Category Archives: ZINO Marketplace

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 selected by the ZINO Angel Fund Investors!  Not only were J&D’s Foods co-partners, ZINOpreneurs David Lefkow and Justin Esch on hand to accept the investment award, their mascot “Bacon” was there also!  ZINO Society members and guests in attendance had no problem identifying “Bacon” since he wore a ZINO Society nametag with his name prominently displayed.

Cathi, “Bacon”, Ken Hatch

“Bacon” was hotly pursued for photo ops following the business session.

You may want to refer to this additional blog posting to see more details about J&D’s Foods and the interesting story of their birth and growth.

Congratulations to Dave and Justin for bringing the “Bacon” and taking the bacon home too!

Featured ZINOpreneur of the Week: Paul Hagen of VacuPractor

Paul Hagen, VacuPractor
Our ZINO Society featured ZINOpreneur Member this week is Paul Hagen, Co-Founder of VacuPractorPaul presented his company at the ZINO Society ZINO Marketplace Investment Forum featuring consumer products and services in November, 2010, was selected as a fund finalist. We asked him to share the answers to a few questions about his company.
  • What is your one-sentence elevator pitch? . . . We are a revolutionary treatment for lower back pain.
  • How did you come up with the idea for your company? . . . Having daily back pain.
  • The word that best describes your company culture is . . . Fun!
  • How are you different from your competition? . . . Our product works!
  • What is the biggest challenge you face? . . . Sharing with people.
  • How much money have you raised to date? . . . $0.
  • If someone gave your company $3 million tomorrow, how would you use the money? . . . Marketing and Advertising.
  • Why will your company be successful? . . . Product works, affordable at $59.99, and timing of the whole health care crisis.   We save people, insurance companies, and the whole country a lot of money when we help someone before they have a $75,000 back surgery.

Featured ZINOpreneur of the Week: Carl Bryant of Mr. Thoughtful

Carl Bryant, Mr. Thoughtful

Our ZINO Society featured ZINOpreneur Member this week is Carl Bryant, Founder & CEO of Thoughtful People, LLC dba Mr. Thoughtful.com. Carl presented his company at the ZINO Society ZINO Marketplace Investment Forum featuring consumer products and services in November, 2010. We asked him to share the answers to a few questions about his company.

  • What is your one-sentence elevator pitch? . . . The One and Only Greeting Card Buying System for Men!
  • How did you come up with the idea for your company? . . . Being the target customer, perennially forgetting to buy birthday and anniversary cards and being disappointing to loved ones. 
  • The word that best describes your company culture is . . . snarky – like the brand!
  • How are you different from your competition? . . . We address a faulty gene in the male DNA which others do not.
  • What is the biggest challenge you face? . . . Raising capital in this economy when investors are enamored with mobiletweetingsocialsearchapps.
  •  How much money have you raised to date? . . . $57K.
  •  If someone gave your company $3 million tomorrow, how would you use the money? . . . After giving back $2.5M of it and being satisfied being 60% oversubscribed, I’d aggressively role out our marketing plan to drive customer acquisition.
  • What is the oddest or most unusual thing about your company? . . . Our service intervenes in a guy’s relationship with his loved ones.
  • Why will your company be successful? . . . Having identified a high GP liquid existing market with a product our customers need.

Featured ZINOpreneur of the Week: Bob Mighell of Tiliting Motor Works



Bob Mighell, Tilting Motor Works Harley



Our ZINO Society featured ZINOpreneur Member this week is CEO Bob Mighell, of Tilting Motor Works. Bob presented his company at the ZINO Society ZINO Marketplace Investment Forum featuring consumer products and services in November, 2010, was selected as a fund finalist and also received the ZINO Zenith Award for Best Presenter. We asked him to share the answers to a few questions about his company.

  • What is your one-sentence elevator pitch? . . . Tilting Motor Work builds a patented two wheeled tilting front end conversion for motorcycles that makes them safer and more stable.
  • How did you come up with the idea for your company? . . . Being a long time motorcycle rider I knew the problem with motorcycles was the limited safety and stability inherent with having only one wheel.  I knew the ideal solution was to add another wheel to the front while retaining the exhileration and performance of a two wheeled motorcycle.
  • The word that best describes your company culture is . . . Innovative!
  • How are you different from your competition? . . . We are the only large displacement motorcycle with two wheels in the front that handles like a two wheeled motorcycle.
  • What is the biggest challenge you face? . . . Making the jump from a development company to a production company.
  • How much money have you raised to date? . . . $0.
  • If someone gave your company $3 million tomorrow, how would you use the money? . . . I would go into production immediately.  Build Inventory.  Hire the best VP of Marketing and Sales with strong motorcyle industry experience I could find.  Begin marketing and showing my bike all around the country.
  • What is the oddest or most unusual thing about your company? . . . The company founder’s passion for motorcycles which led to the development of the Tilting Three Wheeler comes from 30 years of motorcycle riding experience including circumnavigating the United States, riding to Prudhoe Bay in Alaska (the northernmost point in the U.S.) and South Point in Hawaii (the southernmost point in the U.S.)
  • Why will your company be successful? . . . Tilting Motor Works has been able to successfully solve a problem that I was told did not have a solution.  we have patented the blending of motorcycle and automotive technology in a unique three wheeled vehicle that creates its own category.