ORIGINS was a huge success. The conference, featuring networking events, two keynote speakers, and storytelling workshops, spanned over two days. Keep reading for a recap of all things ORIGINS and stay tuned for more info on next year’s conference.

As a community and as entrepreneurs, storytelling is a key component in selling our brand to the world — be it, customers, investors, employees and sometimes family.

So this year the theme of our national conference was: “Origins”. We brought together story tellers and coaches in the API community to share their wisdom and knowledge so our members would be better equipped to express themselves and the value of their business.

This was the premier API gathering of millennial entrepreneurs and small business owners from all over America. 

Sponsored by: Walmart & Southwest Airlines


Andrew Yang

Keynote Speaker

Andrew Yang is an entrepreneur and author. In 2011 he founded Venture for America, a national entrepreneurship fellowship, and spent the last 6 years creating jobs in cities like Cleveland, Detroit, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh. When Andrew realized that new technology like artificial intelligence threatened to eliminate one-third of all American jobs, he knew he had to do something. In The War on Normal People (2018), he explains the mounting crisis and makes the case for implementing a universal basic income: $1,000 a month for every American adult, no strings attached. Andrew is running for President as a Democrat in 2020.

about andrew
Vanessa Paranjothy

Keynote Speaker

Vanessa Paranjothy is one of the co-founders of an organization called Freedom Cups. Freedom Cups gets reusable menstrual products to women. They work on a Buy-1, Give-1 model where every purchase made allows them to gift a woman from an underprivileged community with clean periods. 

Vanessa is also one of 12 who received an Obama Scholarship to study at Columbia University and do work alongside their Columbia World Projects Team. The Freedom Cups team has also been recognised in the Forbes 30 under 30 Asia list for 2017.  

about vanessa
Kit Pang

The Art of Business Storytelling

Kit Pang is a Communication Expert, TEDx, Inbound and Keynote speaker and the Founder of BostonSpeaks. He is on a mission to help individuals become exceptional communicators. Kit’s seminars and talks have been credited as super fun, engaging, soul-searching and insightful. His happy clients include individuals from organizations such as Dell, Delta, RE/MAX, Harvard or MIT.

About this workshop
Courtney Pong

Work like an Entrepreneur, Communicate like an Improviser

As a professional improviser for over 17 years, Courtney has led team building workshops and provided entertainment and entertainment programming for Fortune 500 companies. Since 2001, she has been a performer and educator with CSz Worldwide. She holds over a decade of experience in communication, public relations, analyst relations, social media and marketing. 

about this workshop
Rebecca He


Rebecca is a software engineer who builds products and communities. After graduating summa cum laude from the University of Maryland, Rebecca currently works on Firebase, Google’s mobile development platform. When she’s not coding, Rebecca leads workshops for the women in tech community and celebrates diversity by planning Asian cultural events.

about this workshop
Andrew Chau

Between the Hashtag

Andrew Chau is co-founder of Boba Guys and Tea People USA. He has been featured as an top emerging business leader on CNN, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Vogue, and NPR. Prior to a career in Consumer Product Goods and corporate marketing, Andrew started and exited his first startup in 2011. Andrew is also a freelance writer and small business adviser. He has his undergraduate and graduate degrees from UC Berkeley. He and his wife Kelly live in San Francisco.

about this workshop
Telly Wong

Buzz Marketing: How To Get Media Mentions

Telly creates leading-edge experiential and event marketing campaigns for such clients as McDonald’s, Lexus, HBO and Warner Bros. With an emphasis on cross-cultural and omni-channel campaigns, his work been recognized with honors by such leading industry organizations as PRSA, PR Daily and PR News. In 2016, he was named PR News’ Awe Professional of the Year. 

about this workshop
Tammy Cho

The Social Responsibility of Founders: Creating a Safe and Inclusive Workplace for All

Tammy Cho is co-founder and CEO of BetterBrave, a third-party nonprofit employees can safely turn to when they experience or witness workplace harassment, discrimination, or retaliation. BetterBrave is recognized as a trusted resource by global movements like TIME’S UP and by national outlets including Mashable, HuffPost, Fortune, and Forbes. Learn more at

Tammy has also been recognized as Georgetown Entrepreneur of the Year, Hubspot Inbound’s 22 Under 22, and a Power Woman in DC Tech. Her work has also been featured in Entrepreneur, Digiday, Bloomberg, and the Washington Post.

