Zev Siegl was co-founder of Starbuck’s Coffee Company, that has now become one one of the world’s most recognised brands.
In 1971 Siegl, fellow teacher Jerry Baldwin, and writer Gordon Bowker realised their passion for coffee and established Starbucks Coffee Company. The name, inspired by the novel Moby Dick, evoked the romance of the high seas and the seafaring tradition of the early coffee traders. Their mission was simple, from their first storefront in Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market, they were going to offer some of the world’s finest, fresh-roasted, whole bean coffees. It was going to celebrate the rich tradition of coffee and to create a feeling of connection in the coffee shop.
Siegl, a former history teacher, was the only paid employee in the early days of Starbucks Coffee Company. In 1980, after ten years as Vice President, Siegl exited Starbucks, which by then had expended to six Seattle-area stores and a substantial wholesale business.
Following his departure from Starbucks Siegl became a serial entrepreneur, founding Quartermaine Coffee Roasters in Washington DC, Peerless Pie in Seattle, and more recently, BuckleUp. He also started his own consulting company that serves owners of small business enterprises and aspiring entrepreneurs with advice regarding funding new companies’ growth needs, financial forecasting, planing, private equity offerings, and applying for bank loans. From 2004-12 Siegl served as the Lead Advisor of the Small Business Development Center [SBDC] for Southwest King County (Seattle). During those eight years he advised more than 500 entrepreneurs and owners of small business enterprises.
Siegl is passionate about his mission to inspire and develop young entrepreneurs. He brings practical insights regarding how to start-up a successful business as he shares stories about his own experiences as co-founder of Starbucks and his numerous other start-up experiences. From setting a vision, identifying mentors and partners, securing funding, setting up operations, product development and launch, Siegl helps aspiring entrepreneurs navigate their way to becoming successful business owners.