Ava McDonald, Founder & CEO

A rising senior at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School in Austin, Texas, Ava is an entrepreneur who is passionate about marketing. Ava founded Zfluence in March 2019 to address the growing lack of authenticity that exists in “pay-for-say” influencer marketing on Instagram. Ava’s mission is to empower the leaders of her generation—Generation Z, the largest group of social media users—to take the reins of the $10 billion Instagram economy and redefine it as a more authentic, honest, and principled medium for promoting products.

Ava began working in marketing when she was a freshman in high school, serving as a marketing assistant at a local cycling studio and at an equity theater company. When she was a junior, she was the first and only high school student admitted into the college internship program at one of Austin’s leading public relations firms. Currently, Ava is working with a professor at McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas, Austin, to develop part of the Fall 2019 MBA curriculum, and a participant in the WIT Social Entrepreneur and Leadership Program, a 34-week, by-application-only course for six college credits from the University of California at San Diego.

In addition to running Zfluence, Ava is actively involved in her school’s dance and choreography programs, Model United Nations, Quiz Bowl, and French Club, and she volunteers regularly with Interfaith Action of Central Texas, teaching English to local refugee children.

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