Ian SoThe Chicken & Rice Guys
Upon graduation from Babson College, a top global entrepreneurship school in Boston, MA, with a Diversity Leadership Scholarship, Ian gained experience in the corporate world working at several startups. In 2012, eager to apply his entrepreneurial studies to real life, he bought a food truck on eBay for $19,000 and launched his food business, Chicken & Rice Guys. From that initial investment, his business grew into an annual multi-million dollar revenue company with 7 food trucks, 3 restaurants, a full service food truck commissary and a full-service catering/popups. In the first 4 years of business, Chicken & Rice Guys was the 9th fastest growing private company and the 206th fastest growing private company in the USA. Currently, Chicken & Rice Guys continues to see year over year growth, and operates in multiple states with a pop-up in Houston and plans to expand to the neighboring New England states.
Chicken & Rice Guys rise to fame includes numerous awards and publications in the media, most notably, 2017 Boston Business Journal’s Fast 50 (Private Businesses), Boston Business Journal’s Diversity in Leadership Award for Corporate Impact, Boston Eater’s Hottest Restaurants of 2015, Thrillist’s Best Food Trucks in Boston, Reader’s Digest Nationally Top Ranked Food Truck, 3x winner of Boston A-List’s Best Food Truck, and top rankings on Yelp.com.
Ian is also personally recognized as a Boston business leader by winning numerous awards including Boston Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, Mayor Walsh’s Spark Impact Awards, Smart CEO’s Future 50 award, and GetKonnected 25 Most Influential Millennials of Greater Boston.
Ian is frequently featured on the speaking circuit and media for his entrepreneurship. Notable appearances include sitting on a panel with Bizarre Food’s Andrew Zimmern & Top Chef’s Gail Simmons at Babson College’s Food Day, a guest on NBC’s Asia Focus, and features in the Babson College Magazine, Boston Globe and Boston Business Journal.
In addition to being a business leader, Ian values being a community leader. He is extremely passionate about using his resources, knowledge, and experience to help others. In 2019, he founded the Chicken & Rice Guys foundation to expand on his company’s mission to “Do Good With Food.” The foundation expands upon the charitable efforts of Chicken & Rice Guys, which through the years, has donated hundreds of thousand of dollars of in-kind donations and tens of thousands of pounds of food to various local Boston charities including homeless shelters, food pantries, and non-profits focused helping low-income and underprivileged communities.
Ian is also a board member/founder/advisor to various non-profits including the Culture Connection Project, Commonwealth Seminar, and the National Asian Chamber of Commerce of Entrepreneurship (ACE). At ACE, Ian helped found ACE NextGen, a group dedicated to cultivating millennial entrepreneurs. The organization started as a 100 person conference in Las Vegas in 2017 and continues to grow into a network of over a thousand millennial AAPI entrepreneurs across the United States.