Shuoyang (Sunny) Zhang

Founder, TrueLeap Inc.

An award-winning educator, researcher, entrepreneur and investor, Sunny Zhang specializes in venture building and investing with 20 years of expertise in innovation and behavioral science, digital marketing, social networks and international business. Her professional achievements have earned her notable recognitions such as the 2023 Dealmakers Hall of Fame Inductee, Top 50 Influential Women in Houston in 2023, Outstanding Professor for 2021-2022 in the University of St. Thomas Cameron School of Business and the 2021 Small Business Champion of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration Houston District.

Dr. Zhang founded TrueLeap Inc., an education technology company that improves global access to quality education through a sustainable ecosystem approach. She is also a tenured marketing professor (on sabbatical) at the Cameron School of Business, University of St. Thomas (UST). Before UST, she taught graduate and undergraduate courses at business schools at the University of Alabama, Indiana University and Colorado State University. Her academic research has been published in premium journals, and she is regularly invited as a keynote speaker at international conferences.

As a prominent leader in the startup and venture space, Dr. Zhang co-founded Born Global Ventures, a venture studio backing early-stage globally scalable tech startups, and Born Global Community, a 501c3 nonprofit organization supporting diverse entrepreneurs with a global mindset and interconnecting local and international innovation ecosystems. Her dedication to bridging gaps and cultivating the galaxy of innovation is evidenced by her board and advisory roles at prominent organizations such as George H. W. Bush Foundation for U.S.-China Relations, Women in AI, World Chamber of Commerce in Texas, StudioHub and Houston Women in VC, among others.

Dr. Zhang received her PhD in marketing with a minor in social psychology and master of business from the Kelly School of Business, Indiana University, Bloomington; her MS in applied psychology from the Chinese Academy of Sciences; and her BS in social psychology from Jilin University. She and her husband Sandip are proud parents of two children, Eshaan and Rohaan.