FinTech Female Fridays: Meet Associate at Plum Alley Investments, Alicia Zheng
Alicia appreciates the advantage her diverse background and experience have provided her for gaining insights into various markets and evaluating companies for her current role in VC. "I studied Horticulture in college and my thesis project was a preliminary study of biofuels which inspired my interest in renewable energy and sustainability. I then came to NYU for graduate study and got my MS degree, prepared me for my first job in healthcare. I started working at NYU Langone Health in medical research operations, first at a neuroscience team, later I helped build up a new cancer research lab and supported the team’s fast growth. To explore my next career, I started my MBA at NYU Stern where the finance study and my lab startup experience together got me interested in venture capital. With no prior investing experience, this career transition was full of challenge, but constant learning of the venture world and networking was key for me to find the opportunity at Plum Alley. "
Alicia Zheng, currently works at Plum Alley Investments, a venture firm investing in early-stage tech and healthcare companies with at least one woman founder. She is also very proud to be a member of the community WISE – Women Investing for a Sustainable Economy, due to her long-term passion for sustainability and impact investing, "and I learned about my current role through this community", she says. "Currently at Plum Alley, I'm supporting the deals and operations. One project I’ve working on is onboarding Carta, our fund administration platform, to help automate many processes of the deal circle. At Plum Alley we invest in B2B frontier technology and medical breakthrough companies with at least one female founder at Series A stage. I’m always looking for promising early companies that fit into our investment thesis."
When asked about the culture at Plum Alley Investments, Alicia says: "Working at Plum Alley is exactly like working at the startups we talk to. Everyone takes initiatives to come up with good ideas for the team and to improve performance. I love working in this environment and working with a mission-driven team to support female founders who are traditionally underfunded. "
Alicia is interested in fintech not because "It’s highly regulated just like healthcare, and because innovation in this space was lagging for many years. I think fintech is such an important infrastructure that supports all our other activities and keeps the world running. I want to encourage more young women to consider their career in fintech, this male-dominated world. I want to see and help more amazing female innovators, changemakers and leaders in fintech and witness the disruptions they are bringing to the market. I want to discover and invest in great companies created by more female founders, in fintech as well as the broader technology world, and support them along the road to success."
More on Alicia
Where you currently live: New York City
Living arrangement: Myself in midtown
Family at home: My mom and my dad
Hometown: Fujian, China
Favorite hobby: Taking care of my plants with classical music on
Favorite part of your day: Early evening when it’s still bright out there
Favorite show to binge: Friends
What's the best job decision you ever made? What's the worst job decision you ever made?
Best decision: bringing the first fintech/web3 company to our team that went into deep diligence and conversation.
Worse decision: haven’t been able to find and bring more fintech companies to the team for investment consideration.
7:30am: get up, get ready, and read news/markets
9:30am: in office, starting the busy morning
11:30am: team meeting
1pm: lunch then afternoon work and calls