I know I can be a bit of a broken record, what with my rosy outlook on the Portland startup community and all. So I always like to reference others who recognize the awesome people we have in our midst. Like when the folks behind the Zebra movement are recognized among the 30 women engaged in world changing efforts.
Brandel, Scholtz [sic], Williams, and Zapeda [sic] are all co-founders and CEOs of their own enterprises that each exist to solve a real-world problem. By the end of 2016, they were each fed up with the unicorn paradigm that’s dominant in Silicon Valley: that the highest good is finding, starting, or investing in unicorn companies that exist for the sake of exponential growth, 10x returns, and a quick exit. By the time the four met through a series of serendipitous encounters, each of them had been working on alternative models and narratives. They decided to join forces to give name and shape to their shared vision for an alternative business culture. They chose the zebra as their symbol, because, as Brandel and Zepeda explain, “they are not black and white, but both, combining profit and purpose; they come in many different stripes; are collaborative as well as fierce; and represent the ethos of solving real-world, systemic problems rather than chasing a quick buck.”
Astrid Scholz is the founder and CEO of Sphaera and Mara Zepeda is the cofounder and CEO of Switchboard.
And while I’m especially proud to know the Portlanders, every one of the people on the list is well worth following.
For more, read “30 World-Changing Women in Conscious Business.”
[Full disclosure: Mara is a PIE alum. I am the cofounder and general manager of PIE.]