It’s easy to get so caught up in the grind that you forget to stop and thank the people around you. In the spirit of Gratitude (our newest company core value), we chose to share the following story.

thinkspace participates in a weekly TINYpulse exercise. TINYpulse provides insights into company culture, prompting anonymous responses to insightful survey questions. Last week, Tiny Pulse asked our staff, “What do you like most about working here?” The response was overwhelmingly about our amazing members! Thank you to our members for making such a huge impact on the thinkspace team! Need proof? Read our team’s responses to the question below & give in to the warm and fuzzies!



“Our members. We have some of the most amazing members.”

“The people! All the smartypants I get to work with everyday.”

“I enjoy seeing direct correlations between company success and my hard work. Its motivating to see clearly how my work moves the dial for the company.”

“I really enjoy interacting and assisting the members. We have such a great group of people in the community, I look forward to participating and helping to plan all-member activities and events. They make it fun to come into work.”

” I like the opportunities I get. Whether that be opportunities to better myself as an individual and grow as a leader or better myself professionally and as a team member. I get to meet so many amazing people everyday that constantly keep me on my toes, learning and asking questions. The insightful and incredible stories I get to hear will be experiences I never forget. I am inspired working here. Even if I get stressed out about many things I know I am supported and can take the time to refresh myself.”

The thing that I like most about working here is that I get to pour everything into this company. It’s the culmination of everything I know and everything I am. The experience that I can create for employees and customers can make a big impact in their lives. I would be very hard pressed to find something else out there that could provide that.

“Our members! How lucky are we to work with such creative, brilliant and humble people each and every day!?”


Deep DomainDeep Domain, Inc. began in 2007, a small startup in Redmond, WA but the fifth business of  Howard Mahran. Deep Domain is a software company with a focus in healthcare. They’ve set out to help hospitals and clinics easily get information out of their electronic medical records systems.

With Deep Domain it’s possible to create an application that will run on top of multiple platforms without customization. They make getting information easier and simplify the process. There is now a way to reduce the time and cost to develop and run applications.

Deep Domain applies logic or “domain expertise” to hospital records and then provides the data to reporting software. If doctors want to pull all the information on their diabetic patients, they’d use Deep Domain to pull the data more easily. There’s no extra coding or IT work for hospitals and wait time for sensitive information is dramatically reduced.

In Deep Domain’s software they provide portable domain knowledge that anyone can plug into a system. It’s independent and agnostic to the systems that are running. This means someone at one hospital that’s using a certain system can use exactly the same domain logic over at another hospital. The programmers don’t have to program that code. Ladies and gentlemen, domain expertise is now bundled.

This frees a hospital’s IT team to focus on the look and feel of the information, creating a better user experience. “All of sudden the effort to get information goes way down. About 80% of the workload goes down,” says Mahran. Translation? Doctor’s get the information they need sooner rather than later. Sounds like a win-win for everyone.

“Data is a mess at hospitals—they can’t get to it easily. So we wanted to make it cheaper and faster” says Mahran.

Sound like Deep Domain has done just that.

Mobile Ultrasound Device

MobiSante CEO and Co-founder, Sailesh Chutani picked up a smartphone and told me it was an ultrasound machine and I could use it. I was beyond excited. Ultrasound technology has moved into our pockets and MobiSante made it happen. Amazing? Yes. But practical? You bet.MobiSante has honed in on how mobile devices can impact healthcare. They’ve combined ultrasound technology with a regular smartphone to create a portable ultrasound machine. It’s not just a fun application to download. No, it’s the actual machine. It’s a simplified ultrasound imaging system complete with a probe that can be plugged into the phone’s USB port.

MobiSante’s new imaging system runs between $7,000 and $8,000, making it an affordable option for rural clinics, emergency rooms, military medics, and emerging markets. The average cost of a hospital’s bulky ultrasound imaging system can run up to $100,000 and take extensive training to operate.

Chutani showed me how to operate MobiSante’s system in less than 5 minutes. Once we captured the images, he explained how the data could be emailed out while keeping patient information confidential. This would allow the information to be sent to a doctor for diagnosis without requiring their physical presence. Ladies and Gentlemen, mobile healthcare has arrived.

MobiSante built the world’s first smartphone-based ultrasound imaging system, MobiUS™ SP1 and it’s FDA approved. Not bad for a Redmond startup located here at thinkspace.

Mobile Ultrasound Device

We had a chance to play around with the mobile ultrasound device- it is seriously accurate and easy to use.

