My Life

Top Ten Experiences of 2016

2016 brought many life-changing moments, making it one of the best years of my life. So check your bandwidth because this post is going to take some time to load. Without further ado, here are the top 10 highlights:

10. Traditions Continued and New Ones Forged

Broatmeal

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Weekly Broatmeal (bros eating oatmeal) continued albeit with poor attendance from me due to travel. Broatmeal did have a huge impact on me in 2016 as it introduced me to the world of coffee. Let’s just say I’m hooked and there’s no turning back. Also, shoutout to SIMPLS for opening a second store!

Hunting

Made the annual pilgrimage to Wadena for hunting. I personally came up empty, but our stand did very well with a nice eight pointer shot by Derek.

Torchlight 5K 

The 2016 Torchlight 5K saw excruciating race conditions of 93 degrees/high humidity and a dramatic ending where Andrew Ives and I finished with the same time, which sets the stage for a 2017 showdown. No pictures will be provided due to description of conditions above.

Unfortunately, because the 2016 summer was overflowing with activities, we didn’t renew the buoy on Lake Harriet.

New Traditions:

Fly fishing

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I developed my fly fishing skills with Nick Kurtz this summer. Let’s just say I caught more trees and rocks than fish so hopefully more progress in 2017.

Skeet shooting

My first time skeet shooting came more naturally than fly fishing evidenced by earning the highest marks out of a foursome of buddies.

TC 10K

In October, I ran the TC 10K and achieved my goal of finishing under an hour. Planning to turn up the dial in 2017 and run the TC 10 miler.

9. Weddings

Karla and I went to five weddings in 2016 where we whip nae nae’d and poured some sugar all over the dance floor. Highlights included being part of the Passer’s #WeddingMania (pic below).

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8. Zipnosis 2016 Best Places to Work and Sponsor of American Telemedicine Association (ATA) Conference

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Zipnosis had a coming out party (we literally sponsored a party) in May at the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) conference in Minneapolis. Zipnosis was also named as a 2016 Best Places to Work by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.

7. Ben’s Bachelor Party

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Action packed bachelor party in Kansas City. TopGolf was definitely the highlight.

6. Mexico

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Karla and I spent a week in Cancun, Mexico with a fantastic group of friends. We also met THE Canadian Drinking team on our catamaran excursion, who were almost decimated by a sketchy “parasailing” experience.

5. The Ryder Cup

Cheered on Team USA at Hazeltine on Wednesday for a practice round with my dad and the Friday matches with friend Riley.

USA! USA! USA!

4. My Bachelor Party

The Canadian Drinking Team (Mexico trip served as the muse for the bachelor party theme) descended on Madison, WI in April. We had perfect weather for golf, a single family home in a quiet residential neighborhood to ourselves (most of the time) and belted the Canadian national anthem at all the local establishments. One of the discoveries of the trip was Riley has no clue how to hold a puppy:

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3. Honeymoon: Italy

Karla and I spent two weeks in Europe (Italy and Croatia) for our honeymoon.

Rome

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Florence

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Cinque Terre

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2. Honeymoon: Croatia

Croatia was by far our favorite part of the trip.

Split

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Hvar

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Plitvice Lakes

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Dubrovnik

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1. Wedding Weekend

And the most exciting moment of 2016 [drum roll] was Karla and I got married! We tied the knot in Two Harbors, MN on Lake Superior over Memorial Day weekend. Here were the highlights:

Golf

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Went golfing with my dad and groomsman (Riley and Nick) on the wedding day. We were blessed with my favorite weather: dense fog. It was awesome and a great way to start the day.

Wedding

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Karla looked beautiful and I cleaned up pretty well.

Hiking Carlton Peak

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Our first achievement as Mr. and Mrs. Schneider was summiting Carlton Peak (1,526′ elevation), which had incredible views of Lake Superior.

Bonus:

Dubrovnik is the filming location for King’s Landing scenes in the popular HBO series Game of Thrones. Since I’m a big fan, we had to check out all the famous spots.

Click here for the full list of filming locations.

King’s Landing

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There is a reason Dubrovnik is called “The Pearl of the Adriatic.”

Walls

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Dubrovik is known for the stone walls that surround the city, which are frequently used throughout the Game of Thrones series.

Red Keep

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Finding out Fort Lovrijenac is the Red Keep – I’m pretty excited.

Inside the Red Keep

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Can you picture the Mountain walking the halls?

Blackwater Bay

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Pile Harbor is where Marcela departs for Dorne in Season 2. This spot was also used for many other scenes throughout the series. Knightfall was actually filming here when we took the picture.

