Programs

Young Entrepreneurs & Entrepreneurs

Young Asian American CEOs and entrepreneurs share how they started their business from scratch, competed against large companies and made their millions – even before reaching 40!

USPAACC’s CelebrAsian Procurement Conference kicks off strong with the Under 40 Millionaire Entrepreneurs: Agents of Change program. Beginning in 2011, this program quickly became a signature event at our annual conference. To date, we had the following young Asian American CEOs share their success and inspiring stories with us:

CelebrAsian 2018

Hendrick Lee

Hendrick Lee

Co-Founder, Managing Partner

Palm Drive Capital

Hendrick Lee

Co-Founder, Managing Partner
Palm Drive Capital

Hendrick Lee is the co-founder and managing partner at Palm Drive Capital. Palm Drive Capital is a growth equity fund based in New York, focusing on young revenue- generating companies within SaaS, B2B, marketplace, enterprise services and innovative data applications in traditional industries. Portfolio companies include high growth startups like Jet.com, Zenefits, Addepar, WeLab, Bench Accounting, Spire Global, Hyperloop, Magic Leap, and Boom Supersonic, etc. Prior to Palm Drive, Hendrick was an investment associate at AEA Investors. He has been a serial entrepreneur since college. He is the co-founder of Lair East, former CEO and current chairman of Pebbo, and co-founder of Canidu. Hendrick holds double undergraduate degree in B.S. of Chemical Engineering and B.A. of Philosophy and a master degree in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University.

Calvin Chin

Calvin Chin

Partner

E14 Fund

Calvin Chin

Partner
E14 Fund

Calvin is managing partner at E14 Fund, the MIT Media Lab venture fund. E14 invests in early stage deep tech companies from the MIT Media Lab community.

Previously he was co-founder and CEO of Transist Impact Labs, an incubator and investor in impact-driven tech startups in China and the US. Earlier Calvin was founder and CEO of Qifang, China's first online student loan service and the first Chinese company recognized by the WEF as a Technology Pioneer. Calvin is a member of the Aspen Institute's inaugural China Fellowship Program, a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and served on the WEF Global Agenda Council on Social Innovation. He was named one of Fast Company magazine's 100 Most Creative People In Business for 2011, was named 2009 Chinese Business Leader of the Year by Horasis and Baker & McKenzie, and is a Social Innovation Park Fellow. He has an MBA from TRIUM (NYU, LSE, HEC Paris), a B.A. from Yale University and has also studied social entrepreneurship, global leadership and other management and policy subjects at Harvard University and INSEAD.

Aj Jaghori

AJ Jaghori

CEO & Co-founder

Chelfie

AJ Jaghori

CEO & Co-founder
Chelfie

AJ Jaghori is a serial Technopreneur, Data Scientist, Inventor, Early Blockchain Pioneer, Founder of the MIT Social Genome Project, and a Fortune Magazine Most Influential People in Business - 40 under 40 nominee.

A self-taught, dyslexic coder, he started his first tech company at 17 from the back of a car in Palo Alto and sold it at 19. He’s since had 4 successful exits including to Google and Verizon, 2 failed ventures, a month-long digital detox with a Buddhist monk whose teachings helped him overcome burnout, and a patent litigation battle that nearly bankrupted him --- all before the age of 30. AJ is the CEO and Co-founder of social commerce upstart Chelfie, Founder and Managing Partner at the global tech incubator HelloLoCo, Author of the upcoming book SURVIVING THE STARTUP ECHOCHAMBER. A counterintuitive model for accelerating from concept to market, and Entrepreneur In Residence at the Human <> AI Project where among other moonshots, his team is developing a platform that is capable of storing over 200 petabytes in a single gram of DNA.

CelebrAsian 2017

Cathleen Chen

Cathleen Cher Chen

Founder and Creative Director

Strita, LLC

Cathleen Cher Chen

Founder and Creative Director
Strita, LLC

Cathleen Cher Chen is the founder of Strita, LLC—a music centric creative consulting company with clients such as American Express, BuzzFeed, Adidas, MySpace, Pandora, etc.  Before finding her own company, Cathleen worked as the Art Production Manager for Kanye West’s concerts across the country and in Canada. Cathleen was among a group of distinguished scholarship recipients at USPAACC Procurement Conference back in 2005.

David Lee

David U. Lee

Founder and CEO

Leeding Media

David U. Lee

Founder and CEO
Leeding Media

David U. Lee is the founder and CEO of Leeding Media, a production, finance and marketing company that serves as a bridge between the U.S. and Chinese entertainment industries. The company works with American studios, filmmakers and rights holders as well as Chinese investors, distributors and media companies to identify, negotiate and execute mutually beneficial partnerships and co-productions. Lee’s expertise on business opportunities and practices in China and the U.S. is highly sought after by prominent companies in both countries.

Since its formation in 2007, with offices in both Los Angeles and Beijing, Leeding Media has become the premier independent aggregator and marketer of world-class films in China. In collaboration with its partners, Leeding Media has marketed 12 feature films theatrically and controls exclusive digital distribution rights to nearly 500 titles in China. They include such award-winning and critically acclaimed films as Million Dollar Baby, Whiplash, Nightcrawler, Rush, Bobby, A Single Man and Kinsey, as well as blockbusters including Divergent, Insurgent, Ender’s Game, Ghost Rider 2 and Underworld.

