Episode #9 - Andrew Yeung

#15MinuteFounder

In our latest 15 Minute Founder episode we chat to Andrew Yeung, dubbed the “Gatsby of Silicon Valley.” He shares his journey from initiating pandemic-era park meetups to establishing an event empire in the tech scene.

Highlights

In our latest 15 Minute Founder episode we chat to Andrew Young, dubbed the “Gatsby of Silicon Alley.” He shares his journey from initiating pandemic-era park meetups to establishing an event empire in the tech scene.

How did your journey in the tech event scene begin?

My adventure began when I moved to New York City in August 2020, amidst COVID-19. With the city’s social venues shuttered, I turned to online forums to meet people. What started as coffee meetups and small gatherings quickly snowballed into large events, attracting hundreds and then thousands. My constant movement across five countries had honed my skill in community-building, which proved invaluable.

Have you ever profited from your events?

For nearly three years, I didn’t make a dime from my events. Constraints related to my visa status prohibited me from earning outside my day job at Google. However, since obtaining my O-1 visa, the business has become profitable through sponsorships and event charges.

What motivates you in this journey?

My primary drive is not money, power, pleasure, or traditional fame, but the ability to influence and inspire others. I aspire to help people improve their lives and careers, a mission supported by my blog, which reaches over 302,000 people.

What childhood experiences inspired you to pursue your dreams?

The relentless push from my father to aim higher played a significant role. His advice to always strive for more has instilled a drive in me to tackle hard problems, not just for personal achievement but to pave the way for others in their entrepreneurial or immigrant journeys.

Why was moving to New York City a significant goal for you?

Growing up in China, American media portrayed New York City as the center of the world. It became a childhood dream to live there, a dream fulfilled by my job offer from Facebook. This milestone felt like a culmination of my aspirations.

What’s your take on the adage – “Your network is your net worth?”

Networking is critical. It’s about promoting what you’ve built. The magic of networking lies not just in attending events but in the preparation beforehand and the follow-up afterward. Identifying who will attend and establishing connections before and after the event can significantly amplify its value.

How do you manage your vast network?

Honestly, I struggle with keeping track of everyone I meet. However, I believe that by creating memorable events, my relationship with most of my network is maintained through these shared experiences.

What are your future plans for your events empire?

I envision a future where my events not only bring together the most ambitious individuals but also tell their stories through a media arm and support their ventures through investments. This holistic approach aims to foster a vibrant community that not only meets but also grows together, sharing successes and innovations.

Time stamps

00:09 The Gatsby of Silicon Alley

02:03 Planning to Execution

03:05 Monetizing Events

04:19 Money, Power, Pleasure, or Fame

05:17 Childhood Inspiration

07:02 The Dream of NYC

07:35 An Important Truth

09:21 Nightlife as a Non-Drinker

11:19 A Day in the Life

12:09 No-Meeting Days and Weekend Work

12:48 Your Network is Your Net Worth

14:45 Nurturing Your Network

15:40 Rapid Fire Questions

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