希雅•泰迪•唐纳对于企业家的需求了如指掌。在硅谷，她作为True Ventures的联合创始人而广为人知。这家公司是一支风投基金，专注于处于发展初期的企业。她也是True University的幕后策划人。True University是一个为期两天的会议，它将True Ventures公司旗下资产组合公司召集在一起，分享理念，开展合作。
一个免费对公众开放的孵化器似乎并不是什么革命性的举措，但在潜在创业者中可能会很受欢迎。最近的技术泡沫和HBO的电视剧《硅谷》（Silicon Valley）推广了这样一个观点：创业只需要动力和决心。那些一流的加速器和孵化器都收到了大量的申请，而且正在满负荷运转当中。例如，Y Combinator据称每分钟就会收到一个申请，而通过率仅在1%左右。
Shea Tate-Di Donna knows what entrepreneurs need. In Silicon Valley, she's best known as one of the founding partners at True Ventures, a venture capital fund focused on early-stage companies. She was also the architect behind True University, a two-day conference that brings together companies in the True portfolio to share ideas and collaborate.
If that sounds a little kumbaya, Tate-Di Donna's latest project has similar idealistic aims. Zana is a virtual incubator that will, in her words, "democratize entrepreneurship."
It's easy to see how Zana (pronounced zah-nah) was born out of one of True's core values: Encouraging CEOs to turn to one another for help and advice. It's a rare strategy among venture firms, and one that's served True well. Those values, and more than a decade's worth of conversations with founders, led Tate-Di Donna to create a peer education-focused incubator available to anyone with an Internet connection. "Zana is a platform versus a content delivery vehicle," Tate-Di Donna tells Fortune. "The real magic happens when entrepreneurs talk to each other."
A free and open-to-the-public incubator shouldn't seem revolutionary, but it will likely be in hot demand among would-be founders. This latest tech bubble and shows like HBO's Silicon Valley have bolstered the idea that starting a company simply requires drive and determination. The best accelerators and incubators are bombarded with applications and at maximum capacity. Y Combinator, for example, reportedly receives one application per minute, with an acceptance rate hovering just above one percent.
There also tends to be a self-selecting group that applies for early-stage funding and mentorship. In March, YC founding partner Jessica Livingston told Slate that while she thinks 2014 will be a tipping point year for women in tech, only 84 of the 633 startups YC funded over the years had at least one woman founder. "In the mid-2000s, we were lucky to get one female per batch," she said.
That's changed, of course. But the numbers of non-white, non-male accelerator applicants still lag far behind. In venture capital, the gender imbalance is even worse; women comprise just four percent of all VCs. "When I was at True Ventures," Tate-Di Donna says, "I was the only woman for the first five years. And I was the only woman on the investment team for seven years."
She also saw an obvious gap in the current swath of entrepreneur-centric opportunities. "There's not a trusted, gold standard, de facto place that will help move a business forward through its life cycle as a company," she says. "YC good for early-stage. There are incubators and accelerators focused on periods of time or specific skill development. But peer-led education support—that's where we see the enormous opportunity." (Also, a note about the name: Zana was a goddess in Romanian mythology known for giving life and generously bestowing gifts.)
With Zana, there aren't any real barriers to entry, as it's free and available on demand. (The revenue structure is a basic freemium model with a premium option available to companies. There will also eventually be a certification program enabling employers to test employees on various modules.) It also promises to unite entrepreneurs from various industries and from all around the world.