A Different View: A Look at Zeal Capital
FOUNDER & MANAGING PARTNER
Education: Hampton University, BS in Marketing; General Assembly Front End Web Development, Python Programming
Prior Experience: Associate Director of Social Investments at AT&T; Head of Education at Village Capital; US Economic Opportunity lead at Village Capital; Special Assistant to the Commissioner of Education – Connecticut State Department of Education; Senior Associate – State Street Corporation; Analyst – Goldman Sachs
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO LAUNCH ZEAL CAPITAL PARTNERS?
I’ve dedicated my career to sourcing, funding, and scaling businesses led by exceptional founders across the country, many of whom do not fit the traditional tech founder mould. Not enough founders are getting a fair shot – they’re not receiving the best resources, mentorship, and capital. Far too much innovation and genius are going untapped. That’s bad for small businesses, and quite frankly bad for our US economy. Zeal is on a path towards democratizing venture capital and entrepreneurship via our Inclusive Investing strategy. Beginning with our team and dedicated limited partners, we are rethinking how we support entrepreneurs today and long term.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN FOUNDERS?
I’m interested in founders who are humble and have “Zeal” (pun intended) – that fire. If a founder is not madly in love with their business, more than likely I won’t be either. I’m also interested in founders who have deep insight into the market and solving a “painkiller” problem(s) without compromising integrity.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO EXPAND OUR LENS TO NON-TRADITIONAL STARTUP HOTBEDS?
I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing first hand, through my previous investments, that there are exceptional founders and businesses everywhere. Over the past decade , founders from secondary markets have become more and more sophisticated, building profitable and sustainable business models. I also believe that there’s power in leveraging local assets. We are beginning to see more cities known for sector-specific innovations, building on top of universities and large corporations who are open to innovation for example. While we invest in companies on the coast, being headquartered in lower cost cities, enables investment dollars to go much further when compared to companies headquartered in ecosystem such as SF or NYC.
WHAT MAKES THE ZEAL CAPITAL PARTNERS TEAM UNIQUE?
Our team hustles like the entrepreneurs we seek to back. We bring a combination of high-IQ and low-ego. Everyone is genuinely motivated by working with founders and companies to maximize their potential. We all come from different backgrounds and have different operating expertise, which makes our advice all the more thoughtful and practical.