In 2014 the company helped orchestrate the launch of the groundbreaking Chinese subscription streaming service Lionsgate Entertainment World, a joint venture between Alibaba Group and Lionsgate. Leeding Media continues to aggregate and license Chinese digital rights to titles from the libraries of companies including IM Global Films, Exclusive Media, Lakeshore Entertainment, Myriad Pictures, Voltage Pictures and Intermedia.

Lee has played instrumental roles in five groundbreaking film productions in China. Most recently he served as U.S. post-production producer on director Jiang Wen’s Gone with the Bullets. In 2011 he produced Inseparable, starring two-time Academy Award® winner Kevin Spacey. In 2009 Lee advised China Film Group Corporation on the structuring of its co-production with Sony Pictures Entertainment on The Karate Kid, starring Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith. Lee is a co-executive producer of Shanghai starring John Cusack, Gong Li and Chow Yun-fat, and The Forbidden Kingdom, the most successful China-U.S. co-production in history, which stars Jackie Chan and Jet Li.

In 2009 Lee was named an inaugural member of The Hollywood Reporter’s Next Generation Asia, which honored rising young stars of Asia’s media and entertainment industry.  He is frequently invited to speak at major China-U.S. entertainment industry conferences.

Lee was born in China and raised in Los Angeles. He received his bachelor’s degree from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California before starting his entertainment career at Miramax and serving in various positions at Telemundo, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Revolution Studios.

After returning to USC and receiving his MBA in 2004, Lee move to Beijing where he joined the venture-capital arm of American publishing firm IDG Asia. As director, and later vice president of business development for IDG, he oversaw the launch of the Chinese edition of entertainment-industry trade paper Variety.

Patrick Lee

Patrick Lee

Co-founder of Hobo Labs Founder, Former CEO of Rotten Tomatoes Executive Producer of "The Heavenly Kings

Rotten Tomatoes, Hobo Labs

Patrick Lee

Co-founder of Hobo Labs Founder, Former CEO of Rotten Tomatoes Executive Producer of "The Heavenly Kings
Rotten Tomatoes, Hobo Labs

Co-founder of Hobo Labs, making guild-based casual mobile games.

Co-founder and former CEO of alivenotdead.com, an online community for artists and their fans. Sold to mig33 February 2014.

Executive Producer of “The Heavenly Kings”, directed by Daniel Wu (Best New Director, 2007 Hong Kong Film Awards).

Co-founder and former CEO of Rotten Tomatoes, a leading entertainment website focused on movie reviews and news and one of the top 600 most trafficked sites in the world. Sold to IGN Entertainment June 2004.

Co-founder and former CEO of Design Reactor (designreactor.com), an internet marketing firm focused on the entertainment industry. Clients included Disney, ABC, Warner Bros., and Artisan Entertainment, among others.

Advisor to Casetagram, Instaread (IDreamBooks), LEEO, Frenzoo, and SupportBee.

Mentor at various SOSV Accelerators (MOX, Chinaccelerator, Leap.Axlr8r), Founder Institute, Gateway Incubator, Berkeley LAUNCH Startup Accelerator, nest.vc, and CoCoon HK.

#55 on Bizzabo’s list of 
“The 100 Most Wanted Speakers at Tech Conferences”
 (Mar 12, 2014):

Holds a BA in Cognitive Science from the University of California at Berkeley.

Jacob Hsu 2018

Jacob Hsu

CEO

catalyte

Jacob Hsu

CEO
catalyte

Jacob Hsu is a Silicon Valley based executive, entrepreneur, and corporate advisor. Mr Hsu is currently the CEO of Catalyte (www.catalyte.io), a company that leverages data science to redevelop American non- technical workers to become software developers, creating thousands of new jobs in the knowledge economy. Prior to Catalyte, Mr. Hsu was CEO of Symbio, a global software engineering and R&D services company, which he transformed from an early stage startup company to global diversified IT services company with over 23,000 employees around the world.

Mr. Hsu has also co-founded or been a founding investor in over thirty other companies in the United States and Asia. Before joining Symbio, he was the founding CEO of Trilogica, a data aggregation software company, and founding CEO of Epitome, a banking applications company. Mr. Hsu began his career in investment banking focused on mergers & acquisitions.

Mr. Hsu received his bachelors from Wharton and was named by Chief Executive Magazine as one of the world’s Top 12 Young Global Leaders of Tomorrow and as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

Charles Huang

Charles Huang

Cofounder

RedOctane and Guitar Hero

Charles Huang

Cofounder
RedOctane and Guitar Hero

Charles Huang is a co-founder of RedOctane and the co-creator of the Guitar Hero video game franchise.  In 2005, the company published Guitar Hero, which went on to become the fastest video game to reach $1B in sales.  Guitar Hero was the best selling video game in the world in 2007 and 2008.

In 2006, Mr. Huang, along with his brother Kai, was elected as one of the top 50 producers in New Media by the Producers Guild of American New Media Council membership which includes such famed movie directors as Jerry Bruckheimer and Brian Grazer.

Mr Huang left Guitar Hero in 2010.  He’s been and adviser to many IOT start ups.  He’s a board member of Steel Wool, a virtual reality games studio based in Oakland.   His lab is Indigo 7, where he works on various music or fashion or health tech projects such as a Singtrix, a karaoke system that integrates professional grade audio engineering.

