Zoo Labs is a nonprofit artist accelerator and professional development community.
We invest in and explore the intersection between creativity, craft and commercial viability.
Our flagship program is the Zoo Labs Music Residency.
Vinitha is an entrepreneur, design strategist, and artist. She opened Google’s first office in India and was a fellow at Institute for the Future. Vinitha is the founder of Zoo Labs, the world's first music accelerator. Zoo Labs sits at the intersection of art and business and is about re-imagining entrepreneurship as a creative endeavor and supports teams of artists leading with their vision and craft. With roots in Silicon Valley our non-profit brings together some of the best mentors in tech, business, and art to have a hand in shaping the future—something bigger than its parts. Sometimes people ask her if she’s crazy. And she might well be.
Dave is an entrepreneur, engineer, and music producer. In 2007 he built The Zoo, the studio complex that is now home to Zoo Labs. He is a software engineer, working on self-driving cars and was an early employee at Google. Dave holds a B.S. in Creative Studies from UC Santa Barbara.
Brad is a producer, engineer & catalyzer. An Oakland Bay Area native, he has been cultivating music & developing artists since his youth. His passion for merging our human connection into songs that move people has carved out a place for Brad to help others achieve their greatest creative visions, including inspiring studio credits from sessions with Bob Weir & Grateful Dead, Finish Ticket, G Eazy, Slightly Stoopid, Madame Gandhi, & Journey as well as connecting platforms like MTV, Airbnb & Jack Daniels to the freshest sounds. Brad comes to Zoo Labs with a passion for helping fellow music makers design new ways of shifting the paradigm towards an economically thriving & artist-centric one.
Brendan is a sound engineer, band manager and musician. Born and raised in Berkeley, CA, he has embarked on numerous creative adventures including drumming for various groups, apprenticing as a studio glass artist and managing artists such as, Introflirt, Ghost of Lightning and vverevvolf. He is fascinated with how the process of studio and live sound engineering amplifies an artist's voice and when he's not at Zoo Labs he can be found making those voices heard as a live sound engineer at The Independent, Neck of the Woods and UnderCover Presents.
Benjamin “BJ” McBride is the Co-Founder of BE-IMAGINATIVE, Artist Manager for SOL Development & Mino Yanci, and Lead Curator for Zoo Labs. Prior to taking on these positions, BJ was the Communications Coordinator for Blue Shield of California Foundation, Special Assistant to Mayor Kevin Johnson for the City of Sacramento where he worked on projects like the retention of the Sacramento Kings. He also has worked with Sony Music Entertainment Columbia Records in the A&R department and Universal Music Group, contracting and licensing department. He obtained his Bachelors of Arts Degree in African- American Studies with a concentration in History and Political Science and a Minor in Urban Education from the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA).
Ayliffe is the Director of Programs at Zoo Labs and the band manager for Lil' Elephant. She has previously worked as the Sales and Marketing Coordinator for UC Berkeley Executive Education Innovation Acceleration Group, and as the USA Business Development Manager at WT | Wearable Technologies. Ayliffe is also a maker, digital content creator, and fashion designer. Debuting her work on the first season of the TBS reality TV show, America's Greatest Makers an Intel Experience. She holds a BA from Hampshire College in Massachusetts.
Ann DIckson is a seasoned arts fundraising, marketing and communications professional. Prior to joining Zoo Labs, Ann was the Director of Major Gifts for the American Cancer Society, where she raised funds from individuals, corporations and foundations.
Ann also served as the Executive Director of the Sausalito Art Festival Foundation, where she managed the annual three-day festival. Prior to the Sausalito Art Festival, Ann was the Director of Marketing and Communications at the Oakland Museum of California. She was instrumental in the success of the museum’s renovation and re-branding, and also closed sponsorship deals with national corporate leaders such as Wells Fargo, Clorox, Target, and PG&E.
She served in previous marketing and public relations positions with EMI-Capitol Music, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Guthy-Renker, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Ann is actively involved in the Bay Area arts community, and is currently serving a two-year appointed term as a Cultural Commissioner for the County of Marin. Ann holds a B.A. in Music Education.
Zoo Labs is located in West Oakland. Nestled inside an 8,000 square foot professional recording studio facility, Zoo Labs has three recording studios, lots of working space, whiteboard walls, a peaceful garden, a rotating art exhibit curated by Oakland's Et Al gallery, and our crown jewel: a hardworking espresso machine. Interested in experiencing it?
3 RECORDING STUDIOS + 3 DESIGN SPACES + 4 APARTMENTS + 2 OFFICES + 1 KITCHEN = ZOO LABS