Partner Spotlight: The Watsons

Dave and Vinitha WatsonTo Vinitha and David Watson, the Bay Area is a place where anything can happen. It is a nexus for entrepreneurs, visionaries, and innovators. If you can dream it, you can do it.

That’s how Vinitha and her husband David Watson arrived here. Both worked at Google, and found themselves in the position to be able to start new careers that put their passions at the forefront.

“If I imagine utopia, I see a vibrant artist class living and innovating in the Bay Area and beyond.” explained Vinitha. “We respect artistic work as a career choice, and want to make sure it reaches its full potential.”

They partnered with The San Francisco Foundation as a connector who helped bring their ideas to life.

That’s how they launched Zoo Labs, a creative accelerator where music, entrepreneurship, and technology intersect so musicians have the tools they need to support themselves.

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Listen to Cy Musiker’s piece on the West Oakland recording studio Zoo Labs, featured on KQED.

At Zoo Labs, (ZooLabs) musicians think beyond the creative aspects of making music, and participate in workshops designed to help them master the on the ground skills they need to succeed. This includes learning the ropes of entrepreneurship, practicing innovative product design, and developing long term business strategy to not only launch, but sustain their careers.  This is reinforced by ongoing mentorship from successful professionals for the worlds of design strategy, technology, business, and music.

The Foundation helped Vinitha and David learn about creating a nonprofit and connected them to people that would give their project legs.

“We never imagined it would grow this way, we had an idea, but we had no idea where to begin. Working with our donor relations officer and the Foundation, we were able to not only launch the nonprofit, but also learn about the work in the field and how we want to be connected philanthropically.”

“The San Francisco Foundation and community foundations are connectors. They provide education about how to bring our ideas to reality, and what groups to work with to make it possible. We worked with our donor relations officer at the Foundation, and she opened doors that we didn’t know existed.”

To learn more about how the Donor Relations team at TSFF works with our partners and how we can be a resource to you or your clients contact Maria Vickroy-Peralta.