Mr. Huang immigrated to California as a young child and currently resides in Silicon Valley with his wife and two daughters. Mr. Huang holds BA’s in Economics and Asian Studies from the University of California at Berkeley.  He currently sits on the UC Berkeley Foundation Board of Trustees.

Tim Hwang

Tim Hwang

Founder and CEO

FiscalNote

Tim Hwang

Founder and CEO
FiscalNote

Tim is currently the Founder and CEO of FiscalNote, a real­time legal analytics platform that uses AI and natural language processing to help global organizations take control of their government risk and understand the law. The 150­person company now powers some of the world’s largest and most influential law firms, legal departments, and governments. With Hwang’s technology and over $30M+ in funding from the likes of Mark Cuban, Jerry Yang, Steve Case, NEA, Renren and others, FiscalNote is revolutionizing access to legislation, regulations, and court cases for organizations around the world.

Prior to starting FiscalNote from a Motel 6 in Silicon Valley, Hwang started his career in politics as a field organizer for the Obama ‘08 campaign. He was elected to the Montgomery County Board of Education a year later, overseeing a budget of over $4 Billion for 22,000 public employees. Tim also served as the President of the 750,000 member National Youth Association and the founder of Operation Fly. Inc., ­ a national 501(c)(3) organization that served inner­city children in underprivileged areas around the country.

Tim was profiled in Forbes 30 Under 30, Inc. 30 Under 30, CNN’s Top 10 Startups, Business Insiders Top 25 Hottest Startups, and many others. He is a graduate of Princeton and currently deferring Harvard Business School. He is also currently a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer and a member of the The Economic Club of Washington, D.C.

Brian Wong

Brian Wong

Founder & CEO

Kiip

Brian Wong

Founder & CEO
Kiip

Brian Wong is the 26-year-old co-founder and CEO of Kiip. Kiip (pronounced “keep”) redefines how brands connect with consumers through a rewards platform that targets “achievement moments” in mobile games and apps. This innovative approach to mobile marketing creates meaningful engagements between consumers and brands. Backed by Verizon Ventures, AmEx Ventures, US Cellular, North Atlantic Capital, Hummer Winblad, Relay Ventures, True Ventures, and others, the company has raised over $32 million in funding to date.

Kiip has been recognized by Forbes as one of the “4 Hot Online Ad Companies to Put on Your Watch List,” named on the Dow Jones “FasTech50” and is listed on Fast Company’s “50 Most Innovative Companies in the World.” Once the youngest person to ever receive venture capital funding, Brian received his Bachelor of Commerce from the University of British Columbia at age 18, after skipping four K-12 grades.

Brian has been recognized with many awards for his accomplishments and leadership, including:

  • Business Insider’s “Top 25 Under 25 in Silicon Valley,” “30 Under 30 in Advertising” and “18 Most Important People in Mobile Advertising”
  • Forbes’ “30 under 30” for three years in a row, and then a judge for 2016
  • Mashable’s “Top 5 Entrepreneurs to Watch”
  • iMedia’s top “25”
  • AdAge’s “Creativity Top 50”
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  • Canadian Business’ Change Agents for 2016

Before starting Kiip, Brian led key publisher and tech partnerships at the social news website Digg.com, where he accelerated the company’s mobile presence by launching the Digg Android mobile app.

Brian launched his first book, The Cheat Code, in September 2016, published by Crown Business / Penguin Random House. The Cheat Code contains 71 bitesized and virtually effortless shortcuts to get a leg up on the competition, garner attention for creative thinkers and their ideas, and to accelerate success. The book has been featured by Forbes, CNBC, Elle, The Telegraph, The Globe and Mail, and many more publications around the world, and is quickly becoming the go-to book for entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial advice for our generation.

Ashley Woolheater

Ashley Woolheater

Policy Associate

Oculus

Ashley Woolheater

Policy Associate
Oculus

Ashley Woolheater is a Policy Associate at Oculus where she helps coordinate the company’s work with governments around the world on virtual reality. Ashley was previously Policy Chief of Staff at Hillary for America, consulted with technology and health care companies on their public policy strategies, and served at the U.S. State Department on the Secretary of State’s Strategic Communications team. Ashley holds an MA from The Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University and a BA from Emory University.

CelebrAsian 2016

Alefiya Bhatia

Alefiya Bhatia

President & Founder

Crescerance

Alefiya Bhatia

President & Founder
Crescerance

Alefiya believes that involved communities result in higher academic and social outcomes, stronger values, and increased future success for students. Her degree in psychology and education from Emory University, along with her training and experience as a Montessori teacher, power her passion for wide-scale education improvement. It is this passion that led her to star Crescerance (cris-seer-unce) in 2011 to enable schools to better communicate with and engage their communities through mobile. She is now focusing on bringing the concepts and tolls of app development to students as young as the 3rd grade by enabling them to build mobile apps of apps with the newly launched MAD-learn program. In her spare time, she enjoys touring the world, meeting new people, learning new languages, and experiencing new cultures. She is also a closet adrenaline junkie who loves the occasional sky or sea dive expedition.

Brian Wong

Brian Wong

Founder & CEO

Kiip

Brian Wong

Founder & CEO
Kiip

Brian Wong is the 26-year-old co-founder and CEO of Kiip. Kiip (pronounced “keep”) redefines how brands connect with consumers through a rewards platform that targets “achievement moments” in mobile games and apps. This innovative approach to mobile marketing creates meaningful engagements between consumers and brands. Backed by Verizon Ventures, AmEx Ventures, US Cellular, North Atlantic Capital, Hummer Winblad, Relay Ventures, True Ventures, and others, the company has raised over $32 million in funding to date.

