TAP-NY’s Professional Pillar: What Will Your Story Be?
By Johnson Wang, TAP-NY Professional Chair

New York City is a city filled with stories.

As Taiwanese- and Asian-Americans, we relate the most to stories that come from our community; stories that showcase our collective vibrancy and ambition. Some of the most fascinating stories I’ve heard are from the entrepreneurs I’ve met this year — those people that have put it all on the line for an idea and opportunity that they fully believe in and commit to.

Over the past year, TAP has been privileged enough to work with individuals who are part of our community and have taken the “leap,” put in all the necessary work, and found success.

One example is Mimi Cheng’s, a bustling dumpling shop in the East Village, co-owned by two sisters who named the restaurant after their mom. Marian, one of the co-owners, went from fashion to food, and now serves up her mother’s recipes for healthy, delicious dumplings. The restaurant just opened over the summer, but it’s already made headlines in The New York Times, Cosmopolitan, and the Wall Street Journal.

Andrew Yang became CEO of Manhattan GMAT at 31, then went on to successfully sell the company to Kaplan. He then started Venture For America, which recruits the best and brightest college grads to work for two years at emerging start-ups and early-stage companies in cities like Detroit, Providence, and New Orleans. Venture for America is at the vanguard of providing a path for entrepreneurship to college grads who want to learn how to build companies and create jobs. Because the difference Andrew is making, he was nominated and honored as a Champion of Change by the White House, getting a rare chance to talk to and present VFA to President Obama.

These are just two out of many other fascinating stories about entrepreneurs within our community.

TAP-NY wants to continue encouraging entrepreneurship and the strengthening of professional relationships within our community. To that end, keep your eyes open for several new professional events that we’ll be rolling out over the next couple of months, and into 2015. Whether it’s an inspirational panel, a chance to take an “inside look” at the offices of some of Silicon Alley’s hottest startups, or an opportunity to find a new business partner, we want to inspire and nudge you to take that first step (of your thousand-step journey, as the saying goes) to turn ideas into reality. So dust off the cobwebs from those ideas that have sat at the back of your minds; come and learn and take away the lessons of others. And start something.

Watch out for October and beyond as we take our professional pillar to the next level. Shoot me an email (Johnson.Wang@tap-ny.org) with any questions, and here’s to taking the first step and making new connections. What will your story be?