When Chris Nguyen (Business Technology Management ’05) was approached in 2009 by then university President Sheldon Levy to help build a new incubator model at the university, his immediate reaction was, “Yes, I’d love to do it!” Having already founded and sold a business one year after graduating, Nguyen knew the value and impact it could have for other entrepreneurs.
Nguyen says the Business Technology Management program was the best of both worlds because of its blend of business and technology courses. “I learned about business and I learned to code, and that’s a great foundation for being a tech entrepreneur.”
Fast forward to April 2010, when, to celebrate the opening of the university’s Digital Media Zone (DMZ), Nguyen and his business partner, Lee Liu (Information Technology Management ’06) launched the incubator’s first project, TeamSave.com, a platform designed to help consumers save by group buying together. Looking back on his time at the DMZ, Nguyen remembers the energy of being surrounded by other founders that fostered innovation and led to amazing business ideas.
Now based in San Francisco, Calif., Nguyen and his business partner are on their fourth venture together, one set to disrupt the payments industry. “If it wasn’t for TMU, I wouldn’t have my co-founder – we met in first-year coding class.”