Best Tech Startup (Silicon Valley) |Founded as a resource to help working mothers achieve work-life balance, Zūm was born out of an idea for better, more equitable future. Zūm’s CEO and co-founder, Ritu Narayan, is a working mother herself and faced a choice after moving to Silicon Valley: she juggled caring for her family and working a demanding career managing $1billion+ of eCommerce at eBay. Rather than sacrifice quality work or family time, Ritu founded a company to solve a major childcare issue parents face: safe, reliable transportation. Together, Ritu and her employees are on a mission to improve the lives of busy working moms through social innovation, transportation expertise and technology. Not only are they helping women (and men, too) safely and efficiently get their children from various places throughout the day, they are empowering parents to achieve their professional and personal goals while creating a wonderful life for their families. Not only does Zūm’s leadership team and employees have one foot in the future, but the company also employs forward-thinking drivers, or Zūmers. It’s creating jobs for parents and other professionals, like teachers, nurses, etc., who want a flexible schedule and to earn extra income. Ritu’s mission-based company is helping parents pursue their passions while keeping their kids engaged and is also offering unique and flexible career opportunities for people around the country. Finally, the service inspires a sense of independence for the children who use it, and helps them to pursue extracurricular opportunities that may have not been previously available due to logistics. In effect, Zūm is fostering the next generation of forward-thinking leaders as well.