About Zach

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

I live Central Texas and sometimes in Northwest Montana.

You can email me at zw at zgware dot com or DM me on Twitter.

Some things I do:

  • Outdoorsman, river rat, occasional rock climber, freediver, honorary uncle to seven (!!!) amazing kids.
  • Acquire and scale small and lower middle market industrial companies and operationally active real estate in the food supply chain, specialized manufacturing and specialized service sectors at Freehouse Capital, a permanent capital firm.
  • Learn and write about functional health, evolutionary biology and psychology, stemming from a 2015 shift to focusing on my health in a way that would change everything about how I live and think.
  • Occasionally invest in companies tackling systemic issues in areas I understand, including Stedi, Local Bounti, Levels Health, Flagship RTL and a few more.
  • Managing Partner of VTF Capital with over 70 investments in companies including Ring, SpaceX, Asana, Mizzen + Main and 50+ more inspiring teams. We are no longer investing in new companies but continue to reinvest in our past investments.
  • Part-time venture partner at Trust Ventures, focused on startups tackling systemic problems hindered by public policy barriers.

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

  • 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.
  • Co-founder and developer of Downtown Project in Las Vegas, a 41-acre urban redevelopment project including multi-family residential, small business investment and operating hospitality outlets. Co-founded with Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh where I focused on real estate development, government partnerships and major projects. (NY Times, Fortune, Wired)
  • Developed the the 4.5 acre, four building Zappos.com LEED Gold HQ in Downtown Las Vegas. (BI).
  • 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).
  • Founded Shift, a complex transportation operations and technology company that nearly killed me. I shut it down in 2015. (Washington Post)
  • Co-founded multi-unit 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.
  • Studied economics and computer science at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN and attended high school at Woodberry Forest School in Virginia.
  • 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.