About Zach

Hi. My name is Zach Ware. If I were a cow you would say I’m Oklahoma stock, North Carolina farm-raised, West Coast-shaped and NYC-aged.

I am am based in Austin, TX, between downtown and a giant money pit small ranch 45 min away.

I took time off in 2019 to focus on my internal compass and learn about topics I’ve long found interesting, explore a few projects and help people doing interesting things.

This is what I’m working on /now.

Some things I do:

  • Working on a new company to tackle the systemic inefficiencies in the fresh food supply chain.
  • Investor:
  • Rower, surfer, backcountry explorer, Wilderness First Responder, terrible fly fisherman, occasional rock climber, freediver, honorary uncle to five seven amazing kids.
  • Obsessive food science and biology explorer/quantifier which started in 2015 when I started focusing on my health in a way that would change everything about how I live and think.

Some things I’ve done, sort of in reverse order:

  • Managing Partner of VTF Capital with over 70 investments in companies including Ring, SpaceX, Asana, Mizzen + Main and 50+ more inspiring teams.
  • CEO of Pilotworks which provided shared commercial kitchens and services to food companies. I joined as CEO in 2018 to lead a turnaround, ultimately shuttering the company.
  • Head of Product at Zappos.com overseeing product development, content and business operations of the company’s digital and backoffice products (Zappos.com, Couture, 6pm, Mobile).
  • Developed the the 4.5 acre, four building Zappos.com LEED Gold HQ in Downtown Las Vegas. (BI.
  • Co-founded and scaled Downtown Project in Las Vegas, a 41-acre urban revitalization project aimed at creating sustainable opportunities for entrepreneurship and creativity in Las Vegas’ urban core. Co-founded with Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh where I focused on real estate development, government partnerships and major projects. (NY Times, Fortune, Wired)
  • Founded Shift, a complex transportation operations and technology company that nearly killed me. I shut it down in 2015. (Washington Post)
  • Co-founded coworking company Work In Progress (acquired by Let’s Rally).
  • Managed the retail and ecommerce business at The Republic of Tea from San Francisco after several years managing distribution and production from Chicago.
  • Managed sales and distribution to restaurants, grocers and food manufacturers in the Southeast US for a DC-based gourmet food importer and distributor.
  • Managed our family’s small town restaurant, personally receiving its sizable debts in my parents’ divorce.
  • Studied economics and computer science at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN and attended high school at Woodberry Forest School in Virginia, a boarding school to which I applied and was accepted before telling my parents.
  • Held lots of random jobs including working at Starbucks, managing a convenience store, being an electrician’s assistant, picking tobacco on my family’s farm and working in a Walmart meat department for two days.

My general, non domain-specific, world view is most heavily influenced by a few key works:

Old Media:

Speaking and media bio is here.