Zeal Capital Partners, the Washington, D.C.-based venture capital firm, yesterday announced its expanded commitment into health equity. Healthcare investor Emily Zhen joins Zeal Capital Partners as Principal to execute Zeal’s new health equity investing mandate. Zeal aims to narrow healthcare disparities by investing in tech-enabled, early-stage healthcare businesses that are delivering care to traditionally overlooked populations.
“Zeal Capital Partners continues to pursue our north star of narrowing the wealth and skills gaps, especially for disadvantaged communities. We recognize that better health outcomes are critical to ensuring that all individuals can equitably participate in the economy,” said Nasir Qadree, Founder and Managing Partner, Zeal Capital Partners. “We are motivated by the entrepreneurial opportunity to disrupt systems and remediate the systemic disparities in healthcare. Emily will be an invaluable contributor on our team as we spearhead the launch of our new health equity vertical. She brings multi-stage investing, operating, and research experience in healthcare.”
The U.S. spends over $4 trillion on healthcare per year. While the pandemic dramatically accelerated healthcare innovation, it also highlighted longstanding inequities and disparities among underserved populations. Zhen will lead the end-to-end investment process for seed and Series A stage companies tackling access and affordability of care, women’s health, mental health and wellness, and social determinants of health. She will also work with Zeal’s Investment team on deal execution across the existing financial technology and future of work and learning categories.
“I am driven to improve the quality, access, and affordability of healthcare for all,” said Emily Zhen. “I’m thrilled to join the Zeal team to lead the new health equity investing practice. At Zeal, we believe health is a crucial building block to wealth and economic mobility. I look forward to partnering with innovative founders, diverse management teams, and our limited partners to address equity of access, affordability, and outcomes in healthcare.”
Prior to joining Zeal, Zhen served as a healthcare investor at New Enterprise Associates (NEA), a global venture capital and growth equity firm. At NEA, she helped deploy over $500 million in capital, incubated portfolio companies from ideation through growth stage, and facilitated public offerings and follow-on financings. Before joining NEA, Zhen was a member of the healthcare investment banking team at Goldman Sachs. She has also worked for digital health startups, the U.S. Treasury, and in life sciences research. Zhen graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania, with a BA in Biology, a BS in Economics from the Wharton School, and a certificate in health policy.