Phuc Hoang Ho (Tin Ho) Selected 2016 Student Entrepreneur of the Year
Funny, motivated, humble and reliable. Those words were used to describe Tin Ho, the 2016 Student Entrepreneur of the Year, whose given name is Phuc Hoang Ho.
“Tin is the childhood nickname that my mom gave me out of her fangirl-ism for the French comic series ‘The Adventures of Tin Tin,’ ” said Ho. “Also, Tin is easier and much safer to pronounce than my Vietnamese name. Trust me.”
In the three years since his arrival as an international student, he co-founded AddVenture in the first cohort of the Summer Scholars in 2015; won $1,000 for first place in the Regnier Institute Roo Idea Jump Competition; won first place and received $10,000 proof-of-concept funding from Digital Sandbox KC; founded the Student Entrepreneurs Group Action; and was named Student Entrepreneur of the Year. And there’s more.
Ho was accepted into the Entrepreneurial Scholarships and Internships Program, a University of Missouri System-wide program that chose four UMKC students to become part of an entrepreneurship cohort with student entrepreneurs from Mizzou, UM S&T and UMSL.
“I was excited, but also surprised, to find out I was the only international student to ever have made the cut for this extremely competitive program,” said Ho.
Ho and his brother, Duy, along with two other co-founders, created AddVenture, a startup that adds adventure to advertising. They create customized video games that capture a brand’s core values within an interactive story and reward the players for engaging in the story.
Recently, Ho started his second venture, Trio, a lunch delivery service that is designed to create an affordable and hassle-free lunch experience.
Each morning, Trio will send users a notification featuring the Trio of the Day, three signature dishes from one popular restaurant. The customers can then tap on the dish they want, and lunch will be delivered right to your campus, office or apartment.
In his remarks at the 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, Ho shared his motto: “The best entrepreneurs and best students ask the right people the right questions at the right place and at the right time.”
“I know I will never reach such perfection, but by always striving for it in the first place, I’m always getting closer to become the best version of myself,” he said.
Proceeds from the EOY Awards benefit the Bloch School’s Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, one of Kansas City’s premier resources for educating and creating the next generation of entrepreneurs. Money raised from previous dinners has supported innovative new programs such as Summer Scholars and Vets2Ventures.
“Tin’s actions say a lot about him, but what his actions don’t tell you is how humble and reliable he is,” said Ben Williams, assistant director, Regnier Institute; and Sam Walton Fellow, UMKC Enactus. “Tin is also in the UMKC Honors College, a member of Enactus, in the UM System’s Entrepreneurship Scholars and Interns Program, and one of the co-directors for the 2016 OneDayKC event, yet he has never missed a deadline or completed subpar work.”
Ho, who graduated from the Entrepreneurship Scholars Program in May, said his short-term goal is to officially launch both of his ventures by May 2017. Both ventures currently operate out of the Hatchery, the Bloch School Student Incubator.
His long-term goal is to live life as a serial entrepreneur.
“I enjoy the thrill, novelty, and uncertainty of starting a new business that creates and brings something new to the world. Perhaps someday, out of my three, five or 10 businesses, one will be able to change the world in such a revolutionary way that it defines my legacy.”
|Wandra Brooks Green, Division of Strategic Marketing and Communications