Entrepreneur Of The Year US National Award winner

Wade Foster | Zapier



Wade Foster
Co-Founder and CEO
San Francisco, California
Founded: 2011
Corporate profile

Columbia, the fourth largest city in Missouri, is no one’s idea of a tech hub. Nevertheless, small and medium-sized companies around the world turned to Zapier, a company founded there, to survive during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Zapier connects over 4,000 third-party apps and services, automating repetitive tasks and streamlining workflow and business processes with a user-friendly, no-code system. After users customize their flow of information through Zapier’s interface, Zapier integrates data from a variety of disparate business tools that normally couldn’t communicate with each other unless a software engineer radically reengineered the software stack. By making automation accessible to a wider profile of business users, Zapier enabled digital transformations and virtual relaunches for companies creating remote work systems on the fly at the onset of the pandemic.

Not bad for a company that investors once discounted due to its Missouri roots. As a marketing intern for a small Missouri startup, Zapier Co-founder and CEO Wade Foster taught himself marketing, coding and more, adopting a sense of self-sufficiency and resilience he’d carry forward to Zapier. Foster and his fellow software engineers started the company as a self-funded side project after they noticed freelance clients kept asking them to integrate apps.

Now headquartered in San Francisco, Zapier today employs more than 550 employees around the globe. The company has operated as an all-remote workforce since 2011, offering “delocation bonuses” for hires wiling to leave expensive tech hubs. Initially an innovative outlier, Zapier’s decentralized workforce attracted widespread interest during the pandemic, and Foster and his team offered advice and insights based on their remote management experience.