Where We’re Investing Now: Gen Z

Joyance Partners
2 min readNov 9, 2022
Photo by Devin Avery on Unsplash

As an investor, founders creating startups aimed at Gen Z are some of my favorites. I’m amongst the first waves of Gen Z to slowly trickle out of school and into the workforce, so obviously I’m thrilled to hear pitches for products aimed at folks my age. Gen Z is already starting to set a different tone for startup culture, from the newly flexible way that businesses are run, to the fervently unbiased way they recruit, to the ESG-focused policies they adopt.

As a result of Gen Z-ers being born into the age of the internet, they were born into a volume and magnitude of cultural sharing and information previously impossible, and the outcome is quite evident: They are headstrong and over-confident, yet empathetic and socially anxious. Riddled with student debt and overburdened by the ocean of information they encounter every day, they are self-righteous and have a low tolerance for discrimination, classism, and pollution. What they lack in job experience and financial stability, they make up for in advocacy and vocal protest. They are quick to elevate causes they deem important and ardently call out injustice.

With this in mind, I see my peers rally enthusiastically behind ventures with mission-driven values. These include retail companies pledging sustainable initiatives (like our portfolio companies Naadam, Outer, and Finless), wellness companies celebrating sexual liberation (like our companies Unbound and Dame), and tech companies increasing access to mental health resources (like our companies Wave, Mine’d, and Expectful). As they fuel an increasingly blurring line of company values that would have previously belonged strictly to NGOs or B-Corps, marketing is now all about being unpolished, authentic, and independent.

It’s inspiring to meet founders creating products for Gen Z with this shameless authenticity in mind, and I consider myself extremely fortunate to be in a position to advocate for them. Though I’m relatively young and new to this (as I have been rudely reminded of by a few disgruntled founders), I’m excited to help create meaningful, unadulterated moments of delight, and I hope that other funds soon come to see the value in seeking the advice of someone younger.

If you’re an up-and-coming Gen Z-targeted startup, get in touch — I’d be happy to talk about the future.

By Jenna Jung
Investment Associate

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Joyance Partners

We invest in companies that use science & tech, to cultivate joy and improve how we live, focusing on the health & consumer sectors from Pre-Seed to Series A.