When asked what advice he’d give to others thinking about starting their own startup, Chutani chuckles as he says, “You must be convinced that there’s nothing else you want to do.” Chutani worked tirelessly getting the MobiUS™ SP1 ready, running tests, submitting reports, and waiting for FDA approval. “Enjoy the process,” he says. “It helps if you’re trying to solve a problem that will impact people. Here we know the impact of [MobiUS™]. Every time we do a trial we see the potential.”

It’s this potential, this desire to see people’s lives impacted, that keeps MobiSante alive and well. Doctors, nurses, people in the tech community, and many others have gotten behind MobiSante’s ultrasound imaging system because it works. It has the potential to make a life and death difference. Amazing? Yes. Practical? You bet.

Carolann Joy Salon

Carolann Joy Salon is a boutique hair salon in Redmond, WA and the small business of a true artist. Named after its owner Carolann Joy Schmidt, Carolann Joy Salon is almost impossible to get into—almost. Why the high demand? Joy says she owes her success, in part, to her clients.

“[Carolann Joy Salon] clients are people I truly care about. I never have to fake a smile.” Schmidt is passionate about making people feel beautiful. Her genuine warmth and artful eye go far in making people feel at ease. Plus, Schmidt’s 10 plus years in the industry doesn’t hurt either.

Carol Ann Joy Salon also has a referral program to incentivize word of mouth referrals. They ask that if someone gives a compliment on your haircut that you pass along the salon’s card. If you send a friend over to Carolann Joy Salon, you receive $25 toward your next appointment. A lot of the salon clients have taken advantage of the program and the influx of new clients has meant two new stylists and another successful Redmond startup.

Like any small business, Carolann Joy Salon faced challenges in the beginning. The week they started construction on the salon’s space, Schmidt’s husband lost his job. Like any entrepreneur, Schmidt continued moving forward.

She turned the layoff into a stepping stone and Schmidt’s husband became her business partner, building out her studio and designing her amazing website (check out his web design company Lava Lounge Creative). Everything went into the business, including their life’s savings. It may have been a leap of faith, but Schmidt was not afraid to fail.

To any entrepreneur, Schmidt says failure is part of the game. Be okay with failing and know that it can help with growth. Learn from failure and move forward. And move forward is exactly what she did.

Carolann Joy Salon now boasts three stylists and a virtual receptionist. Thinkspace handles the phones and booking for the salon and Schmidt says the extra help has been a lifesaver. “Before, I was answering the phones. I just had all the calls go to my cell phone. It was a nightmare. My cell would ring, I’d run to the back of the house, shut the door and answer the phone, ‘Carolann Joy Salon, how may I help you?’ You’d hear my husband in the background telling the kids, ‘Shhh! Mommy’s on the phone. She’s talking to a client.’” She laughs while recounting the story.

By partnering with thinkspace, the salon doesn’t have to pay someone to be a receptionist and sit at the studio all day, and clients get the service they deserve. Schmidt says it’s been amazing—a true godsend. “I feel like they’re always looking out for our business,” Schmidt says. “ A lot of people get here and ask, ‘Where’s your receptionist?’ We joke that we keep her in the closet.”

Graces 5Graces 5 is a restaurant startup with the mission of revolutionizing healthy eating. Boasting a juice bar and soy-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free kitchen, Graces 5 still has something for everyone. Find it hard to believe? It’s true. We checked their menu

This restaurant startup has definitely been a learning experience for owner Tim Sharpe whose main lesson as a first time entrepreneur has been to hire a good team and delegate. An average of one in four restaurants close or change owners within their first year, so Sharpe’s team will be essential in his success. “Hire a team you can trust,” he says. “Start small and surround yourself with key people.” Sharpe decided early on to pick people with the skill sets that he lacked to help him get the job done.

Graces 5 has been two years in the making for Sharpe, a two time cancer survivors and father to a 5-year-old daughter who just beat leukemia. To say he’s passionate about healthy eating might be an understatement.

While this will be Sharpe’s first restaurant, he’s all too familiar with nutritious eating, citing it as an integral part to his recovery from cancer—the second time. The first time Sharpe was diagnosed, he underwent chemo but continued eating processed low quality foods.

The second time around, decided to Sharpe look at how his lifestyle and eating habits were affecting his overall health and decided to do things differently. He looked at alternative therapies, worked with a naturopathic doctor and watched the quality of foods he ate. He began to live a life that supported his health.

Sharpe is committed to making Graces 5 a gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free restaurant where anyone can come eat good food, made with quality ingredients and not have to worry about food allergies, dietary restrictions or harmful chemicals. Graces 5 is about local organic ingredients, so much so they have their own urban garden complete with fruit trees and a variety of herbs.