Kiip has been recognized by Forbes as one of the “4 Hot Online Ad Companies to Put on Your Watch List,” named on the Dow Jones “FasTech50” and is listed on Fast Company’s “50 Most Innovative Companies in the World.” Once the youngest person to ever receive venture capital funding, Brian received his Bachelor of Commerce from the University of British Columbia at age 18, after skipping four K-12 grades.

Brian has been recognized with many awards for his accomplishments and leadership, including:

  • Business Insider’s “Top 25 Under 25 in Silicon Valley,” “30 Under 30 in Advertising” and “18 Most Important People in Mobile Advertising”
  • Forbes’ “30 under 30” for three years in a row, and then a judge for 2016
  • Mashable’s “Top 5 Entrepreneurs to Watch”
  • iMedia’s top “25”
  • AdAge’s “Creativity Top 50”
  • asdf
  • Canadian Business’ Change Agents for 2016

Before starting Kiip, Brian led key publisher and tech partnerships at the social news website Digg.com, where he accelerated the company’s mobile presence by launching the Digg Android mobile app.

Brian launched his first book, The Cheat Code, in September 2016, published by Crown Business / Penguin Random House. The Cheat Code contains 71 bitesized and virtually effortless shortcuts to get a leg up on the competition, garner attention for creative thinkers and their ideas, and to accelerate success. The book has been featured by Forbes, CNBC, Elle, The Telegraph, The Globe and Mail, and many more publications around the world, and is quickly becoming the go-to book for entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial advice for our generation.

CelebrAsian 2015

Vincent Kittiratragarn

Vincent Kitirattragarn

Founder

Dang Foods

Vincent Kitirattragarn

Founder
Dang Foods

Nicole Ponseca

Nicole Ponseca

Restaurant Owner

Maharlika, Jeepney

Nicole Ponseca

Restaurant Owner
Maharlika, Jeepney

Since 1998, Nicole Ponseca has been on a mission to put Filipino food on the map and the world’s consciousness. Her restaurants created a new standard for Filipino restaurants: critically and commercially. Moreover, her efforts and her team have helped create a positive awareness and a consciousness about Philippine culture and cuisine within and beyond the Filipino diaspora.

In a recent Fil-Am Who’s Who article written by Jose Antonio Vargas – Pulitzer Prize winning author and director of the CNN documentary “#documented” – she was described as the “Philippine Culinary Hero”. As the founder and operator of two of the world’s most critically acclaimed Filipino restaurants – she is well on her way to what the New York Times described as “an empire in the making”.

A former advertising and production executive for Saatchi & Saatchi and for Euro RSCG, Nicole realized in 1998 that there lacked a major imprint of Filipino culture in the culinary arts. Dining at some of the best restaurants in the world, she realized Filipinos had no seat at the culinary table. Determined to change that, Nicole moonlighted for 12 years: Advertising exec-by-day and dishwasherhostess- waiter-manager by night. Despite restaurants’ statistics of 90% failure rate and low expectations of Filipino Food, Nicole has beat the odds by introducing America to Filipino cuisine + culture with critically and commercially successful restaurants: Maharlika Filipino Moderno and Jeepney Filipino Gastropub, the former winning best restaurant and Michelin recommended and the latter obtaining a coveted 2 stars by the New York Times.

Her efforts have found her and the team in the New York Times, TimeOut New York, GoodDay New York (NYs #1 Morning TV Show), AM New York, NBC, The Food Network, Cooking Channel, The Chew, Vice’s Munchies series, Complex Magazine, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, Town & Country and more.

She is recognized for her excellent food + service and as a standout entrepreneur in the male dominated restaurant industry. Her awards and acknowledgments include Best Restaurant, Best Burger, Best Seafood as well as a repeated guest to the White House Initiative of Asian Americans. She is rated #6 in Zagat’s Restaurant Power Player list.

Though her schedule is tight, she co-hosts a yearly charity ball entitled “Evening in Manila” that helps raises funds for ARK (Advancement for Rural Kids). The 2014 “Evening in Manila” raised funds that created 304,183 lunches, which fed 615 kids for 2.5 years. Moreover, 150 kids are now back in school, and they would have dropped out. Her Ilokano mother taught her, education is always the way.

Her professional and civic duties have found her the recipient of many awards including the Bayani Award by FAHNS (Filipino American Historical National Society) and the Distinguished Woman of 2015 Award by the Philippine Consulate. California Native, Nicole Ponseca is a graduate of the University of San Francisco.

She is committed to positively changing the expectations of Filipino entrepreneurs and teaching her two dogs how to sit.

CelebrAsian 2014

Duke Chung

Duke Chung

CEO

Microsoft Parature

Duke Chung

CEO
Microsoft Parature

Duke Chung leads Parature’s corporate development and strategy to include overall corporate development, new products, acquisitions and partnerships. He co-founded Parature in 2000 with a vision to provide superior customer support software accessible via the Internet, and today, Parature’s Software-as-a-Service product suite supports millions of end users worldwide in diverse industries from associations to higher education, gaming and interactive media, services, software and technology.

