Zoë Foundry Joins GSSN

GSSN Adds New Member Zoë Foundry, a Culture First Venture Studio Elevating Employee Benefits

GSSN Adds New Member Zoë Foundry, a Culture First Venture Studio Elevating Employee Benefits

June 12, 2023

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Articles | Zoë Foundry Joins GSSN

June 12, 2023
Zoë Foundry has joined the Global Startup Studio Network (GSSN) as the first employee benefits-focused studio. Zoë Foundry is a culture-first venture studio elevating the employee benefits ecosystem. The Zoë team is creating and launching a portfolio of companies focused on the ‘second wave’ of insurtech growth. The founders and advisors who power Zoë all built, scaled, and sold companies during the ‘first wave’ between 2012-2022.

Venture studio members of GSSN and the startups they create are an investment class that the world is paying attention to. For investors looking to infuse capital, media outlets authoring stories about the industry, and founders desiring a secure way to scale a startup, studios are future-proofing the way startups are created. By cultivating deep beliefs in the transformative potential of entrepreneurship, GSSN members worldwide support startups with access to resources and play a vital role in driving innovation and fostering real growth.

“It’s exciting to see Zoë Foundry’s efficient model for launching ventures. Their strategic collaborations are designed to create immediate value for the founders they work with, as well as provide a higher rate of return for investors. Zoë Foundry is not only creating companies that will positively impact the employee benefits space but also laying down a foundation for what a venture studio can mean in other industries, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome them to the network”, Pat Riley, CEO of Morrow and GSSN.

This partnership with GSSN will allow Zoë Foundry to network and collaborate with the best venture studios, add to and learn from the GSSN studio playbook – which is a collection of wisdom, muscle and fuel on how to operate and scale the best in class venture studio. Using their distinctive studio ideation process, Zoë Foundry is positioned to launch three new insurtech startups annually. These portfolio startups go through an exacting process to ensure that only the most promising concepts move forward: Zoë Foundry uses its own methodological framework to validate and refine highly viable concepts, then hand-selects a co-founder CEO from their Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) program. Strategic investors co-invest in these new companies alongside Zoë Foundry, so portfolio startups receive both the financial and developmental support they need for the strongest possible start. The venture studio model is the future of entrepreneurship and startup investing, and Zoë Foundry is positioned to best serve the employee benefits industry.

Zoë Foundry was founded by CEO Garrett Viggers, Limelight Health co-founder with more than 20 years in the employee benefits industry, and COO Esther Eller, a serial founder who built and ran the venture studio at Techstars. Together, they bring expertise and leadership from both the employee benefits and venture studio landscape. Already the first Zoë Foundry portfolio company, SlainTech (a Group Health Portfolio Insights Platform) has received market validation and engaged in multiple POCs.

“GSSN’s existence underlines the increasing appeal of the Venture Studio model as a preferred approach to boosting entrepreneurial success. With the first-hand experience of assembling two previous venture studios without the benefit of GSSN, I now feel even more equipped to rapidly set Zoë into motion, greatly encouraged by the support of GSSN,” Eller says.

Zoë Foundry is powered by a community made up of employee benefits founders with successful exits, along with advisors, mentors, executives, and partners who will support the venture studio ideation and validation process as well as engage with portfolio companies.

“I’m exceedingly grateful for the opportunity to partner with GSSN and bring the power of the venture studio model to serve the employee benefits ecosystem. As we enter the ‘second wave’ of insurtech, I believe the next 10 years will bring about the greatest innovations in our industry at scale,” Viggers says.

With an ambitious target to launch 15 portfolio companies over the next five years, Zoë Foundry is set to break new ground in the employee benefits industry. The venture studio process acts as a consistently driving force, identifying the white space in the industry and generating fresh concepts to validate. With a vision anchored in cultivating an authentic company culture, Zoë Foundry CEO, Garrett Viggers, has seen the transformative effect of fostering vulnerability and authenticity in the workplace during his time at Limelight Health. He continues to champion a foundation that acknowledges the pivotal role character plays in driving not only employee engagement but also market value and momentum.

Beyond their commitment to business growth, Zoë Foundry stands out for their social engagement, hosting an annual benefit concert that unites the industry and raises awareness about select non-profits that are making a positive impact.

●           Learn more about Zoë Foundry mission and vision www.zoefoundry.com

Zoë Foundry Media Contact
Gregory Bailey
CEO, PropelDay