Zoé Gadsden ’15
Zoé Gadsden ’15 joined Matter Labs as COO in 2021, the first executive outside of the founding team and the first non-technical full-time employee.
She established and developed teams including Business Operations, People Operations, Legal, Finance, and Investor Relations and helped fundraise $250m.
MatterLabs is building zkSync, “an Ethereum scaling solution and the first EVM-compatible zero-knowledge rollup, with the goal of making digital self-ownership universally accessible,” to break financial barriers and enhance people’s freedom by making crypto payments significantly cheaper and without any security compromises.
Forbes placed her on their 30 Under 30 Europe Finance list in 2022.
Gadsden is also a founding member of Female Narratives, an integrated creative agency that operates using a collective of over 100 female and non-binary millennial freelancers to connect brands to real stories—directly.
Prior to MatterLabs, Gadsden worked at Google For Startups on a team to help startup founders grow by connecting them to the right people, products, and best practices.
Gadsden recently returned to Purchase as a judge in the Purchase Shark Tank Start-Up Pitching competition.
Born and raised in Vienna, Austria, Gadsden grew up surrounded by the arts. Her father was a composer, her mother an art historian, and her sister a fine artist, which inspired her to pursue an arts management degree. She added a double major in economics shortly after enrolling.
Gadsden attended GRg Draschestrasse, a bilingual middle and high school in Vienna, which demanded learning complex subjects such as physics and chemistry in two languages—German and English.
While attending The German School in 2007, not far from the Purchase campus, Gadsden decided to attend college in the US, drawn to Purchase in particular for its “community feel,” the faculty, and the small class size.
At Purchase, Gadsden showed outstanding leadership in both academics and campus life. “Coming from Austria, her comments on cultural or economic policy during class discussions were often the starting point of interesting student debate,” remarked Assistant Professor of Economics Cedric Ceulemans while she was a student.
She graduated summa cum laude, did many internships here and abroad, and held several positions on campus, including:
- Resident Assistant
- Peer Tutor for Economics, German, and Arts Management
- Teaching Assistant for Marketing and Cultural Economics
- Peer Career Liason, Career Development Center
- Marketing and Development Assistant at the Neuberger Museum of Art
When Gadsden was a student, Peter Polinski, assistant director of the Advising Center and her instructor in college writing and freshman seminar, noted that Gadsden “possesses a rare intellectual curiosity that is extraordinary for an undergraduate student” and presciently predicted her “work ethic will take her places.”