S02 EP08: Astrid Scholz, Co-Founder of Zebras Unite

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Show Notes

My guest today is Astrid Scholz, Co-Founder of Zebras Unite and CEO of Sphaera

In the episode, we discussed: 

  • Astrid’s past experience at Eco Trust (a conservation organization) looking for scalable business models that have landscape-scale impact. 
  • Her realization that organizations exist and create great innovations but they get siloed because it’s not the organization’s mission to go beyond.
  • Astrid’s idea of building a platform that makes it easy to discover, re-adapt, and discover what other companies are doing
  • Sphaera Solutions started as SaaS company with a public facing product where anyone can share company solutions, much like recipes. In essence a kind of open source platform for social change
  • Astrid’s experience of trying to raise money — “I ran into all the usual problems of raising capital while female” — experienced first-hand the biases and learned that the VC culture isn’t imaginative 
  • Jennifer Brandel and Mara Zepeda had similar experiences as female tech founders so together the three of them collaborated and wrote Sex & Startups
  • The women also realized that they didn’t want to compromise to pursue “growth at all costs” which led directly to the idea of Zebras Unite which is essentially that: “Companies can be built for profit and for purpose that have ambitious goals but don’t grow at all costs”
  • Zebras Unite has resonated with thousands of people and how has now grown to be a multi-state cooperative following the mantra of “Zebras fix what unicorns break”.
  • “People can be really deliberate about how they create their organizational culture… nobody forces you to pay you 500 times as a CEO what your lowest employee makes” 


Here are the direct links to resources mentioned in the episode:

Video Version

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