Duke has been widely recognized for his efforts in pioneering innovation. He has been named to Fast Company’s Fast 50, Washington Business Journal’s 40 under 40, Washington Techway’s Top Technology Executives, SmartCEO magazine’s Smart100, Washingtonian magazine’s Power 150 and Bisnow Media’s ‘Top 35 under 35 Entrepreneur’ in the Washington, DC region.

Duke provides thought leadership and serves as the chief evangelist for Parature. He is a frequent speaker at industry events and conferences throughout the country including Digital East, the Customer Management Summit, CRM Magazine, SearchCRM, the Ernst & Young Cloud Computing Summit, the Social CRM Expo and Executive Biz. His speaking engagements also include the Stanford Business School, Darden School of Business, George Washington University, Georgetown University and the MIT Enterprise Forum. Outside of Parature, Duke enjoys basketball, biking, skiing and collecting.

Terry Hsiao

Terry Hsiao

Founder & CEO

Hookmobile

Terry Hsiao

Founder & CEO
Hookmobile

Terry Hsiao is a well-recognized entrepreneur in the mobile telecommunications industry. Since 2000, he has founded three start-ups including InphoMatch (later rebranded Mobile 365) which was acquired by Sybase (Now SAP) for $425M in 2006. Currently, he serves as CEO of Hooks Mobile, a SMS and voice API provider for mobile apps and games. Mr. Hsiao has been appointed by the Governor in Virginia to serve two terms on the Board of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Investment Authority in Virginia. Hsiao also serves as a member on the Board of Governors at MIT Sloan School of Management, Monte Jade DC Chapter, and Advisory Board at Rutgers University College of Engineering and the Confucius Institute at George Mason University (GMU). Hsiao received an Honors BSEE from Rutgers University and SM (MBA) from MIT Sloan School of Management.

Naveen Krishnamurthy

Naveen Krishnamurthy

CEO

Riva Solutions, Inc.

Naveen Krishnamurthy

CEO
Riva Solutions, Inc.

Naveen Krishnamurthy is Founder & CEO of RIVA Solutions, Inc., a Federal oriented small business best known for their innovative and cutting edge solutions in web development, mobile applications, social media & big data centering around the Federal Digital Government initiatives.  Mr. Krishnamurthy has been heavily involved with Government Agencies and related organizations in the areas of thought leadership surrounding Acquisition Management and Emerging Technology.  Mr. Krishnamurthy holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Maryland.  He is also a recent Fed100 award recipient!  Connect with him today at www.linkedin.com/in/naveenkrishnamurthy.

Payal Mehta

Payal Mehta

Managing Partner

Arora Hospitality Group

Payal Mehta

Managing Partner
Arora Hospitality Group

Payal Mehta was born in India and moved to the United States when she was 10 years old. Currently, she is the managing partner and director of catering for Arora Hospitality Group. Arora Hospitality Group owns multiple restaurants in New Jersey and Atlanta, including the popular Mithaas, Moghul Express, and Urban Spice fine dining.

Arora Hospitality Group has become highly successful in the South Asian wedding industry, having catered over 400 weddings nationwide. Payal’s passion for food has helped her create unique menus that drive new trends in the South Asian wedding community.

Previously, Payal spent five years as the Commissioner for Woodbridge Housing Authority. She enjoyed helping and spending time with the senior citizens, especially those whose kids have disowned their parents. There, she realized her source of happiness resides in putting a smile on someone’s face. While she no longer has the time to be the Commissioner, she still finds time to help her father throw great Thanksgiving dinner parties for senior citizens in her town!
Payal is a very outgoing, friendly person. She enjoys attending networking events to meet new people and exchange ideas. She also enjoys traveling, and hopes that in the near future she will be able to travel more, meet different people, engage in their culture, and ultimately bring these ideas and trends back to her company.

Payal currently resides in Edison, New Jersey with her husband Rajesh and her 13 year old soon, Eshaan. She is proud that these two men in her life are her pillars, always giving her the strength to reach her goals!

CelebrAsian 2013

Amanda Ma

Amanda Ma

Co-Founder

Fresh Events Company

Amanda Ma

Co-Founder
Fresh Events Company

Having visited over 30 countries, Ma is able to utilize her passion for travel by incorporating style and design from all over the world while acknowledging how culture and tradition can play into many events. Her passion for entrepreneurship started at a young age. Having co-founded Fresh Events Company in 2006, Managing Director Ma is a master of creating and leveraging strategic partnerships to bring additional value to clients. Her witty personality and positive attitude allow her clients to relax as she creates fresh events. It’s no wonder that she is listed as a preferred vendor at many of Southern California’s top venues. Ma’s work is consistently featured in print and broadcast media, both locally and nationally. In 2010, Ma was named one of Pasadena Magazine’s “Forty Under 40.” Ma is often invited to speak at various events.

At Fresh Events Company, Ma oversees event strategy and brand integration for clients including Southern California Edison, MetroPCS, East West Bank, and Kaiser Permanente. Alongside day to day operations, she is passionate about developing and implementing dynamic events and marketing strategies in alignment with brand strategies and messaging.

Before Fresh Events Company, Ma’s role was to further expand Panda Cares, a nonprofit sector within Panda Restaurant Group, Inc. She formalized the Panda Cares Program and led a team of sixteen Panda Cares Employees. Her contributions include impactful non-profit events throughout the country. Ma successfully coordinated over 60 Panda Cares events and raised participation by 30%. She has worked and partnered with Children’s Hospital, Boys & Girls Club, United Way, USC MESA, to name a few, and has been recognized by various non-profit organizations for her dedication and involvement.

