I'm an information science researcher and consultant focused on technology entrepreneurship and social innovation. My main focus is helping people understand how entrepreneurs and social innovators in high-growth sectors learn and collaborate as they develop new ideas, products and services. For example, I partner with people who fund and operate business accelerators, incubators, and entrepreneurship education initiatives to strengthen and evaluate their programs through the use of data and rigorous case study. I also work directly with technology startups and entrepreneurial communities to improve their collaboration and overall business strategy.
Another side of my research focuses on issues of access and equity in global technology ecosystems. My current projects are centered around understanding the experiences and contexts of African and Latinx diaspora communities, and future projects will explore challenges and opportunities facing entrepreneurs and social innovators across race, gender, age, socioeconomic status, ability, and country of origin.
I am most active in the startup ecosystems in Seattle and the Bay Area but increasingly engaged in projects throughout the United States, Europe, and Africa. In terms of institutional affiliations, I am a PhD student at the University of Washington School of Information Science; a German Marshall Memorial Fellow (15'); a Governor appointed member of the Washington State Arts Commission ; Director Emeritus at Technology Access Foundation; and recent cofounder of an orthopedic wearable sensor company - Yes! I not only research but also serially practice entrepreneurship and social innovation. More importantly, however, I'm a proud husband and father of three beautiful daughters who grace me with love and keep me on my toes e'ryday.
What Folks Say About Zithri
I'm out in these streets! PhD life keeps me more than busy but I am committed to holding space for projects that align to my experience and interests; developing new learning tools, launching businesses, developing learning communities, and conducting research that strives to increase economic stability in impoverished communities. Projects I undertake must blend compelling research value and near-term community impact, and particularly, exploit technologies' potential to affect positive social change.
Current Research Projects
Tech Ecosystem Vitality - How do we measure the vitality of entrepreneurial ecosystems including metrics for access and equity among non-dominant populations? I'm currently engaged in multiple studies to illuminate the experiences and contexts of non-dominant entrepreneurs in several major United States tech ecosystems, while also providing tools for measuring our collective and regional progress toward an equitable technology landscape. This work is largely community-driven and can always benefit from additional support from private foundations, individuals, and corporations. Please contact me directly if you would like to sponsor or partner on current work, or have ideas for future projects.
Entrepreneurial Thinking - How can tools and perspectives from learning and cognitive science impact the outcomes of entrepreneurship education programs (e.g., accelerators, incubators, STEM schools, online programs)? My forthcoming paper explores this broad question through in-depth exploration of the work with several young non-dominant entrepreneurs.
New Book COMING SOON!
I am currently working on a collection of essays and practitioner narratives that will be shared as a volume highlighting community-based, social innovation in STEM. The volume centers around my work with Technology Access Foundation (TAF) and includes contributions from prominent educators, industry leaders, philanthropists, public officials, and community members. The volume is scheduled to be completed Fall 2017. For more information or sponsorship opportunities, please contact me.
Impact Advisor and Investment Portfolio (Selected)
- Wearable Technology (Seattle) - Principal partner in a wearable technology startup that leverages 3D printing and motion sensors to provide low-cost, custom orthopedic products directly to consumers.
- Business Innovation (Haiti) - Advisor for an effort to launch a startup incubator and co-working space in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti as part of a global network of over 53 cities worldwide.
- Entrepreneurship Education (Seattle) - Strategy advisor for startup nonprofit organization focused on entrepreneurship education for African Diaspora communities in United States and abroad.
- Design Education (San Francisco) - Founding board member (former) and current advisor to a leading design education program for undeserved youth in San Francisco Bay area of United States.
Thank you for visiting my page. Please contact me directly for information on research, bookings, and current or new projects.