Marta Zanchi

Marta Zanchi

Member since February 10, 2017
Founder and Managing Partner at Nina Capital Quote_down
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I was born in the pre-alpine landscape of the North of Italy, in a narrow Valley full of small villages and high-elevation passes provided only with narrow steep trails and mule tracks. Milano, where I moved as a teenage student and lived for five years, was to my village what Mars is to Earth. From Citta’ Studi in 2005, moving to California seemed an easy intergalactic jump—and there I stayed for fourteen years, in and around the outskirts of Stanford in the heart of Silicon Valley. All in pursuit of always the same, one desire: improve healthcare with the use of technology.

In middle school, I briefly contemplated becoming a physician, but a persistent habit of dismantling home appliances and tampering with souped-up motorbikes had quickly revealed my nerdy side. Most importantly, I was stubbornly convinced that technology could be for doctors what capes are for superheroes. I ended up studying biomedical and electrical engineering, from a bachelor at Politecnico di Milano to a doctorate at Stanford University, training as a system designer of medical instrumentation—mostly imaging systems leveraging all radiation types known to man. The jokes about their residual effects on my personality abound.


In 2007 I took a class on the Biodesign health technology innovation process, and something inside of me resonated deeply. Upon graduation a few years later, I joined the Biodesign community as a member of the faculty of the Stanford School of Medicine and founding director of the Center’s digital health programs. Here I was privileged to enjoy a decade of learning from my colleagues; hundreds of students, residents, and physicians; and the broader ecosystem of innovators and their investors for whom this special University continues to be an inescapable center of gravity.

An application of the Biodesign process led me to create Nina Capital as a way to invest in and serve a growing generation of European need-driven founders at the intersection of healthcare and technology, in order to support their businesses’ international ambitions. I was drawn to the potential that Barcelona, Spain, offered to launch the firm. I was right: it was here that I met my amazing teammates.

I am the proud adoptive mother of two lovable little rascals, Zac and Nina. I am constantly chasing my children with a camera. I keep strong enough to keep up with them by swimming, biking, and discovering an unexpected passion for boxing. Since learning to read, I have an unhealthy obsession for books—especially history, art, philosophy—which I compulsively organize by height in single thematic shelves. I am also a graphic novel enthusiast, endlessly debating with myself about whether my Calvin & Hobbes encyclopedia belongs in the comics or philosophy bookshelf.