Graces 5 will be a place where plant to plate could quite literally be a few feet. And for what they can’t harvest on site, Graces5 is working with local farmers to keep ingredients fresh and healthy.

You can learn more about Graces 5 and taste some of their delicious food at our Wine Wednesday event on September 14th from 5:30-7:00pm. Wine Wednesday is a monthly reoccurring event that features a thinkspace entrepreneur and local winery. Wine Wednesday is a free event open to the whole community! We would love to have you there. RSVP.

vala eastsideVALA Eastside, which stands for Venue for Artists in the Local Area, is the nonprofit startup of artist and thinkspace member, Jessica Lambert. Lambert believes everyone can create, or as they say around ThinkSpace, “Everyone was given a box of crayons in kindergarten.” VALA works to bring artists together with the public so that local art can be enjoyed by everyone. Lambert is on a mission to expand the art scene in Redmond, WA and VALA Eastside is how she plans to do this.

Small Business & Nonprofit: Where do I start?
A nonprofit startup can be an exciting venture, but it can be hard to know where to start. Lambert suggests that one should “have a good understanding of what it is you are trying to do. Have specific goals, a mission, a vision. It will all be vital to how you develop your organization. But, there should also be room for your business to grow organically.” In Lambert’s case, she listens to the community and the artists to see what the needs are.  To her, listening is key.

Startup Hurdles
Like any small business, a nonprofit startup has it’s challenges. The biggest hurdle for VALA Eastside has been laying the foundation and making people aware of the project. However, Lambert is determined. She is working with the City of Redmond and the Redmond Chamber of Commerce to figure out the needs of the community and what works best for everyone.

VALA’s website and Facebook page are also up and running, and Lambert hopes to gain more exposure through the relationships she continues to form. Her parnership with ThinkSpace also provides her with access to other small business owners and like minded people.

Art on the Eastide
VALA is looking to showcase artwork and energize the art scene of the community. VALA Eastside is looking for ways to support artists and understand what their needs are. Lambert partners with people. She builds relationships with patrons of the arts and is an advocate for artists. She is confident that her city has the talent and will to have a fun and vibrant art scene.

If you’re interested in learning more about VALA Eastside and getting a peek at some of the artists they represent, Join us on Wednesday September 14th for Wine Wednesday. VALA Eastside is one of our featured September thinkspace members. They will be displaying the work of four local artists at the event! Wine Wednesday is a free networking event for local business professionals. Please RSVP to Join us!

GlobalMojoGlobalMojo is the new tech startup that scored $1.15 million in angel investments and venture capital, including substantial backing from Founder’s Co-op. GlobalMojo CEO Daniel Todd is committed to making a difference and uses technology to do it. The Redmond based small business and thinkspace member company develops apps for web browsers that let people direct money to charities and causes of their choosing.With almost $30 billion spent online every month in the U.S. GlobalMojo helps people browse with purpose, allowing them to use online purchases to direct money to deserving causes.GlobalMojo is literally changing the world through web browsers. Buying something online for your mother-in-law’s birthday is now the socially conscience thing to do.If GlobalMojo were a cartoon character, they’d be a cross between Superman and The Pink Panther—saving the world, in a very slick way.

GlobalMojo CEO, Daniel Todd has some advice for entrepreneurs looking to start their own slick startup: have advisers, hire great talent, and get feedback. Todd has a team of advisers who he can “beat up ideas with” and who aren’t afraid to hurt his feelings. This honest feedback allows him to make quick adjustments and produce results.

Feedback from consumers is also priority and people can stay in touch with GlobalMojo via Twitter, Facebook and The Mojo Blog. Asking users what’s meaningful to them inspires ideas and helps create a browser product worth using. But Todd doesn’t just listen to users, he’s also in touch with his talented employees. Employee culture matters around GlobalMojo, and “hiring the right people is one of the most fundamental pieces of long term success,” Todd says.

And just to test how hip Daniel Todd really is, we used the universal measuring stick: Mac or PC? “I’m stuck as a PC, but I’m seeing the light. It’s only a matter a time, and then I’ll make the jump. So, I guess I’m a PC, soon to be Mac?” Can’t argue with that.

ZaaLabsZaaLabs is a software consulting agency, specializing in building mobile apps across a variety platforms. “We can basically write stuff that runs anywhere: Blackberry, iPhone, iPad, Nook, Nook color.” They’re not just about Apple, they’re about everyone.Nate Beck started ZaaLabs in February 2010 and in February 2011 had a promising new product: Eden. Eden is a platform for rapid tool development for Adobe Flash and one of the many projects coming out of Seattle based ZaaLabs. While still in its beta stage, Eden is available to the public for free download.

