"Co-Founders" is the story of two unlikely partners chasing impossible entrepreneurial dreams. Esata, a black woman from Oakland, and Conway, a small town college dropout, take on the most competitive startup accelerator in Silicon Valley - where the privileged make a killing while the people across the bridge grind to survive.

Development History
The Public Theater (Joe's Pub, NYC)
Musical Review / 2022
NAMT Festival of New Works (NYC)
National Alliance of Musical Theater / 2020
Netflix (Silicon Valley)
Nextplay Events showcase / 2018
Folsom St Foundry (SF)
Staged Workshop / 2018
The Strand Theater (A.C.T. SF)
American Conservatory Theater, Writers workshop / 2022
O.D.C. Theater (SF)
Staged Workshop / 2019
Palace of Fine Arts (SF)
Lean Startup Conference / 2018
Silicon Valley Fashion Week (SF)
BetaBrand Showcase / 2017

watch the trailer....

commissioned by
American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.)
selected by
National Alliance for Musical Theater 
Festival of New Works (NAMT)
with love from
Oakland to SF to NYC

"A tool to spark critical conversations... and even identify common ground between two cultures."
- KQED, Pendarvis Harshaw

"If Hamilton and Silicon Valley procreated"
- SF Weekly

"Co-Founders is the future of musical theater"
- New York Theater Barn

our creative team


Ryan Nicole Austin

Ryan is a Grammy-nominated polymath who finds her most fulfilling experiences at the intersection of art & activism.  Her California State Assembly-recognized career in music & media empowers community. Ryan is featured on TEDx San Francisco, ESPN’s NBA at Christmas with Daveed Diggs, & has performed for Google, Sony, LinkedIn, Apple & Barack Obama.  Ryan has led workshops, directed, and been the playwright-in-residence at New York’s Public Theater (BARS workshop), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, California Shakespeare Theater, and American Conservatory Theater.  Ryan holds a B.A. in Sociology and Political Science from San Diego State University.


Beau Lewis

Beau is an Emmy-winning writer, producer, viral media expert and entrepreneur from Seattle. Lewis’ music videos have over 250 million views online and his work has been featured in the New York Times, the Atlantic, Fortune, and on Good Morning America. He is the CEO of Rhyme Combinator, the media company dedicated to championing positive entrepreneurial culture. He Co-Founded and sits on the board of GoldieBlox, the award winning children’s multimedia company challenging gender stereotypes with the world’s first girl engineer character. Lewis graduated from Stanford with a BS in Engineering and a focus in international relations from Oxford.


Adesha Adefela

Adesha has been an actor in musical theater since age 5, starring alongside her mother Deltrina Johnson, a Beach Blanket Babylon alum. She continued starring in musicals produced by community theaters in her hometown, Oakland, Ca. As a teen, she was to sign with Atlantic records, but in an effort to uphold her personal values, she became an independent artist. That decision led to nominations, sold-out shows in the SF Bay Area, co-starring in a reality TV show produced by Warner Brothers, becoming a Billboard-charted artist, and sharing the stage with famous acts Jazmine Sullivan,Carl Thomas, Ledisi, Goapele and more.


Jamil Jude

Jamil is a director, producer, playwright, and dramaturg. Self-identifying as an "Artist Plus", Jamil feels most at home bringing socially relevant art to the community. Jamil is the Artistic Director at Kenny Leon's True Colors Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia as well as the Co-Founder of The New Griots Festival. He previously served as Associate Artistic Director at True Colors from 2017-2019. His interest in social justice and theatre continues to drive his work, including co-founding a culturally relevant theatre company, Colored People's Theatre, in Washington, DC.


Anthony Veneziale

Anthony is the conceiver and co-creator of the Tony Award winning Broadway show, Freestyle Love Supreme. He has been performing and teaching improv for more than 20 years and is a leader in the field of musical improvisation. Founding member of American Immigrants (San Francisco). He has used these techniques for endeavors with Thomas Kail & Lin-Manuel Miranda (In the Heights, Bartlett, The Electric Company), Daveed Diggs (The Freeze), numerous networks/companies (HBO, TBS, MTV, Nickelodeon, PBS, Radical Media, Google, Salesforce). Co-founded Speechless, an improv thinking company that helps humans create, collaborate, and find their authentic voice.


Victoria Theodore

Victoria is a pianist, singer-songwriter, composer, music director, producer and teacher. She joined Beyoncé’s Formation World Tour in 2016, after having been in Stevie Wonder’s touring band since 2007. She has traveled the world, performed for dignitaries such as President Obama, Queen Elizabeth and the Royal Family, Victoria is respected for her wide-ranging musical versatility and prowess. She is on the creative team developing a musical about Marian Anderson, created the Piano arrangement for the “National Anthem” for the 2020 NFL Kickoff Game, co-arranged / orchestrated “America the Beautiful” for Super Bowl LIII, was Beyoncé’s pianist for Kobe Bryant’s Memorial, Music Director for Playbill’s Women in Theatre: A Centennial Celebration and Summer: The Donna Summer Musical (2017-2018), in La Jolla and on Broadway.


David Richardson

David is a visual director and co-inventor of PRISM holograms. His work has been recognized as transformative to storytelling, heralded by publications like Forbes and the Guardian, as one of the main innovators in the medium - capable of generating unique results that rival entertainment giants like Disney and Amazon. His most recent show, CAGES, ran in Los Angeles and London.