Founder Summit

Saturday, Sep 7
10:00 — 16:30

Founder Summit

This summit is part of Techfestival: a 3-day festival in Copenhagen with 200+ events on humans and technology.
Interested? Great! Please apply to join. Note that this summit has limited seats.

Let’s Rethink Funding Models for Companies and Startups alike

As we ask ourselves whether startups have done more harm than good, we have an opportunity to question and understand how that harm happened, and what we can do to prevent it. Companies are born from the capital they take, the corporate ownership structures they adopt, and the community they exist in and contribute to. Together, founders and investors will examine why the prevailing capital systems serve so few and co-create more aligned alternatives. We’ll define what type of support community is needed, and we’ll identify who is missing from ownership and access as wealth is created to design more inclusive structures

Key questions to explore

  • What kinds of money is the best fuel for new types of startups?
  • What is standing in the way of those financial instruments being readily available?
  • How might investors think and invest differently to create a different world?
  • What makes a Zebra, and what stripes are missing from our current technology ecosystem?

Desired Outcome

You can think of this summit like Startup Science Fiction. Together, we’ll design an ecosystem where zebras – mutualistic, collaborative, integrated into a community – can be born and thrive. What we design will go on to inform our census, fund, and community support, all kicking off in the coming year. With the help of the Techfestival community, we get a jump start on this push for change.

Request invitation

Who are your Summit hosts?

Mara Zepeda (US)

Mara Zepeda is interested in distributing power so that people closest to the problem can design their own solutions. She has helped design companies and organizations that do this more effectively. She is the co-founder and CEO of Switchboard, a software and services company that helps partners listen to and better serve the needs of their community. She is the founding board chair of Zebras Unite and XXcelerate fund, working to create alternative capital and community structures that better meet the needs of entrepreneurs. She is the founding board chair of Business for a Better Portland (Oregon), the city’s fastest-growing business organization described as an “on-ramp to civic engagement” for next-generation companies.

Jennifer Brandel (US)

Jennifer Brandel enjoys questioning if the things we do could be done differently. As co-founder of Zebras Unite, she’s wondering if there are ways for startups to be built on a culture of cooperation over competition. As co-founder of Civic Exchange, she’s exploring what might happen if civic tech startups co-located and exercised radical transparency. As co-founder of Hearken, she has answered the question “would institutions make better decisions if they consulted their stakeholders throughout the process?” with a definitive YES. As co-founder of Dance Dance Party Party, she learned that getting exercise could be made way more fun if you turned the lights off, turned the music up, and got rid of instructors. She was named one of 30 World-Changing Women in Conscious Business, the Media Changemaker of the year, and is an RSA fellow.


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