I was born in upstate New York in 1975. My parents immigrated from Taiwan in the 1960s and met in grad school. My Dad was a researcher at IBM—he generated 69 patents over his career—and my Mom was the systems administrator at a local university. My brother and I grew up pretty nerdy. We also grew up believing in the American Dream—it’s why my parents came here.
I studied economics and political science at Brown and went to law school at Columbia. After a brief stint as a corporate lawyer, I realized it wasn’t for me. I launched a small company in the early days of the internet that didn’t work out, and then worked for a healthcare startup, where I learned how to build a business from more experienced entrepreneurs. In my thirties, I ran a national education company that grew to become #1 in the country. I also met my wife, Evelyn, and got married. My education company was acquired, and with Evelyn’s support, I decided to take my earnings and committed myself to creating jobs in cities hit hard by the financial crisis. By that time I understood the power of entrepreneurship to generate economic growth, so I founded Venture for America, an organization that helps entrepreneurs create jobs in cities like Baltimore, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland.
In its first year, VFA trained 40 Fellows; by 2017, more than 500 VFA Fellows and alumni have launched dozens of companies and helped create over 2,500 jobs across the country. I even received a few awards from the Obama White House, being named a Champion of Change in 2012 and a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship in 2015. VFA resonates with so many people because it’s clear there’s a growing problem in the U.S.: automation is destroying jobs and entire regions are being left behind. For years I believed new business formation was the answer—if we could train a new generation of entrepreneurs and create the right jobs in the right places, we could stop the downward spiral of growing income inequality, poverty, unemployment, and hopelessness. VFA created jobs by the thousands and continues to do amazing work across the country. But along the way, it became clear to me that job creation will not outpace the massive impending job loss due to automation.
Andrew Yang Full Biography and Profile
Andrew Yang’s Early Life
Andrew Yang was born on 13 January 1975 in upstate New York. His parents immigrated from Taiwan in the ‘60s and met while in grad school at Berkeley. His father was a researcher at IBM and General Electric, generating 69 patents over his career, and his mother was the systems administrator at a local university.
Andrew and his brother grew up believing in the American dream—their parents immigrated for a better life, chased every opportunity America had to offer, and taught their sons to do the same. Andrew studied economics and political science at Brown University, then earned a JD at Columbia Law School.
Andrew Yang’s Early Career
After five months as a corporate lawyer at Davis Polk, Andrew realized it wasn’t the path for him. He left the firm and founded an internet company that raised money for non-profits—like many of the first dot-com businesses, it didn’t last.
When Andrew shut down his first company he was just 26 and still owed $100k in law school debt—but the experience gave him a taste for building things. He joined a wireless software company and then an early stage healthcare startup, where he learned how to build a business from more experienced entrepreneurs while working in a dozen hospitals.
Andrew Yang’s Exec Years
At 31, Andrew became CEO of a boutique education company. Under Andrew, the company expanded nationwide and internationally, and earned the highest ratings in the industry.
Soon, Manhattan Prep became #1 in the country, leading to its acquisition by a publicly traded company in 2009. Andrew stayed on as President of the company until 2011. During these years, he also met his wife, Evelyn, and got married.
With Evelyn’s support, Andrew took his earnings from the sale of the company and committed himself to creating jobs in cities hit hard by the financial crisis. By that time he understood the power of entrepreneurship to generate economic growth, so he founded Venture for America, an organization that helps entrepreneurs create opportunities nationwide.
In its first year, VFA trained 40 Fellows; by 2017, more than 500 VFA Fellows and alumni have launched dozens of companies and helped create over 2,500 jobs across the country.
In recognition for his work with VFA, the Obama White House named Andrew a Champion of Change in 2012, and a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship in 2015.
- Andrew Yang Biography and Profile (Andrew Yang)