Wan Li Zhu - VC Wisdom


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By Sal Daher. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

The family of Wan Li Zhu emigrated to America seeking new opportunities. Wan Li benefited from high-quality public education at Bronx High School of Science and went on to a perfect grade-point average at MIT. He studied under renowned quant wiz Andrew Lo and was poised for a career on Wall Street but was lured away by the prospect of hands-on responsibility for product features at Microsoft. After a prodigiously successful stint, during which he was involved in building and marketing Dynamics CRM, Microsoft’s fastest-growing product, he went to Harvard Business School. From HBS he was recruited by early-stage VC firm Fairhaven Capital.

The firm, known for its expertise in web security and digital advertising, now sees promise in various applications of artificial intelligence starting with self-driving technology. Wan Li is deeply engaged in bringing on the next generation of winning investments at Fairhaven Capital. Despite a busy professional life, Wan Li Zhu has found time to advise startups and to co-found MIT Angels in Boston. I learned a ton from my conversation with this wise, yet unassuming early-stage VC and angel.


  • Wan Li Zhu Bio

  • Studied with MIT Professor Andrew Lo – Used Natural Language Processing to Assess Market Sentiment

  • Why Wan Li Zhu Went to Microsoft – Three Years at MS – Shipped Three Versions of the Product

  • Wan Li Zhu Connects with Fairhaven Capital through HBS Resume Book

  • Fairhaven Capital Is Thesis-driven – Attentive to Market Trends that Could Create Large Opportunities

  • How the Fairhaven Capital Portfolio Is Doing

  • What Wan Li Zhu Looks for in a Startup Investment

  • Experienced Founders Can Actually Time Markets

  • TVision Came Via MIT Angels – Measuring Engagement of TV Viewers

  • AirFox – Enabling Wireless Carriers to Offer More Affordable Data Plans

  • MIT Angels Company PathAI’s Deep Learning System Is Better at Detecting Tumor Cells than Human Pathologists

  • Latch – Enterprise-grade Keyless Access System for Apartment Buildings

  • The Investment Wan Li Zhu Regrets Not Making

  • Wise VC Wan Li Zhu Continues to Be Very Bullish on AI

199 episodes