Entrepreneur Challenge & Competition of 2012

TAP-NY President Bob Wu

By Keen Lee

On Sep 15th, AsianInNY was invited as a media sponsor to attend a great event hosted by Taiwanese American Professionals – New York who held their first Entrepreneur Challenge & Competition along with the Taiwanese Merchants Association at Barnard Hall in Columbia University. We truly enjoyed all the great business proposals and presentations.

Elena Liao of Té Company

The winner of the Entrepreneur Challenge & Competition of 2012 is Elena Liao, cofounder of the TE COMPANY, who walked home with a grand prize of $9,000! It becomes difficult for judges to decide on one winning contestant if all of the contestants perform a fantastic job. All six contestants stood out from the first Entrepreneur Challenge & Competition hosted by the Taiwanese Merchants Association (“TMA”) and Taiwanese American Professionals – New York (“TAP-NY”) in their own unique and memorable way.

James Chang, Director of Culture Center of Taipei Economy Office in New York

A panel of notable judges had the honor to witness a handful of creative Taiwanese American entrepreneurs to present novel ideas and to decide on the winning contestant. “TMA” and “TAP-NY” aimed to showcase the entrepreneurial spirit from the Taiwanese Americans. On September 15th, the competition took place at Barnard College with about 100 attendees, 8 judges, and 6 teams of innovative Taiwanese American entrepreneurs. This was a chance for Taiwanese American entrepreneurs to stand out from the rest and to compete for cash prizes up to $10,000!

The six contestants are Broken Compass Studios, Nonprofit Investors, Preprobono, PRAYWITH.ME, the TE COMPANY, and Valet Owl.

THE TE COMPANY is a merchant of premium oolong tea, set out to provide refined and high quality oolong varietals from the Far East. Elena Liao, founder of Té Company, who is an avid tea drinker and a dedicated food enthusiast living in New York City, impressed the judges as they sipped away on her aromatic artisanal tea. They savored the taste the entire night. Liao won the hearts of judges not only from her mastery in tea brewery but also for her sophistication and poise.

Elena Liao of Té Company

NONPROFIT INVESTOR is a nonprofit organization with the mission of improving philanthropic capital allocation and nonprofit effectiveness through research and analysis. Professional and diligent volunteers come together to evaluate nonprofits and publish in-depth research reports. Kent Chao left a thorough impression for judge Andrew Yang that night by showcasing his selfless endeavor and reminded how nonprofit organizations face overwhelming obstacles that many do not recognize. Andrew created an additional $1,000 prize to support Chao’s mission.


VALET OWL, started by co-founder and CEO, Jennifer Liu, and Regina Chen, turns local businesses into your personal doorman with just a simple request away. Living in New York gives you no breather, and taking care of personal errands while you’re at work should be the last thing on your plate. Skip the receipt of UPS/FedEx failed delivery slips, because Jennifer Liu and Regina Chen show how Valet Owl conveniently receives your packages for you. Being able to relate to the New York audience that night, Valet Owl took home the “Audience Favorite” prize of $1,000 and TriplePoint PR’s consultation prize.

Jennifer Liu and Regina Chen of VALET OWL

PREPROBONO is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping disadvantaged, minority, and female students gain access to law schools so that they may pursue careers in the public interest. Our goal is to increase the diversity of the legal profession and foster the next generation of public interest lawyers by breaking down the barriers to entry of the legal profession – specifically, the LSAT and the law school admissions process.


PRAYWITH.ME, a centralized platform for sharing, organizing, and receiving reminders for prayer requests were founded by Mark Chou and Carlin Yuen. PRAYWITH.ME strives to streamline users’ prayer life so that billions of people of various faiths can pray more regularly and deliberately. Faith-based software has been primarily enterprise-focused, and we’re changing the paradigm by offering a solution directly to the consumers – a completely untapped audience.

Mark Chou and Carlin Yuen of PRAYWITH.ME

Broken Compass Studios works directly with artists to focus on combining art and innovative game design to create the fun, interactive, and beautiful experiences. Broken Compass Studios launches a new app called the Catball Eats It All. This game is a singular, autobiographical accounting of the Catball, a short-sighted, greedy little creature that eats it all. The final product features gorgeous, hand-illustrated levels and characters by Yis Goodwin and original music from Ben Thornewill (of Jukebox the Ghost).

Broken Compass Studios

All contestants performed an amazing job and no team showcased less of an effort than any other team. After seeing the first Entrepreneur Challenge and Competition a success, “TMA” and “TAP-NY” can expect next year’s competition to be even more inspirational.

Also, our congratulations to the President of TAP-NY, Bob Wu, for his invitation and amazing leadership in hosting such a meaningful and educational event to support all the Taiwanese Americans in New York!

For more reviews, please visit http://competition.tap-ny.org.

Thomas Yang of Bian Dang
Jacqui Wu of TAP-NY

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