Ma is fluent in Mandarin Chinese. Her excellent interpersonal and organizational skills, creative mind, and communication skills enable her to work in a fast paced environment and be adaptable to the changes within the industry.

Ma is actively involved with Step Up Women’s Network, Asian Business Association, NLBWA-LA, NAWBO, and BU Alumni Association.

Michael Lum

Michael Lum

Founder

Gradient X

Michael Lum

Founder
Gradient X

With more than 12 years of experience in the online advertising space, Michael brings large-scale, high performance software engineering expertise to Gradient X and is responsible for product management, engineering, analytics, and operations.

Prior to founding Gradient X, Michael was the head of engineering at OpenX, where he built and led the engineering team that created their enterprise ad server and market ad exchange.

Michael has also held the position of director of architecture at Yahoo! 
where he designed the technology infrastructure for the search and advertising technology group. Previously he served as a senior manager of production engineering at Overture Services where he oversaw production engineering and operations for the company that invented pay-for-performance search. Prior to Overture Services, Michael was a senior consultant at IBM Global Services where he provided technology and management consulting. Michael began his career as a system administrator at Boeing, a developer at CareerPath.com and as director of operations at Worldwide Intercommunication Network.

Michael has filed a patent for method and system for establishing a reserve price for a publisher’s ad space inventory offered via a real-time bidding market. He holds a bachelor of science in computer engineering and computer science from the University of Southern California where he was honored as a Trustee Scholar and Merit Research Scholar.

Greg Lam

Greg Lam

Co-Founder

Kneon

Greg Lam

Co-Founder
Kneon

Greg Lam is Co-Founder of Kneon.  Greg worked at SPIN Media (recently acquired by Buzz Media) as the West Coast Account Manager, overseeing the daily management of all advertising and marketing campaigns. Through his experience there, Greg gained knowledge of the ins and outs of the publishing world. It became apparent to Greg that magazines needed to find not only new sources of revenue, but also more accurate ways of measuring and defining its audience. Having to constantly put himself in the shoes of the reader, he was able to create a solution that gave both the content producer and the audience what they wanted. Additionally, Greg took an integral role in strengthening SPIN’s knowledge and utilization of social networking and other marketing tools.

Alex Ismail

Alex Ismail

CEO

Liberty Paper

Alex Ismail

CEO
Liberty Paper

Mr. Ismail was born in Bombay, India and moved to the United States in 1989 with his parents and younger siblings. He played a key role in overseeing the well -being of his newly relocated family and quickly found a sales position in a budding telecommunications firm, while concurrently earning his Bachelor’s degree from California State University Northridge. Enjoying success in sales was not enough for this young entrepreneur and Mr. Ismail began seeking an opportunity to parlay his earnings towards a venture of his own.

In 1994, Mr. Ismail invested in his first solo venture with the acquisition and development of Plaza Cleaners, a chain of dry cleaning retail centers in Santa Monica. Mr. Ismail quadrupled revenues, a monumental feat for a relatively saturated market. He sold the enterprise for a profit in 2004.
In 1996, Mr. Ismail purchased land near the redeveloping Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. He negotiated a multi&dash;franchise deal that placed various profit centers on his land including a Texaco Star Mart, Subway, Pizza Hut, TCBY and Western Union. He sold the enterprise for a profit in 2008.
While operating the above mentioned retail profit centers. Mr. Ismail sought another opportunity to grow, but this time wanted to try his hand in a business&dash;to&dash;business (B2B) instead of retail. He reviewed a variety of opportunities and acquired Liberty Paper in 2001. Since then, the company has grown organically, one customer at a time and the company is 25 times larger than what it was a the time of its acquisition in 2001. Liberty Paper has a large service platform and delivery infrastructure which includes facilities in Seattle, Los Angeles, Houston, Charlotte New Jersey and Baltimore.
Mr. Ismail is seeking the opportunity to further grow Liberty Paper by acquiring an office products company that will compliment paper sales and the existing Liberty Paper client base.

Mr. Ismail is married to his wife of 13 years, father of two children and resides in Playa Del Rey, California. He is a member of the Entrepreneur Organization (EO) and a community leader nominated as a Vice&dash;Chair (Western USA chapter) for an International NGO (AKDN) which is dedicated to improving living conditions and opportunities for the under&dash;privileged.

Patrick Flynn

Patrick Flynn

Founder & CEO

Northeast Relocation, Inc.

Patrick Flynn

Founder & CEO
Northeast Relocation, Inc.

Patrick Flynn is Founder & CEO of Northeast Relocation, Inc., providing corporate housing through it’s Northeast Suites division throughout the country, with a focus in the Northeast.  His company provides high-quality luxury temporary housing in apartments, condos, and houses, with industry leading standards like 42” HDTV’s, Keurig coffee makers, complimentary meet & greet services, and custom welcome gifts for every arrival.  He is also founder of Wicked Clean, a housekeeping division providing eco-friendly cleaning options throughout the Greater Boston area utilizing state of the art real-time online booking technology.

Prior to founding Northeast Relocation, Mr. Flynn held various positions in sales, operations, and management, with national corporate housing companies up and down the East Coast for over 10 years.

