Sonny Vu, Former Refugee, Uses Faith to Drive Innovation

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on
LinkedIn
+

This week on JobMakers, Host Denzil Mohammed talks with Sonny Vu, serial entrepreneur and investor, about his work across continents to develop new technologies, processes and products that have, what he calls, “positive, planet-level impact.” This is impact that makes lives and environments safer and better, which Sonny views as being at the core of his faith. Embracing diversity, change and the unknowns of new knowledge was what Sonny’s parents instilled in him from the beginning. Their journey as refugees to the U.S., leaving under cover of darkness, sailing below deck to a camp in Malaysia, finally to be resettled in Oklahoma City, meant they were survivors, and they embraced the transformational change of life in the U.S., as hard as it was at first. People who have been through unimaginable tragedy and hardship often know how to be creative and inventive to survive, even among totally foreign lands, cultures, and languages. Transformational change is what Sonny is all about today, as you’ll discover in this week’s JobMakers.

Guest

Sonny Vu is CEO of Arevo, based in Silicon Valley, which develops products with ultrastrong, lightweight continuous carbon fiber parts manufactured at scale. Before AREVO, Sonny was President and CTO (Connected Devices) at Fossil Group which acquired Misfit, a wearable tech company he founded, for $260m. He previously founded Elemental Machines (remote process monitoring / analytics), AgaMatrix (biosensors for diabetes), and FireSpout (natural language processing). Sonny is a founder of Alabaster, with investments in 30+ deeptech startups. Previously, he worked at Microsoft Research in NLP under Kai-Fu Lee, pursued a Linguistics PhD at MIT under Noam Chomsky, and studied math at UIUC.

Get new episodes of JobMakers in your inbox!

Related Content:

Cris Ramón on How to Build Up Immigrant Businesses

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Cris Ramón, son of immigrants from El Salvador, immigration policy analyst, and coauthor of the new report, Immigrant Entrepreneurship: Economic Potential and Obstacles to Success published by the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Julie King Brings Authentic Mexican Cuisine to Boston

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Julie King, immigrant from Mexico and founder of Villa Mexico Café in the financial district of Boston. They discuss the challenges of re-launching a career in a new country. It’s not atypical for an immigrant to start at a lower rung of the economic and social ladder than they previously enjoyed - but it’s a win when they persevere despite the pains, and thrive.

Daniel Perez Takes Tenacity to Transport

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Daniel Perez, immigrant from Colombia and founder, president and CEO of DPV Transportation Worldwide, based in Everett, Massachusetts. Daniel shares what it meant to tap into his entrepreneurial spirit and become a success, pivoting into healthcare and community service when the transportation sector was impacted by the pandemic, and finding a way to use his fleet for good.

Mariam Nusrat Takes Gaming to New Heights

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Mariam Nusrat, immigrant from Pakistan and founder and CEO of both the venture-backed Gaming Revolution for International Development and the not-for-profit Gaming Revolution for Inspiring Development, both with the acronym GRID.

Yuliya Tarasava Invests In Americans Who Need It Most

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Yuliya Tarasava, immigrant from Belarus and cofounder and chief operating officer at CNote, a platform that helps facilitate investment in financially underserved communities across America.

Jackie Krick Trains the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Jackie Krick, immigrant from Colombia and founder, president and CEO of ECU Communications in Manassas, Virginia. They discuss the entrepreneurial spirit of the newest Americans - immigrants - and why they are twice as likely to start a business and create jobs.

Artur Sousa’s Social Entrepreneurship Pays Off

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Artur Sousa, immigrant from Brazil and founder and CEO of Adopets, an online platform that simplifies the work done by shelters and improves the pet adoption experience. Adopets has over 40,000 registered users and maintains more than 300,000 adoption listings.

Karina Calderon on How Immigrant Entrepreneurs Help Cities Grow

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Karina Calderon, deputy director of The Lawrence Partnership, about her work to help immigrant entrepreneurs drive economic growth in Lawrence, Massachusetts. The Lawrence Partnership is a collaboration of business and civic leaders started in 2015 that helps by incubating, training, assisting, loaning, basically doing everything they and their partners can to grow the city’s businesses.

Evan Silverio Builds Upon Immigrant Mother’s Business Success

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Evan Silverio, child of immigrants from the Dominican Republic, President and CEO of Silverio Insurance Agency, and founder of Diverse Real Estate, both in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

Abul Islam Helps Rebuild America’s Infrastructure

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Abul Islam, immigrant from Pakistan and founder, President and CEO of AI Engineers. AI Engineers is a Connecticut-based consulting firm that builds and rehabilitates bridges, transportation systems and building systems throughout the U.S. Since 1991, Abul has created nearly 1,000 jobs and today leads a $50 million company.