Tianyi Joe Zhu
Chairman, West Suburban Angels
Tianyi “Joe” Zhu is an international entrepreneur and angel investor. He’s a co-founder and partner in SmartHealth Activator, a biotech accelerator and venture firm in North Chicago. In March of 2017, SmartHealth Activator in partnership with Rosalind Franklin University announced plans to break ground on a $50 million, four story, 100,000 square foot biotech research and innovation park. The biotech park will be home to many new and exciting bio-startups focused on addressing mankind’s greatest health problems. Long-term plans envision the possible addition of two more buildings, but the first building alone will create an estimated 498 new jobs for a total economic impact of $117 million annually. The biotech park is just the beginning to SmartHealth’s vision of building a vibrant bio-startup ecosystem in the Chicagoland area.
Tianyi “Joe” is also a co-founder of West Suburban Angels, a well-known and respected angel group in the Chicagoland area, and also is the chairman of the Zhu Holdings Group Company. He splits time between US and China, as he serves as a venture advisor, and M&A agent to numerous public Chinese companies and funds. Tianyi is a proverbial serial entrepreneur getting his start at the age of 19, starting a company that served as an alternative medicine provider that operated through partnerships with companies in China. He’s since then founded many others, and has recorded exits in both his personal ventures as well as investments. He’s been a board member to several not-for-profits, and past president of the Naperville Jaycees, and was the previous US representative for the Chinese Welfare Population Foundation which reported to the Minister of Civil Affairs. He was a University of Illinois Alumni Association: UIAAAN Featured Alumni, and received the honor in 2015 of Mandarin Leader for Entrepreneurship. In his personal life, Tianyi is a professional boxer, has competed in the 2008 Chinese Olympic Trials, trained with the Chinese National Team, and was a IKF Amateur Thai Boxing World Champion