Boston – Suffolk, a builder and real estate enterprise, has announced it hired Wan Li Zhu as the managing director of Suffolk Technologies, the firm’s venture capital arm that invests in technology startups transforming the built world.
Zhu will be responsible for Suffolk’s investment and partnership activities that accelerate industry-wide adoption of breakthrough innovations.
He is a founding advisor to Suffolk Technologies and worked closely with Jit Kee Chin, Suffolk chief data and innovation officer, and the Suffolk executive team since 2019 to establish the venture capital arm. That partnership has already led to investments in several exciting organizations including OpenSpace, EquipmentShare and Agora.
Prior to his work at Suffolk Technologies, Zhu was a partner at Fairhaven Capital, a Boston-based venture capital firm that has invested more than $450 million in enterprise and consumer startups.
His investment focus at Fairhaven Capital centered on applied artificial intelligence, marketplace platforms, and data-driven businesses across multiple industry sectors.
“Real estate and construction is a multi-trillion-dollar industry undergoing significant change driven by digitization, data and technology, and foundational companies of the future are being built today. Suffolk is uniquely positioned as an innovation leader that can invest in, shape and scale these emerging technologies,” said Jit Kee Chin, chief data and innovation officer for Suffolk. “We are delighted to welcome Wan Li to Suffolk Technologies to deepen our investment program and help redefine what it means to be a builder.”
Zhu also co-founded and manages MIT Alumni Angels, which has supported more than 100 technology and life sciences startups founded by MIT alumni, faculty and students. He is an active advisor and angel investor in the seed and early-stage startup ecosystem. Prior to his experience in venture capital, Zhu led enterprise software product development and marketing initiatives at Microsoft in Dynamics CRM. Zhu has also spent time at Google, Morgan Stanley, and the NYSE.
Zhu has served as chairman of the board at MIT Enterprise Forum and as the executive chairman of the New England Venture Network. Zhu holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, and Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT. At MIT, he conducted research in knowledge acquisition for artificial general intelligence at the MIT Media Lab and the application of AI to financial markets at the MIT Lab for financial engineering.