I was born in Los Angeles, California. Soon after being born, my family moved back to Taipei, Taiwan. I would grow up in Taipei, Hong Kong and Shanghai, the latter where I attended high school.
Growing up I was playful kid. Despite being a great student, I had my fair share of fun and mischief along the way.
College: First Taste of Startups
After high school, I was lucky enough to get accepted into The University of Chicago, where I was first introduced to the world of tech startups and entrepreneurship.
I was hooked and co-founded two companies in college:
- Project SAM (now Sokowatch)
- Technology helping non-profit health organizations in rural areas track inventory with SMS messaging
- Platform that aggregates all the events happening at your university in one place.
- Our app was used by up to 2,000 students
My entrepreneurial endeavors allowed me to wear many hats across business development, product management, software engineering and marketing.
We also competed across a variety of national entrepreneurship competitions, placing second place in the Booth School's Social New Venture Challenge and winning the Microsoft Imagine Cup World Citizenship Award.
It also gave me a chance to intern for 1871, the first and largest co-working space in Chicago, where I recognized firsthand the power of community.
College: Building a Lasting Community
After learning so much, I wanted to give back and give other students the chance to experience what I did.
So along with a few others, we founded Edge UChicago, which would become The University of Chicago's largest undergraduate entrepreneurship organization.
Edge included multiple tracks based on students' interests:
- General Track: monthly events covering a broad array of topics
- Venture Capital Track: for those interested in the VC world
- Student Accelerator: 12-week student startup accelerator program covering ideation, basic design, lean startup methodology, and more.
I led the Student Accelerator, building out our 12-week curriculum, which covered ideation, prototyping, market research, basic programming, design, and more. Our curriculum was influenced heavily by Eric Ries' Lean Startup Methodology and Steve Blank's The Startup Owner's Manual.
In addition to leading our accelerator program, I managed all of our internal operations and led the weekly sessions for our 53 student members who formed 17 startups.
Our program was a success, as 3 of the 5 teams in the UChicago College New Venture Challenge (the undergraduate entrepreneurship competition), came out of our accelerator.
Building an Interdisciplinary Skillset
My experiences outside of the classroom were so powerful that I just couldn't get to get into the professional world, so much so that I graduated a year early.
If there was anything I learned from starting my own tech startups, it was:
1) How much I loved building and launching products
2) The importance of having knowledge across all areas of business to be an effective product owner
I recognized that the most successful founders and product managers are the ones who have experience across multiple functions.
Since graduating in June 2014, I've developed skills in:
- Software engineering
- UI/UX design
- QA testing
- Content creation (blog, podcast, video)
- Content marketing
- Social media advertising
- Project management
- Community building
and had the opportunity to:
- Help raise $300,000 for Chicago’s third largest Kickstarter campaign of 2014
- Build a website for a publicly traded e-commerce company
- Serve as the frontend development instructor for a leading UI/UX design school
- Lead a 6-person team delivering over 20+ custom-built WordPress websites
- Help a social media clients grow by 100,000 followers within a week
- Release a viral video that got over 92M views
- Manage and produce a 30-episode podcast that has over 15,000 listens
- Reduce the churn rate of a multi-million dollar agency by 50%
- Build Chicago's very first growth hacking community
You can read more about my work experience here.
Getting Back Into Product Management
All of these experiences have given me a holistic and unique understanding of what it takes to build and launch a successful product.
I'm ready to take that knowledge to make an impact at an up-and-coming technology company.
Tech companies are constantly trying to find a balance between limited resources, customer needs and business goals. With my cross-functional skill set, I'm able to prioritize and communicate effectively between teams in order to keep things moving forward.
I'm excited at the opportunity to help your company amplify your impact and launch amazing products that make the world a better place.