A VENTURE STUDIO
Building and Investing
In Impact-Driven
Software Startups
Join Us

A VENTURE STUDIO
Building and Investing
In Impact-Driven
Software Startups

Headquartered in Houston, the most diverse city of the United States, we provide financial capital, intellectual capital, human capital, and social capital for exceptional innovators to conceive, build, and scale impact-driven software ventures targeting the global market.

Our Guiding Principles

Maximizing Return

Through rapid experimentation and market validation, our systematic and rigorous venture building process ensures product-market-founder-investor fit, addresses the major reasons startups fail, and increases the chance of success.

Reducing Risk

Our holistic and integrated approach to active participation in venture building as an institutional cofounder avoids unnecessary waste of time and energy coordinating fragmented services and thus maximize return on investment.

Creating Impact

All of our ventures address the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 not only because of the products we develop, but the people we work with, the prosperity we bring, the planet we serve, the partnerships we develop, and the peace we cherish.

Championing Diversity

We value diversity beyond the way we look but the way we think, with brilliant entrepreneurs coming from various upbringings, cultures and backgrounds. This is the true engine of innovation that brings value to untapped high potential global markets.

Z LAB Ventures is comprised of Z LAB Studio and Z LAB Fund. The studio + fund combination enables us to achieve capital efficiency with faster and better returns while making a greater impact.

Z LAB Studio

Z LAB Studio partners with exceptional entrepreneurs to conceive, validate, design, develop, launch, and grow impact-driven software startups by providing integrated services including product development, marketing, legal, finance, and HR.

Z LAB Fund

The Z LAB Fund leverages early-stage venture building expertise of Z LAB Studio to invest in pre-seed and seed stage impact-driven software startups led by women, minority and immigrants.

Z LAB Community

Born Global is the vibrant movement we initiated with the mission to onboard diverse entrepreneurs and investors and to connect local and international ecosystems through thought leadership, educational programs, and network expansion. EVERYONE is invited to join this inclusive community and build human connections full of authenticity and opportunities.

Our CORE commitments

To FOUNDERS

We have our skin in the game. We are with you from ideation to validation to growth. We are bold and blunt as your sounding board. Our resources are at your disposal throughout. We care about your individual and organizational well being for ultimate success.

To INVESTORS

We value integrity and transparency. We have the gut and grit though ups and downs. We bring to you highly vetted ventures as a diversified portfolio. Our studio model ensures maximized capital efficiency with reduced risk and better returns. Our impact focus brings you greater good on the global market.

Our CORE commitment

To Founders

We have our skin in your game. We are with you throughout your journey from ideation to acceleration to exit. Our resources are at your disposal throughout the venture building process.

To Investors

Our rigorous process of idea validation to product development enhances the chance of success of our new ventures. Through our curated portfolio of ventures, investors gain exposure to startups at a higher equity, better ROI and improved chance of success.

Join US and make the changes you want to see

Founders

Looking for collaborators to turn brilliant ideas into digital products and make an impact in this world? We are here for you!

Investors

Maximize your ROI with minimized risk? How about faster and stronger startups at a lower cost? Find out what we are working on.

Builders

Are you a talent seeking an opportunity? We’d love to have you onboard our exciting projects.

Mentors

Are you a mentor willing to share your expertise? We’d love to have your support for our early stage startups.

Thoughts from Our Team

Z LAB Ventures is your pit crew, cheer squad, support network and co-founder for your venture. We provide all you need to scale and grow your venture into a successful business.

Sandip Bordoloi, PHD

General Partner, Z LAB Ventures

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Stay connected to learn more about our startups!

What we are building

Connect with us and stay in the loop!

News & Announcements

How Do the Sales of a New Product Grow?

Date: Wednesday Oct 20th 9:30 PM Central

Sustainable Innovation in AI and Data Science

Date: Friday October 15th 11:30 AM Central

Fundraising Strategies for Underestimated Founders

Date: Friday October 8th 11:30 AM Central

Stephen Read Partner
Expertise
  • Family & Adventures
  • Investment Analysis
  • Behavioral Economics
  • Computer Programming
  • Creating and Compounding
Languages
  • English
  • Python

Mr. Stephen Read is happily married to his wife Sarah with whom he has 3 children (Nora, Isaac andMarcus). Stephen founded HIT Investments, the General Partner of the Hedge fund HIT Capital in 2011.

Mr. Stephen Read has spent the majority of his life researching, investing and learning how to compoundwealth. His personal expertise lies in strategy, programming, behavioral finance, and investment analysis.