Season 2 Riot

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Pile gate is the entrance to Dubrovnik and is where Joffrey was attacked in Season 2.

House of the Undying

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Minčeta Tower serves as the House of the Undying in Season 2.

While we were in Split, we saw Diocletian’s Palace where Daenerys locks her dragons in Season 4 and the Klis Fortress, which is the city of Meereen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Life

Top Ten Experiences of 2015

Wow, time goes by fast. Five years ago, I was inspired to start an annual tradition where I post my top ten experiences of the past year. Here’s the list from 2015:

10. Broatmeal

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A new tradition was started in the summer of 2015: Broatmeal. Its simple. Six guys eat oatmeal every Wednesday morning at Simpls (broatmeal = “bros” eating oatmeal).

What if Whole Foods and 7Eleven had a baby? Simpls offers high-quality grab and go food options and was started by two of our good friends Ryan and Mike, who won the food division of the Minnesota Cup in 2015. Make sure to check it out if you haven’t!

9. Making Traditions

Two first time experiences in 2014 became 2015 mainstays:

Sailing on Lake Harriet

Happy to report the 2015 sailing season saw less turtling and we were able to get a buoy only a short row from the dock. Much improved over 2014.

Hunting

Made the trip back to Wadena for some hunting. Although I came up empty handed, it ended up being a record year for our hunting party with three 8-point bucks.

Torchlight 5K

Ran the Torchlight 5K again…albeit much slower than in 2014. Hopefully it was just a down year and this won’t become a trend.

8. Weddings

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We spent six weekends lighting up the dance floor…well maybe it was just Karla.

7. Bash Bros Dominate 2015

Overcoming insurmountable odds and one shoulder surgery (note Riley’s sling in the picture for #6), the Bash Bros took down the Good ‘Ol Boys late in the golf season. I smell more trouble for the Boys in 2016.

6. Neil Diamond

In the same vein as 2014’s trip to see Jerry Seinfeld, I was able to scratch another lifelong dream off the list by seeing Neil Diamond at the Xcel Energy Center. Despite the average age in attendance being 70, I felt right at home signing along to “The Neil.” He still has it.

5. Big News from Zipnosis

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We raised a Series A from Safeguard and Ascension Ventures which means game on in 2016!

4. Trip to Seattle

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In May, Karla and I spent a weekend in Seattle. We loved the clam chowder at Pike’s Place, seeing the Mariners win and the view from the ferry on its way to Bainbridge Island (which you can see in the picture above).

3. Trip to Boston/Maine/Cape Cod

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Speaking of clam chowder…Karla and I spent a week in New England in June. Maine was by far our favorite destination where amongst the tranquility I took down a giant lobster fresh off the boat.

2. Karla Graduated and Started Her Job!

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2015 was a big year for Karla or should I say…Dr. Wallner. She graduated from PT school and started her dream job as a pediatric physical therapist!

1. We Got Engaged!

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But she won’t be Dr. Wallner for long! After seven years, I finally pulled the trigger at the U of M golf course. I’m so thankful she said yes after I nervously pulled my tee shot into the bunker…

Cheers to a great 2015 and for what is sure to be an exciting 2016!

My Life

Top Ten Experiences of 2014

Welcome to my fourth annual post highlighting my top ten experiences of the past year. I was inspired to start this post after noticing a shift in society to value experiences over material goods.

2014 saw less travel – evidenced by my Delta miles being a piddly 7,000. This means 2015 will not be blessed with Platinum status so I’ll be at the back of the plane and boarding in Zone 3 with the rest of you.

To all my friends and family who didn’t make the list this year or disagree with your placement, remember there is always next year. Cheers to another great year and for what 2015 has in store.

10. Ran the Torchlight 5K

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My sister Ellie and I ran a 5K through downtown Minneapolis in July. Thanks to the countless times running around Lake of Isles, I finished with a time of 21.30! The actual race was brutal, but drinking the free Mich Goldens with Ellie at the finish line was very rewarding. Look for us to bump up to a 10K in 2015.

 9. Hog Roast / Camping with Friends

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I went on two camping trips during the summer of 2014.

The first was to attend the Hog Roast at my friend Ryan’s cabin on Pocket Lake (picture above). Side note: Ryan and another friend Mike recently launched an organic grab-and-go eatery in the Minneapolis Skyway called SIMPLS, check it out. The Hog Roast has been an annual tradition for the last four years and has somehow alluded the Top Ten list thus far. Nothing beats eating some slow cooked hog, playing yard games and getting the crew together for some fun in the great outdoors.

The second camping trip was with my friends Riley, Megan and Karla. It was a great trip except we had one casualty: Riley’s left flip flop. Despite my valiant attempt to save it, it will never be seen again. Sorry about that bud.

