Matthew Zenker, director of deal flow and investments at University Hospitals Ventures is one of our Top 50 Rising Stars in corporate venturing for 2024.

Matthew Zenker, University Hospitals Ventures

Not every corporate investor has a finance background and Matthew Zenker, the director of deal flow and investments at University Hospitals (UH) Ventures is no different. “I was an English major at the University of Notre Dame, and I came into the corporate venturing world through my writing skills. I was applying for roles around grant writing in Ohio that focused on companies starting new technologies. This is where my journey into corporate venturing began,” he says.

“It is rewarding to find ways we can build relationshups with entreprenuers and help them navigate big healthcare systems.”

Zenker started out working at Cleveland Clinic Innovations, a subsidiary of healthcare system Cleveland Clinic. In his role, he led various innovation events and summits, which helped him build a network in corporate venturing. “I wanted to transition my career more towards the venture side, but marketing and content writing really got my foot through the door,” he says.

“University Hospitals was opening its own venture arm, which offered the perfect opportunity for me to become a corporate venturer.”

Zenker is the first point of contact for startups at UH Ventures, the corporate venture arm of University Hospitals, a US-based healthcare provider. He leads investment diligence for the most promising opportunities and is interested in devices, diagnostics and digital health.

“It is rewarding to find ways we can build relationships with entrepreneurs and help them navigate big healthcare systems like University Hospitals. We help get trials and pilots off the ground and get a front-row seat to the impact on our providers and patients. It is great to be a part of this important work,” says Zenker.

The key to success in corporate venture is “taking advantage of the deep and diverse set of insights within your organisation. Diligence and decisions can take time in large health systems, but if we do it right, we can make bets on great companies and shape the future of healthcare,” he says.

See the full list of GCV Rising Stars for 2024 here.