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Ava McDonald, Founder & CEO

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

Ava began working in marketing when she was a freshman in high school at a local cycling studio and at an equity theater company. As a sophomore, 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 the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin, to develop part of the Fall 2019 MBA curriculum.

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.