The Zinc Technology Network (ZTN) is composed of Mutually Beneficial, Enthusiastically Consensual organizations. ZTN incubates, funds, consults with, and provides services to these organizations by providing whatever information, support, and low-cost capital we can safely provide.

Our Praxis

We choose to cultivate organizations where investors, customers, and workers work together in a mutually beneficial, enthusiastically consensual manner.

Put On Our Mask

We take care of ourselves, because if we do not take care of ourselves; we cannot take care of one another.

We care for one another so that they may care for those around them.

Remove The Knife

We stand on the bodies of those who were murdered, bought and sold so that white men could pursue personal liberty.

We work continuously to heal the impact of white-supremacy, imperialism and colonialism

Take Small, Safe Steps; Together

We go far, not fast. We choose to match the pace of those around us. We pause to breathe, step back, and follow.

Don't Stop Until All Are Free

Freedom only exists when all are guaranteed the same freedoms. Marginalizing others due to race, gender, citizenship, sexual orientation, or religious conviction is unacceptable.

The Portfolio

GRIT SuperFoods



The East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative

Alchemy Coffee Collective


The History

ZTN was founded in 2015 by Zee Spencer. He had run his own microconsultancy back in the midwest, and wanted to try it out in the San Francisco Bay Area Market. In six months, ZTN grew to 5 part-time contractors across 3 clients. What could go wrong? Zee was in over his head. Consultancies don't scale linearly. Things fell apart. He helped his team find new gigs and let everyone go.

He spent the next two years working in FinTech, burning out hard so Jamie Dimon can afford a slightly larger yacht. In 2017, a bit tired of the madhouse that is venture backed, 10x growth-mandated companies Zee rebooted ZTN. But this time, he had help. He brought on Jennifer Tu and Betsy Haibel, with the goal of operating as a worker-cooperative. Together, they launched Cohere. To this day, Cohere provides Zee and Jennifer with a sustainable living, while Betsy provides senior engineering leadership at the Long Term Stock Exchange.

Zee began researching other mechanisms for creating a healthy, sustainable, restorative way to work; and found two communities that showed better way: the Sustainable Economies Law Center and Zebras Unite.

Enamored with the East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative, Zee found a use for ZTN again. He took 15% of his assets and said Fuck it, let's light this shit on fire. He brought on Vivek Narayan, a former client of ZTN. Together, they acquired a small portfolio of software products that would never achieve results that would make their investors happy. With real products used by real customers, they lured together a team of professional designers, support team members, and engineers to steward them. They formed a worker-self directed technology product and service company: ZINC. (Note: ZINC does not stand for Zee Is eNtranced by Coops.)

But there is still more to do. The knife must be removed. None are free until all are free.

Beginning in early 2020, ZTN began lending small cash amounts at low interest rates to members of under-capitalized communities to support their self-determination. Starting a non-profit? Go for it! Taking the coop route? Great! Think you can dance with the angels and swim with the sharks? We ain't gonna stop ya.

In Q2 2020, ZTN offered interest and payment freezes to its portfolio company to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. It stopped issuing new investments to focus on funding mutual aid organizations and developing competence at collective organizational stewardship and leadership.

In Q2 2021, work to resume funding has begun.

We'll see how it goes.