Thuy Thanh Truong (16 December 1985 - 25 January 2020) was a Vietnamese American serial entrepreneur, technology influencer, and cancer advocate. She was known as "Vietnam's startup queen" for her early work and contribution for Vietnam startup community
1 Early life & education
2.1 Food and Beverage, 2009 - 2012
2.2 Mobile Startups, 2011-2015
3 Awards and recognition
5 Related links
Early life & education
Thuy was born as the only child in Bien Hoa, a city in South Vietnam. In 2003, her family moved to the US for her education. Upon arrival, she attended Alhambra High School for her senior year. Thuy started her college education at Pasadena City College. In 2009, she transferred and graduated from University of Southern California with Bachelor of Science in Computer Science.
Food and Beverage, 2009 - 2012
In late 2008, Thuy and her friend, Ha Pham, started working on their first business in Vietnam, while both of them were still high-school students. In June 2009, they opened the flagship store of Parallel Frozen Yogurt.
She raised funding from a group of angel investors and opened 3 more stores in many prime locations in Ho Chi Minh City, such as Vincom, NowZone, and CoopMart before the business wind down in 2012.
Mobile Startups, 2011-2015
In 2010, her USC classmate, Elliot Lee, came to Vietnam for visiting. The two decided to start a small studio in Ho Chi Minh City to tap into the Vietnamese engineering resources. GreenGar is known for the most popular collaborative whiteboard drawing app, which was on the top of the Productivity Category on iOS App Store in many countries.
In 2011, Thuy organized the Mobile Hackathon in Vietnam at the University of Science - Vietnam National University in Thu Duc, Ho Chi Minh City. The event was sponsored by GreenGar Studios and hosted by Advanced Program of Computer Science.
In 2013, Thuy got accepted to the finalist of Women 2.0 PITCH Competition in San Francisco. She made her first public appearance in the Valley with the Vietnamese traditional white dress and recognized as Runner-Up. GreenGar then got accepted to 500 Startups Batch 006 in June 2013, changed the name to GreenGar Inc., and entirely focus to Whiteboard. The team was known as the first Vietnamese-based company joined the Accelerator Program.
In 2014, GreenGar was shut down - admitting their failure in scaling up the business. The team spin off to created Tappy - adding Leslie Nguyen and Thuc Vu to the founding team.
Tappy has several attempts to launch, including the Future Now Music Festival, and Fuse #8withme Party. In May 2015, Tappy announced their acquihire by Weeby.co - a game technology company in Mountain View, CA.
In December 2015, Thuy stirred up the Vietnamese press and media one more time with the Vietnam Hour of Code. The event was co-organized between Weeby.co and Viettel Group - the biggest Vietnamese telecommunication conglomerate . She left Weeby.co one month after that.
Thuy is the subject lead in the documentary movie “She Started It” - directed by Nora Poggi and Insiyah Saeed. The documentary also featured Sheena Allen amongst others and was released at Mill Valley Film Festival in Oct 2016.
Thuy's blog post got featured on Women 2.0, TechinAsia and e27. She wrote mostly about her journey and Vietnam startups.
In March 2016, she published her first book in Vietnam, together with Viet Youth Entrepreneur, earned the endorsement from the official Party Secretary of Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee - Dinh La Thang as the inspiration for youth in startups.
Awards and recognition
Thuy has been speaking at multiple conferences and tech events worldwide to encourage young entrepreneurs, insights of Vietnamese ecosystem, and women innovation, including Women 2.0, World Bank infoDev, and Echelon.
On the cover of Forbes Vietnam 30 Under 30 (2015)
BBC News: Vietnam's start-up queen
TechinAsia recognized her as “10 promising Southeast Asia tech entrepreneurs under 30”
World Bank infoDev: Winner of Dragon Den Pitch Competition
On October 14th 2017, Thuy announced on Medium about her last stage lung cancer diagnosis.
“Vietnam’s startup queen”
“10 promising Southeast Asian tech entrepreneurs under 30”
Tappy exits to US-based Weeby.co
Greengar CEO Opens Up About Networking Across Cultures
Greengar, Co-Founded by CEO Thuy Truong, Joins 500 Startups in Mountain View
Women Innovation Panel in South Africa
5 insights for investors
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