The need for a product like Eden is evident. With so many commercial options available, most developers end up using products that don’t meet their specific needs or they spend time writing their own code. With Eden there’s a standard, a way to write modular, reusable tools. “Our goal [with Eden] is to give you 80% of your tooling needs right out of the box. That way you only need to write the 20% specific to your game.”

Designer Turned Programmer & A Passion For Print
Beck is a programmer, a gamer, and has a soft spot for good film. “I wanted to make movies but I also liked computers; so, I was kind of torn.” In college, Beck studied everything from fine art and multimedia design to computer science and web design. Eventually he found his calling in programming. In fact, a former Boeing employee, Beck went in as a designer and came out a programmer.

But if you think Beck is all about computers you might be wrong. He also has a thing for books. “I love books—LOVE books. But they tend to be technical books, like, How to Work C#. I did just reread the 4-Hour Workweek. ” Okay, so maybe he is all about programming.

ZaaLabs – What’s in a Name?
ZaaLabs is a place where employees are passionate about technology and experiment with new concepts. “We do a lot of experimental stuff,” says Beck, “so I like the concept of labs.” Beck wanted a short name that still had meaning, and after living through enough rainy winters in Seattle, he felt he had a claim to something that represented the home of the company’s headquarters. He found “zaa,” pronounced zah, the Japanese onomatopoetic word for rain.

Check out the YouTube video of Nate Beck presenting at Ignite Seattle on how to stalk celebrities using photo gps tracking:

Online Data Backup Software

The universe really likes Newline Software. Why else would it pick such a crazy way to inspire its co-founder, Kory Gill, to create the online data storage start-up? Instead of just clicking a lightbulb on over Gill’s head, the universe went for more dramatic inspiration: lightning struck Gill’s house.”Three computers were fried, and I realized that no digital photos were backed up,” Gill says. He lost priceless photos and memories of his family. The lightning got Gill thinking. Lightning doesn’t strike twice, but what about some other natural disaster? What if his computer broke? Backing up data in Gill’s house wasn’t safe. He had to save his files online.

But when Gill tried to find a site to store his data, he found that none offered what he needed: security.

Gill realized that no site truly protected data. Either data was not encrypted enough, or when it was retrieved, the data came back corrupted. He decided to make his own data storage site, one that really met customers’ needs.

Gill and his colleague, Marius Nita, left Microsoft to found Newline Software, soon joined by Peter Denniston. Newline Software became a member of thinkspace, and leased an office in our Redmond building. Then the start-up started work on their biggest challenge: creating a safe storage site. “If you encrypt everything, how do you get it back?” Gill asks.

But in June 2010, inspiration struck again, this time with the solution to Newline’s riddle. Now, the data storage site, or Exact, is “the only product in the world that can search encrypted material.” When you type in a file name, Exact finds it without ever knowing what it’s looking for. There is no way for Exact to use, or misuse, your data.

Exact is the only “product that gives users 100% privacy,” says Denniston. Whether lightning strikes, a laptop breaks, or a tabloid hacks your computer, everyone needs to ask, “Is my data safe?” Exact is the answer.

Learn more about secure online data backup at

Hivemyne Seattle Startup

Maybe it’s fate that David Wachter, who is the founder of Seattle startup Hivemyne, wanted to be a meteorologist when he was a kid. “I was obsessed with weather,” admits Wachter. “I scoured the library for books about how weather worked.” These days, he forecasts a different kind of weather: the mood of the Internet.

Hivemyne makes sense of social media chatter. How do people feel about current events? What do people think of topics or products? Lots of companies collect data, but few look at the bigger picture. Wachter says, “I hope that collaboration and discussion will arise, but that’s not always the case. We strive to bring all the pieces together… [We] take data and bring it to life by putting a context around it.”

You can look at raw info all you want, but without the human touch, it’s just a bunch of numbers. The connection between companies, products, and customers is lost. Hivemyne bridges that gap and “get answers out to people.” Boeing and Microsoft are just a few of the companies who use Hivemyne.

Wachter knows firsthand how overwhelming the Internet can be. Between balancing social media, a start-up, and a family, “I’m not sure sanity is even an option,” he says. He’s helped by Hivemyne’s membership in thinkspace, a community of entrepreneurs that helps start-ups “learn to ride the wave instead of fight it.”

Those words describe perfectly what Hivemyne does. They make clarity out of chaos. Their name explains it all. A “hive” is a storehouse of honey, delicious information “mined” for meaning. So why is “mine” spelled with a “y” instead of an “i”? Simple. The info is “yours.” Hivemyne is part of Web 3.0, where every Tweet can change the world. Even an “LOL” matters.