The Silicon Valley Start-up Changing the Way People Sit


The Zami stool in action: improving posture & health through smart technology As a serial entrepreneur and CEO of All Mobile Fund, a Silicon Valley based VC firm, Adriaan Ligtenberg knows how to spot a good opportunity.

So when he came across Dutch start-up Zami, founded by an orthopaedic surgeon and award-winning designer, he wasted no time in investing and bringing them to Silicon Valley.

We spoke to Adriaan about his past as the co-inventor of the JPEG and MPEG, his relationships with some of the big names in Silicon Valley and why he believes Internet-of-Things start-up Zami has the potential to revolutionise how we sit.

Zami is now crowdfunding at Symbid, view the pitch and invest here.

  1. When did you decide to become an entrepreneur, and why?

Adriaan Ligtenberg, Zami chairman & Silicon Valley VC

Early on in my career. I was at Bell Labs working on the image compression algorithms JPEG and MPEG. On one of my trips to Silicon Valley I met Andy Bechtolsheim - co-founder of Sun Microsystems - and we started planning to create the first streaming video workstation.

I became fascinated with the energy and enthusiasm of Silicon Valley. I left Bell Labs and started C-Cube. As most companies there were ups-and-downs but we succeeded and went public in 1996

  1. What kind of entrepreneur are you?

The kind that has to believe in the team, and have a clear vision of a product or service that solves a key problem and is good for society.

  1. In a few sentences, introduce your company

Zami was originally a Dutch start-up which I took over to Silicon Valley when I saw its potential.

Essentially we're a health and wellness start-up that tackles the problems caused by our sedimentary lifestyle, the large amount of hours we are sitting behind our desk or playing games.

Our co-founders include Piet van Loon, a renowned orthopaedic surgeon and the inspiration behind Zami. He recently pitched live on national Dutch TV.

  1. Describe the past, present and future of your company

Zami Life was established to solve the growing problem that extended sitting is causing to our societies. Our first product, the Zami Essential, is developed in the Netherlands and was successfully launched in 2015 through Indiegogo. We sold over 400 Zami’s in one month.

The Zami Essential

This year we will launch the Zami Smart. It is developed at our Silicon Valley office and adds a layer of data about your sitting pattern. The Smart version comes with an app that helps you sit right, track your sitting and improve your health.

In the coming years we expect to extend our product range with other smart products and services to track and improve the health and wellness of the people using our products.

  1. What is the unique value of the products/services you offer?

The Zami stool is the only chair that forces active sitting and turns a bad habit into a good one. Where other products like wearables prompt you to sit less, the Zami actually tackles the problem at the core.

The next generation of our products will be smart and will help you improve your posture and spine by giving you feedback on your sitting and create personalised exercises through an app on your phone.

  1. What is main goal of your crowdfunding campaign?

The main goal is to raise awareness for Zami Life and the problem we are solving: people are spending too much time sitting in the wrong position.

Of course we also want to raise money to further develop our next product - the Zami Smart - and build a reseller sales channel in NL.pablo-zami


  1. Why crowdfunding?

We launched our first product - the Zami Essential - on Indiegogo last year. This generated huge exposure for our company and we sold over 400 stools.

The problem we are solving (bad backs because of too much sitting) is something that everybody can relate to and we feel strongly that crowdfunding can create passionate brand ambassadors by giving everybody the opportunity to become co-owners of the company.

  1. Give 3 key reasons to invest in your company
  • Sound investment in your own health and that of others;
  • Fast growing company with huge market potential;
  • Chance to invest side-by-side a Silicon Valley VC.

Zami is now crowdfunding at Symbid, view the pitch and invest here.