Selino Lo was an independent go-getter from the start, carving a path for herself from Hong Kong where she was born and raised, to becoming a well-known leader in the field of computer technology. Growing up in Hong Kong, Lo was fascinated by American TV shows, so she came to the U.S. at 17 to attend college and find out what life here was really like. Before starting Ruckus Wireless in 2004, Lo helped build and take public several computer networking startups, including Alteon, which sold to Nortel for $7.8 billion.
When Christie Lee came to the U.S. from Taiwan in the 1970s, she had just $100 to her name and the companionship of her college sweetheart. She soon married and had a baby, but had to put off graduate school in order to make money to help support her new family. She eventually put herself through school, graduating magna cum laude and giving the valedictorian speech at the University of Art and Science of Oklahoma with a young child in tow. After gaining years of experience in the oil industry, she started Oil Chem Technologies, a company that develops chemical compounds to enhance oil recovery.
At age 11, Daren Tsui and his family left Taiwan and settled in Eugene, Oregon. At the time, Tsui’s only knowledge of English was how to sing “Bingo.” Tsui graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Industrial Engineering and became involved early on with the commercialization of the Internet. Prior to founding mSpot in 2004, a company that sells customizable ringtones and streams movies and videos, Tsui co-founded two other companies in the mobile technology field.
Peter Li and Jean Qiu are a husband-wife team running Nexcelom Bioscience, a company that provides cell analysis solutions for cancer research, vaccine development, and drug discovery. Li and Qiu met in graduate school at Purdue University, but they both trace their roots to China where they were born and where they lived until completing their undergraduate education. Qiu started Nexcelom out of the basement of their home in 2003; Li joined her full-time in 2006 to help expand the company.
Robert Fitzgerald was born into the military at the Webb Air Force Base in Big Springs, Texas. His mother was born and raised in the Philippines, and met his father while he was stationed in the country for service. Following in his father’s footsteps, Fitzgerald served in the Air Force for 22 years, retiring from active duty in 2001. From there he went on to found Bosh Global Services, to provide communication technology services to the military community.
Gary Lin was born in Minnesota. After graduating from the University of Michigan's business school, he joined an ad agency called Beyond Interactive. Lin handled business development for the company, traveling to Hong Kong and Brazil. It was there in South America that he launched Glispa, a marketing agency that manages online advertising campaigns, in 2001. The company's headquarters are now in St. Paul.
Ken Kuang first came to the U.S. from China at age 24 for a research position at Clarkson University in New York state. Growing up in a small rural village in the Jiangxi province in China, where his parents were of a low socioeconomic status, Kuang says he always planned to work hard in the U.S. in order to make his parents proud. He pursued a career in the microelectronics industry at a company called Kyocera America, working his way up to department manager. He quit his job in 2004 to pursue his entrepreneurial dream of starting his own business, forming Torrey Hills Technologies shortly thereafter.
Chen Gang was born in Tianjin, China, and completed his graduate degree in structural engineering at TsingHua University in Beijing. But, rather than launch a career in China, Gang had his sights set on the U.S. In 1988, he came to the U.S. with a plan to get his PhD in engineering. But his interests soon changed and he decided to pursue an MBA instead. After a few years of working in the highly competitive field of options trading, he and his wife Cause Haun quit their corporate jobs and took to the entrepreneurial path together. They started See Kai Run in 2004, a company that makes baby shoes, after their first son Kai was born.
Both Jong Lee and Seok Hong were born in Seoul, Korea. Lee, Monoprice's CEO, got an earlier moved to the U.S. at age 17.After graduating from University in Seoul, Hong, who is now Monoprice’s VP, worked for Samsung in Brazil; he immigrated to the U.S. at age 28. In 2002, the pair started their company, which sells audio-video components and connectivity products online. Their seed money? $6,000. Their headquarters? An apartment in Los Angeles.
Amy Liu was born and raised in Beijing, and studied medicine and science at Beijing University. She came to the U.S. at age 25 and to pursue an MBA at the University of Maryland. Originally an engineering consultant, Liu knew information technology was an exploding market in the late 1990s, so she capitalized on her dual background in technology and business to start CyberData Technologies in 2000. today, Liu's company provides a variety of IT services, including business intelligence, cyber security, and bioinformatics. --Tamara Schweitzer