I still smile every time I see a startup covered by local media. So you can only imagine my downright giddiness when I woke up to a New York Times article on Zebras Unite, a growing international startup movement cofounded by Portland entrepreneurs Astrid Scholz and Mara Zepeda.
“The tool of venture capital is so specific to a tiny, tiny fraction of companies. We can’t let ourselves be fooled into thinking that’s the story of the future of American entrepreneurship,” said Mara Zepeda, a 38-year-old entrepreneur who in 2017 helped start an advocacy organization called Zebras Unite. Its members include start-up founders, investors and foundations focused on encouraging a more ethical industry with greater gender and racial diversity. The group now has 40 chapters and 1,200 members around the world.
The article is well worth the read. Perhaps even save it for the weekend. So you can really take it in.
And while it’s great to see the Zebra movement get this premier coverage, it’s also an all too necessary reminder that movements and change — while often sparked by anger and fueled by frustration — only truly develop, find momentum, rally like minds, and grow through incredible leadership. And we’re lucky to have two such amazing leaders in our midst. And they, too, are lucky to have found such kinship in Zebras Unite cofounders Jennifer Brandel and Aniyia Williams.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Zebra movement, visit Zebras Unite. And if you’re interested in another conversation along these same lines, don’t forget that indie.vc will be in town on January 22, 2019.