fenwick & West delved further into the current financial climate for biotech in Seattle by probing the panel of prominent faces in Seattle’s life sciences sector. The group included Rivera; John Bowers, senior vice president of SonoSite; Tom Clement, the chairman & founder of Pathway Medical Technologies; and David Schubert, president and chief business officer, Accelerator Corporation.

The dynamic discussion reflected on the difficulty to get funded and the need to ‘de-risk’ investment opportunities by demonstrating more than proof of concept to investors, in addition to the importance of maintaining realistic expectations for the timeline for return on investment following investment in life sciences companies. This pragmatic advice was, however, secondary to the panels’ confidence in the community. They reiterated that Seattle is a hotbed for innovation, cool technologies, and fantastic ideas. In reference to comparing Seattle’s innovative life sciences sector to the nation and worldwide communities, Schubert emphatically stated that, “Seattle is at the top of ANY pyramid you want to put it on.”

Sarah Nowakowski is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Washington.

A Toast to Robin!

Kristie Lanum, Sarah Nowakowski, Cathi Hatch,
Robin Moore, Mary Holmes

As the ZINO Team all scurries around handling the last minute details for ZINO Life Investment Forum tomorrow afternoon, we took a few moments to toast our outgoing Marketing and Events Director, Robin Moore and thank her for her positive attitude, team spirit and just down-to-earth, get-it-done mentality.  Robin has worked with ZINO Society for the past year and a half and will be sorely missed as she takes a great new marketing position with Jones Lang LaSalle.  Good luck, Robin!  We look forward to a celebration lunch with you AFTER ZINO Life!

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.


ZINO Life Seattle a Success!

Yesterday at the beautiful Pan Pacific Hotel, ZINO Society was the proud presenter of ZINO Life:  Life Sciences Investment Forum along with our partner, WBBA.  We were very pleased to have around 120 members and guests in attendance to hear 15 entrepreneurs present their companies’ needs divided into three dealflow flights:  Seed Stage, Launch Stage… Continue Reading

The Screening and Coaching Process for Entrepreneurs

This past week, we welcomed our new intern, Kayla Villnow to ZINO Society.  Kayla is a second year MBA candidate at the Michael G. Foster School of Business at the University of Washington, with a concentration on corporate strategy.  She is already making herself invaluable as she works directly with ZINO Society COO, Rob Brown,… Continue Reading