Jennifer Yen

Jennifer Yen

Creator

Pur~lisse

Jennifer Yen

Creator
Pur~lisse

It was a simple case of “form follows function” that led actress Jennifer Yen to create Pur~lisse, her 10- product skincare line.  “As a successful working actress living in Los Angeles, I noticed that my skin was breaking out and becoming easily irritated after hours in makeup and under hot lights.  I discovered that most products contained dyes, synthetic fragrances, parabens and allergens which made my skin even worse!  My radiant skin had become lackluster and irritated,” states Yen.

Frustrated with the state of her skin, Yen sought out a real expert for advice—her grandmother, who always had youthful, radiant, beautiful skin, for a lesson that she would later call “Pur genius”.  Her grandmother’s Chinese secret:  time-honored home recipes all containing Blue Lotus and White Tea.  By combining this tried-and-true knowledge with advanced French skin technology, Yen and her chemist were able to create the foundation of her formulations which she calls Lotus Lupine 5 Complex, an age-prevention combination of powerful antioxidants, botanical plant extracts, marine plants, vitamins and peptides to keep skin healthy.

Jennifer Yen experienced a transformation when she created Pur~lisse;  not only did she rejuvenate and manage her skin, she also transformed from actress to entrepreneur with a brand motto that aptly reads “pur~ingredients, pur~performance, pur~transformation”.

Currently Yen , a graduate of Boston University is focused on overseeing the growth of her skincare brand while acting plays a secondary role in her life.  As a member of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) she promotes entrepreneurship as a means to overcome youth unemployment and underemployment.  And Yen is a mentor to the Cherie Blair Foundation and Spark Student program.

Tony Chen

Tony Chen

Founder & CEO

Channel Factory

Tony Chen

Founder & CEO
Channel Factory

Tony Chen is the Founder and CEO of Channel Factory, a technology-driven video marketing company that increases engagement for brand videos on YouTube.  Prior to starting Channel Factory, Tony was a student at Rice University where he double majored in piano performance and economics, and minored in business. He founded Channel Factory as a sophomore and as soon as the company took off, Tony dropped out of Rice and assembled an elite team of experienced YouTube and brand executives behind his vision. Since March 2011, Channel Factory has been an industry leader in the social video space, working with more than 100 Fortune 500 brands and more than 85 agencies across the world.

CelebrAsian 2012

Timothy Chi

Timothy Chi

CEO

Weddingwire

Timothy Chi

CEO
Weddingwire

Timothy founded WeddingWire with the vision of infusing technology into the wedding and event industry. In less than five years, WeddingWire has become the largest online marketplace connecting local merchants with engaged couples. For over 100,000 local merchants, WeddingWire provides a marketing platform to reach prospective clients, to manage multi-media assets, and to network with other merchants. For engaged couples, WeddingWire provides vendor recommendations, local business reviews, personal website creation, and a suite of online planning tools.

Previously, Timothy co-founded Blackboard Inc in 1998. While at Blackboard, Timothy pioneered many of Blackboard’s product and strategic initiatives, helping the company grow to over 600 employees and a valuation of over $750 Million. 
Timothy holds a B.S. degree in Operations Research/Industrial Engineering from Cornell University and a Master’s of Science degree in Engineering Management from Tufts University.

Duke Chung

Duke Chung

CEO

Microsoft Parature

Duke Chung

CEO
Microsoft Parature

Duke Chung leads Parature’s corporate development and strategy to include overall corporate development, new products, acquisitions and partnerships. He co-founded Parature in 2000 with a vision to provide superior customer support software accessible via the Internet, and today, Parature’s Software-as-a-Service product suite supports millions of end users worldwide in diverse industries from associations to higher education, gaming and interactive media, services, software and technology.

Duke has been widely recognized for his efforts in pioneering innovation. He has been named to Fast Company’s Fast 50, Washington Business Journal’s 40 under 40, Washington Techway’s Top Technology Executives, SmartCEO magazine’s Smart100, Washingtonian magazine’s Power 150 and Bisnow Media’s ‘Top 35 under 35 Entrepreneur’ in the Washington, DC region.

Duke provides thought leadership and serves as the chief evangelist for Parature. He is a frequent speaker at industry events and conferences throughout the country including Digital East, the Customer Management Summit, CRM Magazine, SearchCRM, the Ernst & Young Cloud Computing Summit, the Social CRM Expo and Executive Biz. His speaking engagements also include the Stanford Business School, Darden School of Business, George Washington University, Georgetown University and the MIT Enterprise Forum. Outside of Parature, Duke enjoys basketball, biking, skiing and collecting.

Terry Hsiao

Terry Hsiao

Founder & CEO

Hookmobile

Terry Hsiao

Founder & CEO
Hookmobile

Terry Hsiao is a well-recognized entrepreneur in the mobile telecommunications industry. Since 2000, he has founded three start-ups including InphoMatch (later rebranded Mobile 365) which was acquired by Sybase (Now SAP) for $425M in 2006. Currently, he serves as CEO of Hooks Mobile, a SMS and voice API provider for mobile apps and games. Mr. Hsiao has been appointed by the Governor in Virginia to serve two terms on the Board of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Investment Authority in Virginia. Hsiao also serves as a member on the Board of Governors at MIT Sloan School of Management, Monte Jade DC Chapter, and Advisory Board at Rutgers University College of Engineering and the Confucius Institute at George Mason University (GMU). Hsiao received an Honors BSEE from Rutgers University and SM (MBA) from MIT Sloan School of Management.