about this workshop
Anna Tsui


Anna Tsui is an executive and leadership coach and international writer, speaker and serial entrepreneur.
Her company, Anna Tsui International, LLC., specializes in helping unique, high-performing individuals identify and implement their unique form of leadership.
She helps business owners and executives generate more revenue in their business by deeply engaging their ideal clients and markets and leveraging their brand offerings. She calls this Intuitive Entrepreneurship. More importantly, her work facilitates in a more productive and joyful work environment that fosters growth and innovation.

about anna



Kick-off Party @ Google

Catered Welcome Breakfast

Entrepreneurs Luncheon

Closing Ceremony & Afterparty


Andrew Chau, Boba Guys

Rebecca He, Google

… and more


Personalized Peer Mentorship

Professional Headshots



5:00-6:30 VIP HOUR: AAPI Female Entrepreneurs Reception sponsored by Walmart @ PAGU
There will be special raffle prizes sponsored by Walmart

6:00-9:00 Origins 2018 Kick-off Reception @Google at Kendall Square
SPECIAL GUEST: Ha Nguyen – Owner of 7leaves CAFE


8:30 – 9:00 Registration/Breakfast
9:00 – 9:45 Andrew Yang
9:45 – 10:50 Workshop Group 1
Buzz Marketing: How To Get Media Mentions

10:50 – 12:00 Workshop Group 2
The Social Responsibility of Founders: Creating a Safe and           Inclusive Workplace for All
Between the Hashtag
Storyboard Your Business

12:00-1:30pm Lunch Break

1:30-2:30pm Peers Mentorship Circle

2:30 – 3:40 Workshops 3
Crazy Rich Storytelling
Work like an Entrepreneur, Communicate like an Improviser 

3:40-4:00 ACE Venture

4:00-4:15 Walmart Introduction by Jamie Chung 

4:15-5:00 Vanessa Paranjothy

7:00-10:00 Closing Ceremony at Carrie Nation


Dim-sum 11:00-1:00



Andrew Yang –  Founder of Venture for America (VFA)/Author
2012 Champion of Change by the Obama White House
Presidential Candidate 2020

Vanessa Paranjothy – CEO/Co-Founder Freedom Cups
30 Under 30 ASIA 2017: Social Entrepreneurs
Emerging leader of Singapore Supported by Obama Foundation


Buzz Marketing: How To Get Media Mentions by Telly Wong – Senior Vice President & Chief Content Officer, IW Group

The Social Responsibility of Founders: Creating a Safe and Inclusive Workplace for All by Tammy Cho – Co-Founder of BetterBrave

Between the Hashtag by Andrew Chau – Co-Founder at Boba Guys / Tea People USA

Storyboard Your Business by Michael Tow – Actor/Producer

Learn more about these speakers below.

#IamRemarkable by Rebecca He – Software Engineer, Google Inc.

Crazy Rich Storytelling by Kit Pang – Communication Expert, TEDx, Inbound and Keynote speaker and the Founder of BostonSpeaks

Work like an Entrepreneur, Communicate like an Improviser by Courtney Pong – Owner and General Manager, CSz Boston



If you are a tourist, driving in Boston is NOT recommended since the city was established before modern day street planning. You will get lost even with navigation and parking in the city is pretty difficult, especially if you don’t have a masters in parallel parking. Boston drivers are also notoriously aggressive and very inclined to step out of their vehicle to yell at you or flip the bird.

Best way to get around: Subway and walking. Boston is best seen on foot.


Andrew Chau – Co-Founder: Boba Guys,

Bill Imada – Chairman: IW Group,

Chewy Jang – President: Kid’s Dream,

Chiling Tong – President: National ACE,

Dale Ting – President: Wild Ting Enterprises,

Ian So – CEO: Chicken & Rice Guys,

Lavanya Jawaharlal – President:

Rebecca Lee – Partner/CMO: Dawn Design Studios,

Kat Pham – Community Manager, ACE NextGen

Daniel Oliver – Business Development, National ACE

Juleen Wong – Head of Business Development: Food For All,

Le Zhang – CEO: Squadle,

Rita Ng – Owner: Boston BonBon,

Tristan Nguyen – Chief Number Cruncher: Tristan CPA,

Tuan Pham – CEO: Boston Tech Networks,

Lakhi Siap – Super Connector: East Wave Group

Nareth Yin – Owner: Sach Ko Restaurant Group,

Brandon Lee – Co-Owner, Fengshui

Jesse Nandhavan – Partner: Conjugate Group,

Amy Chang – CEO: Delta Nutrassentials,

Diana Yuan – Co-Founder & VP of Talent/Ops: Indico Data Solutions,

Gee Tran – Owner: Banh Mee Restaurant/Food Truck,

David Xiao – Owner: Bensen AI,

Ha Nguyen – Owner: 7 Leaves,

Jason Li – Owner: Net Acquisitions

Long Nguyen

Lukas Dow – Co-Founder, Bridgeside Entertainment

Matt Shinners – Chief of Staff, Yang2020

Michelle Inn – Board Member, National ACE

John Victoria – Owner: Polianna,

Kit Pang – Founder, Boston Speaks,

Courtney Pong – Partner: Comedy Sports Boston,

Michael Tow: Actor/Film Maker, Tow-Arboleda Films

Cheuk Shian – Partner: Keyshore Investments,

Mealea Chan-Polcari – Invested, Vested

Kevin Felix Chan – Co-Founder: Best Delegates,

Rebecca He – Software Engineer: Google

Elizabeth Yang – CEO & Founder: Better With Company,

David Chen – Managing Director: David Chen CPA,

Ray Chou – Partner: Mythopoeia,

Susan Chinsen – Founding Director: Boston Asian Film Festival,

Daniel Chau – CEO/Founder: Courage Only,

Suzanne Wong – VP of Pilot Success: Nanigans,

Teja Arboleda: Producer, Tow-Arboleda Films

William Huang: Realtor/Investor, Coldwell Banker,

Alex Gao – CEO: Moment 3D,

Ken Ma – Director: Mott Optical,

April Chen – Babson College, Co-founder, Gentle

Michelle Yu – Wellesley College, Co-founder, Gentle

Weini (Bhavini) Pa – Babson College

Hari Mahesh – Babson College, and Co-founder, DrinkPass

Lida Tang – Co-Owner: ForkOut Media,

Ray Chang – CEO: Motorsport Labas,

Moadth Bas – Founder, Globr

Nurlan Temirbulatov

Pui San Tam

Richard Kang

Amy Chase – Founder & CEO: The Crescendo Group

Lamar Heystek – Program Development Officer: Asian Inc,

Vanessa Paranjothy – Co-Founder: Freedom Cups,

Andrew Yang – Founder, Ventures for America, Manhatten GMAT Prep, Presidential Candidate 2020

Chutze Chou – Prouducer, Boston Orange,

Kevin Tang – Photographer

Belinda Lei – Consultant, Tyton Partners,

Sam Shih – Owner, 9tailors,

Katie Nguyen – Owner, Pho Palace,

Janak Sanariya: BU Adjunct Professor – Entrepreneurship

Bill Imada – Chairman: IW Group,

Mariko Carpenter – VP of Strategic Community Alliances, Niesel

Susan Jin Davis – Chief Sustainability Officer, Comcast NBC Universal

Terrez Thompson – Vice President, Global Supplier Procurement

Marty Lorenzo – VP of Legal Affairs, PETCO

Jamie Chung – SVP and General Counsel, Global eCommerce Walmart

Joanne Tabellija-Murphy – National Director, Corporate Affairs, Walmart

Tammy Cho – Founder of BetterBrave,

Anna Tsui – Life & Business Coach,

Jonathan Huang – Founder, Savory Cater,

Jon Lau, Owner of The Vape Shop,

Richard Gill

Rosemary Hua – CEO, Empathy FX International

Shau-wai Lam -Chairman Emeritus, DCH Autogroup

Simon Nguyen

Stephanie Shen – Director, Prudential Capital Partners

Brian Wang, Startups Entrepreneur/Venture Cafe Foundation

Ryan Kwan, Co-Founder, Boston Night Market,

Anita Yip, Co-Founder, LevelUpr

Grace Nguyen, Co-Owner, Adara Spa,

Doan Nugyen, Co-Owner, Adara Spa,

Doan Nugyen, Co-Owner, Adara Spa,

Norman Eng, Public Information Officer, U.S. Small Business Administration

Ivy Chung,Santa Clara University

Jason Chu, Artist, Jason Chu Music,

David Yee, GM of China Blossom/Team WC

Sheila Lee

Ronald Semuyaba

Vienne Cheung

Frances Luong

Roland Rasos

Lindsey Lo

Helen Zhou

CL Tian

Richard Le

Mariya Layurova

Windy Pham

Annie Le – President, Networking Organization for Vietnamese Americans

Chris Castillo – Software Engineer, Walmart Labs

Chris Law

Hongyu Chen

Jennifer Wong – Senior Associate, Bain Capital

Jimmy Liu

Jing Rogers – American Education Specialist

Lilian Hung – Founder, Lyra Vega Bridal