8. Moved into a New Apartment

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I moved into an apartment near Lake of the Isles in the Lowry Hill/Uptown area. It’s small and has some character, but has a great location – its proximity to downtown gave me the opportunity to bike to work during the summer. I also want to formally go on record with my claim as the fastest biker on a Nice Ride in the Twin Cities. Challengers please take a number.

7. Ice Fishing

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2014 was the year I finally became a true Minnesotan: I went ice fishing and hunting.

Riley and I went ice fishing with our good high school buddy Chad. Riley fit in well with his ’80s moon boots and JanSport hat (pictured above). Despite his best efforts to scare all the fish away with this outfit, we did catch some fish..or was that each others lines?

6. Hunting

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Part two of me becoming a Minnesotan was going hunting for the first time. My college buddy Derek and his family graciously took me in for the weekend and introduced me to the hunting culture in Wadena, MN. From filling our thermoses with coffee at 5am to stopping by the VFW for a nightcap, I enjoyed every minute of it including shooting my first buck. If anyone wants some venison, I have a very full freezer.

5. Virtual Care Inflection Point

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Zipnosis had white-hot growth in 2014 driven by patient demand for new virtual access points. We are now powering virtual care with several health system partners across the country, have a great team and are poised to make a strong push in 2015.

4. Jerry Seinfeld

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Karla and I got to see my favorite comedian Jerry Seinfeld at the Orpheum theater in January. Seinfeld is my favorite show so of course I spent the whole show laughing as Jerry brought his act into the current age of cell phones, social media and the Internet. Seeing him live, you can really appreciate his humor and the amount of time he invests in his craft. I wrote about how Jerry spends years writing and tweaking his jokes to get the perfect reaction from the audience here.

3. Sailing on Lake Harriet

sailing

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Since I moved to the Uptown area, I wanted to take advantage of my proximity to the lakes by buying a buoy on Lake Harriet for my dad’s sailboat. After spending 20 years in my parent’s garage, the sailboat was finally able to stretch its legs on the cool blue water of Harriet. I built my confidence as a sailer through changing winds, different weather conditions and the occasional 747 flying overhead. The experience wasn’t always perfect as we had to devise strategies to prevent the boat from turtling during storms, cleaning up after the ducks and rowing a half mile each direction to and from the buoy. Overall, it was a great summer spending time with my dad and family that convinced me there is nothing better than the wind in your sail and the sun dancing across the water.

2. Golf Trip to Whistling Straits and Erin Hills in Wisconsin

Whistling

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The Bash Bros / Good Ol’ Boys crew really outdid ourselves by playing 63 holes over four days at Whistling Straits (host of the 2004, 2010 and 2015 PGA Championships) and Erin Hills (future host of the 2017 US Open) in Kohler, Wisconsin.

Whistling Straights sits atop bluffs overlooking Lake Michigan with panoramic views that rival my 2013 golf experience at Torrey Pines. Erin Hills is nestled in between the corn fields of the Wisconsin heartland. These courses were challenging and really tested both your mental and physical toughness. The Good Ol’ Boys ran away with the title, but if I could have hit every shot as my caddy recommended then it would have been a different story…

1. Ski Trips

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Karla and I made our way to Colorado in February and December for some skiing at Copper Mountain, Breckenridge and Loveland.

We were very fortunate to have perfect conditions for both trips with fresh powder each day. We got absolutely dumped on with 22 inches of snow over 2 days during our trip in December. Karla has yet to see the sun and blue sky in Colorado so she is hoping for that in 2015 and I am hoping for more 22 inch powder days.

Honorable Mention

WWE Elimination Chamber at Target Center

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I am not a big wrestling fan, but when 15 of my friends booked a suite to watch the WWE’s Elimination Chamber pay-per-view event, I couldn’t say no. Daniel Bryan’s YES! chant really was pretty incredible.

My Life

Top Ten Experiences of 2012

Here is the second annual post where I highlight my top ten experiences over the past year. I started doing it after I have been noticing a shift in society where experiences are becoming more valued than material goods.

10. Twins Season Tickets

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My roommate, his dad and me split a 40 game Twins season ticket package (2 seats). I ended up going to about 8 games. Despite the disappointing season from the Twins, I had a lot of fun going to the games.

9. 5 year reunion

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I celebrated my 5 year reunion from high school in August with a boat ride around Lake Minnetonka.

8. Weddings

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I went to three weddings this past year for my cousin, the girlfriend’s college friend and the girlfriend’s cousin. Two of them fell on Friday and Saturday of the same weekend in October.