David Kim

David Kim

CEO

C2Education

David Kim

CEO
C2Education

David Kim holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Harvard University. It was during his time at Harvard that Mr. Kim became interested in the relationship between economics and education, a passion which motivated him to submit a business proposal for a tutoring service to Harvard Student Agencies, an organization with provides aspiring student entrepreneurs with grant money to start small businesses. What began as a tutoring service run out of a dorm room has grown into the C2 Education of today, with 110 centers nationwide.

In the years since C2 Education was founded, David Kim has continued to pursue his community service interests. He serves on the board of the Washington Youth Foundation and is a commissioner on the Montgomery County Commission on Children and Youth. His community service and his work in the field of education have earned David recognition from such publications as Forbes Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Inc Magazine. Most recently, he was honored by the Korean Economic Institute as one of the top young rising Korean Americans.

Anjali Ann Ramakumaran

Anjali (Ann) Ramakumaran

CEO

Ampcus, Inc.

Anjali (Ann) Ramakumaran

CEO
Ampcus, Inc.

Ann is the Founder and CEO of Ampcus Inc a technology savvy entrepreneur with more than 10 years of contribution towards the design and development of software services and delivery of Information Technology services. Under her leadership she has grown Ampcus Inc into a fast growing consulting and professional services firm. She has been awarded as the top Asian American owned businesses by USPAACC for 2009,2010,2011 and 2012 and 50 fastest growing women owned businesses in the CONUS by the Women Presidents Organization for the years 2010,2011, and 2012. Ampcus Inc made the Inc500/5000 list for the years 2010, 2011, and 2012. Ampcus Inc has also been recognizedas the Top diversity business for the years 2010,2011, and 2012. She has helped fortune 2000 companies with their enterprise-wide customized solutions. She reports to the board and drives the company to attain its vision of being one of the largest Professional services companies globally. She has been involved in executing a consultative methodology to define, qualify, and quantify the clients’ targeted and strategic IT and business objectives and from this developed solutions to proactively address current and evolving needs and projects.

Ann holds her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in business and commercial management from India. She has also completed an executive management program from the Robins School of Management, University of Richmond.

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Manoj Ramnani

Founder & CEO

Dub Labs

Manoj Ramnani

Founder & CEO
Dub Labs

Manoj is an entrepreneur with more than 10 years of experience starting and growing firms in the Information Technology arena. His experience spans healthcare, eLearning, and various verticals as well as development of enterprise mobile applications. Prior to Dub Labs, Manoj Ramnani was Founder and President of Astegic. Astegic is an information technology firm specializing in commercial and government services. Manoj built Astegic into a multi-million dollar organization with offices around the world. Manoj also successfully managed several other organizations including MRInfosys, Mobile Spectrum, and NoesisMD.

CelebrAsian 2011

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Joshua Hong

Former CEO

Gamersfirst

Joshua Hong

Former CEO
Gamersfirst

Terry Hsiao

Terry Hsiao

Founder & CEO

Hookmobile

Terry Hsiao

Founder & CEO
Hookmobile

Terry Hsiao is a well-recognized entrepreneur in the mobile telecommunications industry. Since 2000, he has founded three start-ups including InphoMatch (later rebranded Mobile 365) which was acquired by Sybase (Now SAP) for $425M in 2006. Currently, he serves as CEO of Hooks Mobile, a SMS and voice API provider for mobile apps and games. Mr. Hsiao has been appointed by the Governor in Virginia to serve two terms on the Board of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Investment Authority in Virginia. Hsiao also serves as a member on the Board of Governors at MIT Sloan School of Management, Monte Jade DC Chapter, and Advisory Board at Rutgers University College of Engineering and the Confucius Institute at George Mason University (GMU). Hsiao received an Honors BSEE from Rutgers University and SM (MBA) from MIT Sloan School of Management.

Greg Lam

Greg Lam

Co-Founder

Kneon

Greg Lam

Co-Founder
Kneon

Greg Lam is Co-Founder of Kneon.  Greg worked at SPIN Media (recently acquired by Buzz Media) as the West Coast Account Manager, overseeing the daily management of all advertising and marketing campaigns. Through his experience there, Greg gained knowledge of the ins and outs of the publishing world. It became apparent to Greg that magazines needed to find not only new sources of revenue, but also more accurate ways of measuring and defining its audience. Having to constantly put himself in the shoes of the reader, he was able to create a solution that gave both the content producer and the audience what they wanted. Additionally, Greg took an integral role in strengthening SPIN’s knowledge and utilization of social networking and other marketing tools.

Jonh Xie

John Xie

Founder & CEO

Cirtex Corporation

John Xie

Founder & CEO
Cirtex Corporation

John Xie is the founder and CEO of Cirtex Corp, a leading web hosting service provider currently hosting more than 100,000 websites internationally, specializing in video and social media hosting solutions. Cirtex Corp has flourished in a hyper-competitive, commoditized industry by delivering affordable, scalable and professional web hosting solutions that meet the needs of a variety of clientele.

As one of the first web hosting providers to develop an all-in-one web hosting solution for online video sharing websites, Cirtex Corp enables new clients to sign up and have a website online within minutes, whether its a video sharing website, online gallery, social media website, blog, social networking website, or an online business presence.