And this is my story
(in as short as i can tell it)
I was born in San Diego, CA on a leap day.
My filipino parents raised me, along with my four siblings.
I attended public school from K-12,
then earned business and economics degrees from CSU San Marcos.
At this point, I performed accounting for a law firm and it made me hate dressing up in a suit and tie everyday.
I participated in a pitch event and fell in love with entrepreneurship.
I moved to NYC to grow my 2nd startup called Passion Fruit.
I figured I'd learn more by joining my favorite startup, Skillshare.
I met crazy awesome people from all over the world, organizing events for Startup Weekend.
I learned how to build fast and hack growth, but I wanted to use powers for good.
Even after graduating, my grandpa would tell me "keep up your studies".
I was sold on the idea of creating lasting social impact through education.
I started mentoring a high schooler at KIPP for college success via iMentor.
I joined DonorsChoose.org (most inspiring non-profit ever!) on the financial operations team.
Then life took an awesome turn. My wife and I got pregnant, and we moved back home!
BACK TO THE ROOTS
Having our son made me rethink all the values our family would live by.
In the process, it brought me back full circle and I had a newfound respect for my culture and roots.
We tested a concept around a brand that extended our upbringing, involving boba, hip hop, and simple times... it blew up!
A collective love and pride for our neighborhood grew from a 1-yr celebration to a huge night market.
And now you know me - and this is where we start changing the world together.
PERSONAL MISSION STATEMENT:
To improve world culture and individual outlook by sharing creative innovation, supporting movements on positive change, and unlocking human potential.
HOW I CAN HELP YOU:
I do my best to connect dots. Just hit me up!
----- Cool Things I'm Involved In -----
Owner & CEO
Since Summer of 2015
Dessert shop dedicated to keeping San Diego cool. We specialize in shaved snow, halo halo, and boba teas.
Voted "Best Desserts" in 2017 and featured in Fox, NBC, Eater, and Zagat.
Made in Paradise Hills
Founder & Executive Director
Since Fall of 2016
Movement sparked by local community leaders, entrepreneurs, performers and artists to highlight the community with roots in Paradise Hills.
Hosts the "Paradise Hills Night Market" with over 10k in attendance, annually.
Pacific Arts Movement
Since Spring 2018
Pac Arts presents Pan Asian media arts to San Diego residents and visitors in order to inspire, entertain, and support a more compassionate society.
Our flagship program, the San Diego Asian Film Festival, is one of the leading showcases of Asian cinema in North America and one of the biggest platforms for Asian American media anywhere.
PAST LIFE-ALTERING EXPERIENCES
Community Organizer & National Facilitator
Jul 2012 – June 2016
Startup Weekend is a 501(c)(3) on a mission to educate entrepreneurs, empower communities, and cultivate leaders around the world. It is the world's biggest educational movement for entrepreneurs, organizing 54-hour weekend events during which groups share ideas, form teams, build products, and launch startups.
Over 1500 events had been held, involving over 120,000 entrepreneurs across more than 700 cities in over 120 countries and over 10,000 startups have been created.
Financial Operations Associate
Mar 2013 - Jan 2015
DonorsChoose.org is an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help students in need. Public school teachers from every corner of America post classroom project requests on our site, and you can give any amount to the project that most inspires you. We raised $226 Million from over 1 Million donors to support over 10 Million students to date.
Selected "Top 10 Most Innovative Companies" in 2014 by Fast Company, and is currently ranked #1 for "Best Nonprofit to Work For".
Jan 2013 - May 2013
Skillshare is an online marketplace for classes and brings together a community of teachers and students driven by a passion to share real-word skills through collaborative learning. We believed that everyone has something to learn and - more importantly - skills to share, and aimed to transform education by empowering teachers and making education accessible to all.
Noted as one of the "6 Startups to Watch in 2012" by Mashable and one of the "Most Innovative Companies in Education" by Fast Company.
Everything I do is for my family.
my wife - Dianne & my son - Nathan