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‘Unseen and Unheard’? 10 Notable Asian-American Entrepreneurs, You Should Know

American Immigrant Entrepreneurs in Technology

Magazine, The Immigrant Experience

Feeling ‘Unseen and Unheard’, Asian immigrants have for years shared experiences of invisibility. Most recently the pandemic which was politicized by former President Trump as coming from Asia and China, in particular, placed many South East Asians in the bull’s eye of racists. 

The Atlanta-area shootings that killed six Asian women, made concrete the reality of this fear for all Asian Americans across the country.  The covert, and sometimes overt, racism experienced over a lifetime is a pain that is undeserved as they see their contributions to the fabric of these United States completely ignored. 

We, therefore, seize this opportunity to share just a few of the ways in which Asian Americans have played a significant role in shaping the business landscape through the years. They have helped create some of the world’s most profitable businesses, from high fashion to technology. Several of those entrepreneurs have made it onto the Forbes 400 list of America’s richest people, including seven who are ranked among the top 100.

Listed below are some famous Asian American entrepreneurs who can serve as role models for you if you’re interested in starting your own business.

Amar Bose

If you are a music lover, then you probably are already familiar with the Bose brand. It is a manufacturer of noise-canceling and home audio speakers founded by Indian-American Amar Bose in 1964. The music equipment by Bose is famous among music enthusiasts.

Eric Ly 

Not many people know that LinkedIn “Facebook of Business” was co-founded by a Vietnamese-American, Eric Ly, and Reid Hoffman, in 2002. Later the company was acquired by Microsoft in 2016. Eric is also co-founder of the Hub and AI platform KarmaCheck.

Eric S. Yuan 

Zoom is a famous platform for meetings, online classes, and catching up with friends and family. Eric S. Yuan, a Chinese American in 2012, created this communication platform to connect to his long-distance girlfriend. He had a prosperous past before Zoom, as he worked as a manager at WebEx at Cisco video conferencing.

James Park 

He is known for his co-founded brand Fitbit. It is a wearable gadget used for monitoring health metrics. The brand is pretty famous as it existed before the Apple watch. James Park has an influential role in making HealthTech accessible to the public.

Jerry Yang

Jerry Yang is a programmer and billionaire who is the former CEO and co-founder of Yahoo. He is a Taiwanese-American famous for his influential role in building the largest online directories. Currently, he is the founding partner of AME Cloud Ventures.

Min-Liang Tan 

Min-Liang Tan is the founder of the famous gamer brand “Razer.” He founded this brand to provide high-quality gaming peripherals. Now the tech giant has reached more than 125 million users. He aimed the company to Go Green by using a sustainable approach and recyclable products for one of the largest gaming brands.

Rohan Seth 

Rohan Seth is the co-founder of a FOMO-based networking app, “Clubhouse.” He is an Indian-American who created this network for advice, talent, story sharing, and connecting. The app gained a huge spike in popularity recently in COVID times.

Steven Chen

Did you know that an Asian-American founded YouTube? In 2005, Steven Chen built YouTube along with his partners Jawed Karim and Chad Hurley. Later the platform was acquired by Google by sealing a deal of $1.65 billion.

Thai Lee 

Thai Lee is a Korean American who is co-owner of Shi International. It is an IT provider for a staggering 20,000 companies. She runs the largest business by a woman in the US and develops SaaS and DaaS systems for client potential.

Vincent Kitirattragarn

Vincent is a Thai American who started his food company, Dang, after inspiring his college roommates to compliment his chips. His company runs a now-famous food business by revitalizing the Thai taste in its products.

Vera Wang

Born to wealthy and accomplished Chinese immigrants, this famous fashion designer worked her way up in the industry by working for other designers like Ralph Lauren. Then she discovered her love for producing wedding dresses when she designed her own.

Do Wan Chang and Jin Sook Chang

This husband and wife team founded the popular fashion chain Forever 21. They started it with a single store and just $11,000 and grew it to include about 800 stores around the world.

Conclusion 

This list gives a bird’s eye view of the contribution of Asian-Americans to the US economy. Besides making a mark in other fields and industries, these entrepreneurs of Asian descent have added significant value to the American IT industry, which has helped make Silicon Valley the global center of technological innovation. 

Also, this list serves as empirical evidence to the notion that immigration leads to innovation that ultimately boosts the economy. So, the US immigration policy should be reformed so that the country continues to benefit from global talent. 

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