November 9, 2023

Zeal Capital Welcomes Stefanie Thomas As New Managing Director Focusing On Racial Wealth Gap Solutions

Zeal Capital

Washington-based Zeal Capital Partners, an early-stage investment firm working to narrow the racial wealth gap, has appointed Stefanie Thomas as Managing Director.

The investment firm partners with diverse management teams to further invest in financial technology and the future of work startups that heavily rely on tech to narrow the racial wealth gap.

As a category-specific investment firm, Zeal focuses on education, employment pathways, financial wellness, and health equity and was founded by Nasir C. Qadree.

Meet Stefanie Thomas

Thomas is an early-stage impact investor with over a decade of deal-making, ecosystem-building, and relationship development experience.

She launched into venture capital as a freelancer at Impact America Fund (IAF). 

The start-up firm grew from $7M to $110M Assets Under Management (AUM)  with a thesis to drive economic power to communities of color.

By closing one of the firm’s landmark investments, Thomas joined IFA as its first full-time role employee.

As Founding Member and Investor, she led the firm’s sourcing and ecosystem-building activities through network, process, and platform development.

Her work includes evaluating over 1,500 companies and deals leadership on 25 financings, from pre-seed to Series B, while advising CEOs on capital-raising strategies.

“We are thrilled to welcome Stefanie to Zeal Capital Partners to spearhead a timely effort to propel the next generation of diverse entrepreneurs and companies shaping the future of technology and business at scale,” said Qadree in the press release.

“Stefanie’s leadership will add to our continuing commitment to provide capital and support systems to businesses that produce outsized returns, empower diverse management teams, and help grow the next generation of venture capital professionals.”

Stefanie Thomas

Managing Director 

In her new role at Zeal, Thomas will oversee the firm’s expanded commitment to Inclusive Investing under the Barclays Black Formation Investments (BBFI) initative.

The initiative is a pioneering pre-seed investment platform backed by Barclays and managed by Zeal Capital Partners.

It was built to propel the next generation of Black-led companies and provide critical early-stage capital and support to founders building high-growth tech companies across the US.

She will also oversee the firm’s pre-seed investment strategy and portfolio, focusing on sourcing, investing, and scaling high-growth, early-stage tech startups.

“My work and life experiences have helped me to see investment opportunities beyond a traditional investing lens, and I’m looking forward to using that experience to identify founders with unique and important ideas,” said Thomas

Sara Keenan

Tech Reporter at POCIT. Following her master's degree in journalism, Sara cultivated a deep passion for writing and driving positive change for Black and Brown individuals across all areas of life. This passion expanded to include the experiences of Black and Brown people in tech thanks to her internship experience as an editorial assistant at a tech startup.