On March 3, a crowd of about 50 professionals gathered at Hing Hay Coworks in the Chinatown International District for the launch of the Celebrate Asia Pacific Entrepreneurs (CAPE) Project.
CAPE is a four-month-long enterprise dedicated to showcasing the stories of creative entrepreneurs with deep ties to the region’s Asia Pacific Rim community through videos, photos, and online articles.
The crowd enjoyed drinks, food, and company before Hing Hay Coworks manager Quang Nguyen delved into the project.
Nguyen started by stating the primary focus of CAPE is to engage and grow community through celebrating the stories of entrepreneurs.
“Launching a venture is very scary and risky, but what we are trying to do with CAPE Project is be a community of entrepreneurs, mentors, and investors through the sharing of compelling stories of entrepreneurs who are innovative and have created things in the Asia Pacific Rim community,” Nguyen said. “That doesn’t mean you have to be Asian or Asian American. What that means is that if you’re doing a project or launching an enterprise that has deep ties in the Asia Pacific Rim or the Asia Pacific Community here, those are the top entrepreneurs we are looking to highlight.”
The stories covered will also be used to to inform, educate, and hopefully help other entrepreneurs launch their own ventures.
“We are going to use these stories to bring people together and connect people, but also as a learning experience,” Nguyen said.
A team of writers and videographers will be working with CAPE to showcase the chosen entrepreneurs and their unique stories through videos, articles, photography, and social media.
“We’ll highlight maybe the top eight entrepreneurs and then we’ll release the remaining 15 entrepreneurs through articles and things like that,” Nguyen said. “We are a bit more limited on the number of videos we can do. In the future, if we find more partners, then we can definitely do more. … That’s going to depend on how much traction we get and how much community we build around this project.”
A member from the crowd asked Nguyen if the project will continue after June.
Nguyen responded: “This is a start-up venture in a sense. We want to if the community is interested in something like this and the proof will be in the number of people who will be coming to the events and people who submit their stories. If we see there is a lot of traction there, a lot of people who are looking to be a part of this community, then yes we will continue on.”
The first three entrepreneurs CAPE will be highlighting are Mina Yoo, founder of Lulabop; Swatee Surve, founder of Litesprite; and James Sun, current angel investor and former star of The Apprentice.
Hing Hay Cowork’s CAPE Project provides benefits to all involved. The entrepreneurs that are highlighted receive exposure, while the entrepreneurs who are participating or part of the community get connections and a chance to learn.
“We’re hoping the community will submit some more stories,” Nguyen said. “If you think your story is compelling, let us know. Send it to us. If you know any entrepreneur that has a compelling story, let us know. We want to know those stories and tell those stories and share them with the world.”
To submit your story or for more information on how to get involved, visit www.capeproject.org.