What I Value Most about the AAPI Community
Two weeks ago, I had the incredible opportunity to co-host an event for AAPI entrepreneurs, founders, VCs, techies and dreamers from all across the country at LA Tech Week. And it was both a pleasant surprise and completely overwhelming to see the response we got to the event. While we only had the capacity for 150 attendees, we ended up with well over 900 registrants which was far more than we’d expected.
People often ask me about the AAPI community — what it’s like to be part of this community, what it’s like to be an AAPI founder today, and what best represents AAPI culture.
And watching this event come together in a matter of weeks (yes, 3 weeks to be exact) — showed me what my community is truly made of. So here’s a story to illustrate exactly what my community means to me — and what this community is made of:
I was browsing through the slate of LA Tech Week events just 3 weeks prior, and I immediately saw something missing. There was no AAPI representation — although Asian and Asian American folks make up a large percentage of the tech entrepreneurship community. I reached out to one of my investors at Uphonest Capital and his immediate response was — “let’s make this happen.”
Within two days, we were able to pull together 5 amazing co-hosts to bring this event to life.
Over the course of the next 2 weeks, I would watch an incredible team of AAPI folks come together and work late nights and weekends — sharing ideas, exchanging notes and connecting each other to resources in any way we could. We laughed together, made sure every tummy at the table was full and took care of each other while pulling off what seemed like an impossible feat.
While most events at this scale would take organizers months of planning and preparation, this small but mighty team pulled it together in a matter of weeks.
This is what my community means to me. At the core of the AAPI community are two things:
- A spirit of hard work and resilience
- Taking care of each other
Everyone at the table was ready to contribute, to give selflessly, to work hard and to push each other to do something better. It’s because I’m surrounded by such a resilient and supportive community that I am able to focus on building Veery. I am motivated to continue investing in this community and building something for this community.
I love that there is always space for others to succeed in our community and that we cheer on their successes. And as I look back on a successful week at LA Tech Week, I am more grateful than ever to be part of this community.