Stephen is a life long learner who believes the best way to learn is by doing. Since graduating from MissouriS&T with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering he has:


Worked 14 years at ConocoPhillips as a Drilling Engineer, Rig Supervisor, Development Team Lead,Exploration Project Manager, A&D Lead, Strategic Planning, Reserves Coordinator, Commercial Leadand Water Manager
Played professional baseball which was capped off with a Continental League Championship
Founded the investment firm HIT Investments and oversees +$10 million in AUM
Manages the hedge fund HIT Capital which has +14% CAGR since its 2013 launch
Saved and compounded enough $ for his family to reach financial independence by age 37
Built a website and writes a blog on personal and behavioral finance
Invested in startups since 2011, which includes one unicorn (and counting)
Developed and lead a Python programming program, producing more than 100 translators and coders

Stephen’s investment expertise lies in the markets available to the hard working middle class: public equities, real estate, and early stage startups. He is passionate about helping others save, invest, and follow theircalling. Stephen is a registered Investment Adviser in the state of Texas. One of Stephen’s favorite quotes is from 2 Corinthians 9:6 “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will alsoreap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.”
Shuang Leng, JD Partner
Expertise
  • Corporate Governance
  • Corporate Transactions
  • Data Privacy and Security
  • Commercial Transactions
  • Blockchain
Languages
  • English
  • Chinese

Shuang Leng is an attorney licensed in Illinois and Texas. She works with both startups and establishedcompanies and assists them with their ongoing business and legal needs. Her practice mainly focuses oncorporate governance and transactions, commercial transactions, data privacy and security, and blockchain-related matters. Shuang is also a certified information privacy professional (CIPP/US/E) with experience in boththe US and European data protection laws. The CIPP is the global standard in privacy certification, developedand issued by the International Association of Privacy Professionals.

Shuang is adept in contract review, analysis, and drafting, and has a deep understanding of corporatestructures and business entities. She is well-versed in corporate transaction deal structures (deal steps, equitystructures, fund flow, due diligence, and M&A taxation). She developed all essential algorithms for a taxcalculator, which compares and ranks tax liabilities and benefits resulting from all available deal structures(stock sales, assets sales, mergers, 338(h)(10) elections, etc.) for sales or acquisitions of C corporations, Scorporations, LLCs and partnerships.

Shuang works with tech companies on a regular basis. In addition to transactional work, she advisescompanies on securities regulations, capital raising activities, legal issues surrounding the Internet of Thingsand related legislative activities, and other compliance matters.

Education
J.D., University of Kansas, School of Law, USA
LL.B. Renmin University of China, Law School, China

Other Qualifications
CIPP/US (Certified Information PrivacyProfessional/US)
CIPP/E (Certified Information PrivacyProfessional/Europe)

Bar and Court Admissions
Texas
Illinois
China (Legal Professional Qualification Certificate)
Southern District Court of Texas

Sunny Zhang, Ph.D. General Partner
Expertise
  • Research & Strategy
  • Digital Marketing
  • Social Networks
  • Innovation Adoption
  • International Business
Languages
  • English
  • Chinese

Dr. Sunny Zhang is the founder and president of Z LAB, a research-driven full-service global innovation studio.She is also an Associate Professor in Marketing at the Cameron School of Business, University of St. Thomas.

Dr. Zhang has 20 years experience in consumer and organizational behavior, demonstrated by her pioneeringwork on e-commerce as well as her groundbreaking experiment on social networks. She has conductedextensive research and developed effective strategies for numerous local and international businesses andorganizations. She received her PhD in Marketing and Master of Business from the Kelley School of Business,Indiana University, and her MS in Applied Psychology from the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

With her dedication to collaboration across borders, Dr. Zhang has been playing an important role in cultivatingnetwork connections among the global business community. She serves several leading international not-for-profit organizations, such as the American Marketing Association, the University of Texas at Austin's ChinaPublic Policy Center, Global Energy Mentors, and MIT Enterprise Forum. She also frequently appears atinternational conferences as a speaker and/or a moderator.

Education
PhD. in Marketing, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University, USA
Master of Business, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University, USA
MS in Applied Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
BS in Social Psychology, Jilin University, China

Sandip Bordoloi, Ph.D. General Partner
Expertise
  • Upstream O&G
  • Digital Innovation
  • Portfolio management
  • Technology Adoption
  • International Business
Languages
  • English
  • Hindi

Sandip is a founding partner at Z LAB, a digital Innovation studio in Houston. Sandip has more than 15 years ofexperience in the oil and gas industry both in a technical and leadership role, majority in the new venture space.Sandip has led multiple new venture projects for a large energy independent including new country entry and exitsfrom major projects. Sandip has managed capital projects with over $1 B in assets including strategic planning,partnership management, execution and exits.

At Z LAB, Sandip is leading the software development team working closely with entrepreneurs to bring their digitalinnovations to the market. Sandip is passionate about building and investing in sustainable and affordable digitalsolutions addressing the UN SDG. Sandip’s has published multiple technical articles in industry journals related to the application of innovativegeochemical techniques in the exploitation of unconventional resources.

Leadership Experience in Managing Exploration and Appraisal of New Venture Projects Technical Experience in Exploration, Appraisal, and Development of Unconventional and Conventional oil andgas assets Leadership Experience in Major Project Implementation Leadership Experience in New Country Entry

Education PhD. in Geosciences, University of Alabama, USA Master of Science, University of Alabama, USA Master of Science, University of Delhi, India BSc in Geology, University of Delhi, Delhi
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