7. Camping

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The girlfriend and I went down to Whitewater State Park in southern Minnesota for three days in late May. Hiking and golf were the highlights.

6. Travelling for Work

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On June 1, I was put on a consulting project in California and flew out there about every week for the rest of the year. I flew roughly 78,000 miles in that time and received Platinum status from Delta.

5. Trip to Cragun’s Resort

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My family along with the girlfriend went up to Cragun’s Resort in Brainerd, MN in late August/early September for a few days. Golf and water skiing were the highlights.

4. Trip to Mexico

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I went down to Mazatlan, Mexico in March with the girlfriend and her family. I played golf, read the Steve Jobs biography and hung out on the beach.

3. Skiing at Lake Tahoe

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Since I have been travelling to California every week for work, I was able to stay over for a weekend and have my sister come out and ski at Heavenly in Lake Tahoe for two days. We ended up getting snow in the afternoon of our first day, which continued into the morning of the second day to come to 6 inches.

2. San Francisco

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The girlfriend and I flew out to San Francisco (another benefit of travelling out to California every week) over the 4th of July for 5 days. Watching fireworks over the Bay and exploring Alcatraz were our favorite experiences.

1. Seeing Friends and Family

I traveled a lot this year and as a result was away from home, friends and family. When I was able to connect with friends and family recently over the holidays as well as at other times over the year, I thoroughly enjoyed these moments.

My Life

Top Ten Experiences of 2011

I think experiences are going to become increasingly more valued in our culture over material goods, so I have highlighted my top ten experiences of 2011

10. Skiing in Colorado

Family went skiing in Colorado over Spring Break. Got some great powder and firmly believe the best skiing in Colorado is at Vail.Image

9. Graduating from the University of Minnesota

Four years of hard work finally came to fruition. Chris Sacca gave a phenomenal Commencement Speech at graduation. I highly recommend watching it and am planning on watching it every year to remind myself of his message.

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8. Las Vegas

A few days after graduation, me and three of my college buddies took off for Las Vegas. It was my first time there and definitely will be going back.

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7. Golf at Superior National. The girlfriend’s family has a cabin on Lake Superior and when we go up there playing at Superior National is a given. One of the most beautiful courses I have played.

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6. Purchased my first car

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5. Started my first full time job

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4. Rutgers Resort

The family took a trip to Rutgers Resort. Played golf and went water skiing, which I have not done in 10 years.

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3. First business trip to Miami

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2. Trip to Chicago

Me and the girlfriend went down to Chicago for a weekend to check out graduate schools.

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1. Skiing Trip to Wisconsin

Me and the girlfriend went on a trip to Wasau, Wisconsin over the Holidays. If you remember, there was ZERO snow this winter. Wasau, Wisconsin had a good base layer, so we took off and skied for a few days.

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Also wanted to give a shout out to the college roommates. Fantastic experiences (wouldn’t know it from the pictures below) over the last two years that came to a close, in terms of the memories that come from living together, in 2011.

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My Life, Technology

Sold My Apple Shares Today

I sold my Apple shares today. I bought those shares in July 2010 in the middle of the iPhone 4 antenna issue that sent the stock down. Apple was selling a record number of the devices at the time and it did not make sense to me why the stock was going down due to the antenna problem when they had a solution for devices sold and had already fixed the phones in production (I have since bought one of these), so I pulled the trigger at $254.

Flash forward to today, Apple hit its all time high of around $430, which combined with the death of the visionary Steve Jobs was reason enough for me to sell. I will continue to watch Apple very closely and hope the company continues Jobs’ legacy of innovation, technology, and stunning design.

My Life

Skills Learned at the Venture Center

I worked at the Venture Center for a year and did not realize how much I learned until I attended the May MinneBar (un)conference. I sat in on two presentations about raising money/funding and knew all the answers to the questions that were asked of the panel/speaker. As a result, I decided to compile a list of things I learned over my year working at the Venture Center. Here it is:

  • Mechanics of a cap table (built my own for Venture Center use)
  • How to build a fundraising plan that matches the cap table and includes significant milestones that will trigger the next round of funding
  • How to raise money
  • Commercialization process
  • Due diligence process
  • Need recognition
  • Describing solution/benefits
  • Importance of value proposition
  • Competitive analysis
  • Evaluating potential markets and applications
  • Market sizing
  • Evaluating strength of business model
  • Evaluating strength of IP
  • Pricing
  • Identifying key risks and issues
  • How to create exit plan
  • Valuation of start-ups using comparables and free cash flow
  • Financial modeling
  • How to market start-ups to researchers
  • License terms
  • Minnesota start-up ecosystem
  • Importance of the management team