Ming Zhao

Co-founder & CEO


Ming Zhao is the co-founder and CEO of PROVEN, the expert in personalized skincare.

When Ming was just 12 years old, she left China and moved to the United States with her family. Ming’s parents moved from a place where they had a thriving business, family, and friends, to a place where they knew no one and didn’t speak the language. Ming’s parents believed she would have a better life in America and that the generations who’d come after them would have more opportunities and freedoms.

A few years after Ming arrived, she went from not speaking English to scoring a perfect score on the verbal SATs. She made her way through college with the help of scholarships and graduated from Harvard Business School.

Ming kicked off her career the way a lot of business school graduates do, strategy consultant, private equity investor, and hedge funds. Ming began her career as a Strategy Consultant at Boston Consulting Group, where she advised Fortune 500 companies on their strategy, operations and distribution. She spent several years as a private equity investor at Bain Capital, where she specialized in investments in consumer, technology, and biotech companies globally. After, she was a fund of hedge funds investor at the Pacific Alternative Asset Management Company (PAAMCO), before building and leading the partnerships team at NerdWallet. She was rated by NPS as one of the best managers at NerdWallet.

But soon, the career stress caught up with her and appeared on her face. Ming purchased every expensive skincare product you could imagine-the ones the saleswoman promised would bring vibrancy back to skin, the ones magazines claim are game changers, and those social media tell us work for everyone, guaranteed. She even went to an expensive Hollywood specialist who charged thousands for personalized skincare.

This experience led Ming to wonder if personalized skincare could become a reality for the everyday consumer. She soon came together with her close friend Dr. Amy Yuan, who was working on a personal project using AI to predict which ingredients would work for individuals and the two quickly realized the game-changing potential of the idea and decided to dedicate themselves fully to it.

Since PROVEN was founded in 2017, the company has won MIT’s 2018 Artificial Intelligence Award, the Best Use of Technology at the 2022 Glossy Beauty Awards for its proprietary Skin Genome Project, been granted a groundbreaking personalization patent, and served over 150,000 customers.