Entrepreneur and Finance Exec to Lead New Omidyar-Backed Social Enterprise
February 1, 2011 – REDWOOD CITY, CA
Zamzee, a social enterprise developing an online rewards program for teens powered by their physical activity, today announced that Jonathan Attwood has joined the startup as Chief Executive Officer. Also joining Zamzee is Lance Henderson, who will serve as Chief Operating Officer. Zamzee is actively recruiting additional team members.
“The Zamzee rewards platform transforms physical activity into a fun and engaging online experience,” said Attwood. “It’s a great example of how technology can make a positive difference in the lives of young people and get them moving more. I’m looking forward to building a team of smart, passionate people to launch Zamzee this year.”
Attwood is a successful entrepreneur and executive with experience in the development and launch of products for the youth market. Attwood founded the London-based SwapitShop online trading community for teenagers in 2000, where he served as CEO until 2009. He has also served as a management consultant and advisor for various product development projects and financial services companies. He holds a degree in Business Administration from the University of Bath in the UK. Attwood was recognized as one of the top 10 UK business leaders in science and innovation on the Courvoisier The Future 500 list, published by The Guardian.
“We’re building a team and an organization that’s committed to delivering on Zamzee’s social mission and business goals,” said Henderson. “With consumer interest in activity-focused technology growing rapidly, it’s an exciting time to launch Zamzee and be part of this startup team.”
Henderson is a former investment banker with Dean Witter Reynolds in San Francisco. He most recently served as Vice President, Program and Impact, at the Skoll Foundation, where he led an international grant-making and investment program supporting social entrepreneurs. He has also served in a variety of senior finance, fundraising and executive roles with organizations focused on health and behavior change, including as Executive Director of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and President of the Pangaea Global AIDS Foundation. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.
Zamzee was established in 2010 with an initial program-related equity investment of $1 million by HopeLab Foundation, founded by philanthropist Pam Omidyar. HopeLab is funded by Pam and her husband, eBay founder and chairman Pierre Omidyar. Zamzee will be responsible for creating a profitable business around the Zamzee experience that achieves the goal of getting large numbers of teens to be more physically active. HopeLab will partner with Zamzee in ongoing research and distribution activities to support the social mission of the product. Zamzee is actively seeking additional mission-aligned partners and investors.
Zamzee is an online rewards program for teens powered by their physical activity. To earn rewards, teens wear the Zamzee meter, a three-axis accelerometer specially calibrated to record short bursts of movement as well as vigorous activity. Physical activity recorded by the Zamzee meter will power a teen’s online account at www.zamzee.com. Activity boosts a teen’s status within the system and can be converted into spendable Zamz, a virtual currency used to purchase virtual and tangible rewards. Teens using Zamzee earn recognition and the ability to acquire things they want based on how much they move in the real world. They will also be able to take part in a range of online activities, powered by their real world movement.
Sedentary behavior is a major problem of national importance. There are approximately 20 million young teens in the U.S., and research shows that sedentary behavior is putting these young people at risk for serious – and seriously expensive – long-term health problems, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. 1, 2, 3 Early research shows that the Zamzee experience increases physical activity in young teens by approximately 30% – the equivalent of running nearly an extra marathon a month. Initial research and development of Zamzee was conducted by HopeLab, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. For more, visit www.zamzee.com
1U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division, 1 July 2009, available from www.census.gov, Internet; accessed November 15, 2010.
2Nader P, Bradley R, Houts R, McRitchie S, O’Brien M. Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity from ages 9 to 15 years. JAMA 2008, 300(3), 295-305.
3Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 1 May 2010, available from www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/health/index.html, Internet; accessed 15 November 2010.