Neil Patel

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In a world where artistry, academia, and entrepreneurship intertwine, Zev Eigen, the visionary founder of Syndio, embarked on a journey that would redefine workplace equity.

In a recent podcast, The Dealmakers’ Podcast, Zev shared his unique path from his origins in Costa Rica to the bustling artist-loft life in Soho, New York, where creativity and innovation shaped his formative years.

Listen to the full podcast episode and review the transcript here.

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From Art to Entrepreneurship: A Creative Transition

Born to artistic parents, Zev’s childhood was enriched with the essence of creativity. Yet, as he reminisces, he didn’t initially gravitate toward entrepreneurship, despite the inspiring presence of his ceramic-empire-founder mother, Barbara Eigen.

Instead, Zev’s parents encouraged academic pursuits like mathematics and law, fostering a balance between creativity and the pursuit of success through education.

A Twist of Fate: From Law to Academia

As his academic journey unfolded, Zev found himself drawn to law. Guided by his achievements and the encouragement of mentors, he entered Cornell and began exploring the intricacies of labor and employment law.

This academic pursuit led to his stint in academia, where he identified challenges and problems, but he soon realized that academia often meant admiring problems without creating tangible solutions.

Zev’s academic friends encouraged him to get his Ph.D. They recognized his innate ability to understand the world around him, interpret situations, and translate his observations into writing.

And, that’s how Zev ended up getting his degree. However, he quickly realized that as an academic, he could only identify problems that needed hands-on action to resolve.

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From Academic Admiration to Entrepreneurial Solutions

The transition from academia to entrepreneurship was prompted by a pivotal consulting opportunity that uncovered the gap between academia’s theoretical prowess and private-sector problem-solving.

The turning point arrived when Zev attended a private event invited by a friend at Google. Many of the attendees were thought leaders from different industries like insurance, medical science, and data science. Zev showed up as an academic and representative of labor and employment.

He talks about how he was blown away by the advancement of the private sector in terms of data science and applications and building things to fix problems.

Zev’s desire to make a real impact on people’s lives through technology-driven solutions led him to the creation of Syndio in 2016. This venture aimed to address critical issues such as pay equity and workplace fairness using innovative software solutions.

The objective was to erase workplace inequality and discrimination arising from gender, race, and criminal history using technology. They ended up building an algorithm that evaluated loads of data to predict whether a person was likely to commit a crime in the next six or twelve months.

Syndio’s Evolution: A Journey of Learning and Innovation

Zev started off by sourcing the technology and acquiring funding from two angel investors and one other investor. That’s how he started Edge Analytics, which would later be called Syndio. Eventually, he raised $80M and now has more than 200 employees on his payroll from global locations.

Storytelling is everything which is something that Zev Eigen was able to master. Being able to capture the essence of what you are doing in 15 to 20 slides is the key. For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) where the most critical slides are highlighted.

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Syndio’s journey was marked by humble learning and an unwavering commitment to solving complex problems. The company’s early focus on organizational network analysis (ONA) technology laid the groundwork for its transformational pay equity platform.

Recognizing the disparity between the perception of experts and the enthusiasm of potential buyers, Syndio forged ahead, creating a groundbreaking solution that simplified and streamlined pay equity assessments, drastically reducing the time and effort involved.

Championing Humble Learners and Hustlers

Central to Syndio’s success were the principles of embracing humble learners and dedicated hustlers. The company’s ability to attract and nurture individuals who combined the passion to learn with a relentless work ethic became its driving force.

Figures like Maria Colaccio and Rob Porcorelli, both former Starbucks executives, joined the Syndio team, bringing their unique backgrounds, humility, and hustle to the table.

Realizing the Vision: A World Transformed by Equity

For Zev, Syndio’s vision reaches beyond the metrics of growth and revenue. The true measure of success lies in the number of lives positively impacted by their technology.

Through Syndio’s software, countless individuals now receive fair compensation for their contributions, addressing one of society’s most pressing issues. The vision realized is a world where equity is no longer just a word but a tangible reality.

Zev Eigen’s journey from art to academia and entrepreneurship reflects the transformative power of innovation and dedication.

Syndio’s story exemplifies the potential for technology to revolutionize workplaces, shatter barriers, and create a more equitable world.

Through the unwavering commitment to humble learning, hustle, and impactful solutions, Zev Eigen and Syndio continue to pave the way toward a future where every individual’s worth is recognized and valued.

Listen to the full episode for more details, including:

  • The journey from growing up amidst artistic inspiration to founding Syndio, highlighting the unexpected intersections between creativity and innovative business solutions
  • An upbringing by artistic parents, coupled with encouragement towards academic pursuits, showcasing the delicate balance between nurturing creativity and aiming for academic achievement
  • The transition from academia to entrepreneurship fueled by a desire to move beyond admiring problems and instead create tangible solutions that drive real impact.
  • Syndio’s evolution from an organizational network analysis tool to a revolutionary pay equity platform underscoring the power of technology to simplify complex issues and drive meaningful change
  • Syndio’s ability to attract individuals who possess the dual qualities of being humble learners, willing to grow, and hustlers, determined to work tirelessly towards a shared goal.
  • Syndio’s vision to create a positive impact on lives through its software, making equitable compensation a reality and transforming society’s perception of workplace fairness
  • How entrepreneurship can bridge gaps and create a future where workplace equity is not just an ideal but a tangible, achievable reality for all


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Neil Patel

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