Known as “Vietnam’s startup queen,” Thuy Truong has launched companies ranging from social networking applications to frozen yogurt shops. After graduating from USC Viterbi in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, she returned to Bien Hoa, Vietnam, and introduced her hometown to frozen yogurt with her very first startup, Parallel Frozen Yogurt.
It was at the height of California’s frozen yogurt craze, and Parallel Frozen Yogurt was the first authentic frozen yogurt shop launched in Vietnam, according to Truong. Within a few years, she was ready for her next venture and made the switch into the technological frontier of the startup industry, launching GreenGar Studios, in 2010 with fellow USC alum Elliot Lee, and Tappy.co with USC Viterbi alumna Leslie Nguyen, in 2014.
GreenGar has launched several apps, including Brain Tuner and Whiteboard, all targeted to increase collaboration and productivity among various user interfaces. It is the first Vietnamese company to join Silicon Valley’s 500 Startups. Truong noted that the Whiteboard Collaborative Drawing app alone has been downloaded over 10 million times and is used in schools and offices worldwide.
Tappy is a social media application that allows users to chat with others in their surrounding area based on mutual friends and interests. The application earned Truong a spot on “Forbes” Vietnam “30 Under 30” list for 2015. Weeby.co, a game-building mobile application, has since acquired Tappy.
“The most valuable thing that I learned from my computer science degree at USC was to optimize my process and stay detailoriented,” Truong said. She currently works as director of business development in Asia at Weeby and has brought the first hackathon competition to Vietnam’s National University. An entrepreneur that thinks like an engineer, Truong’s ultimate goal is to build products and applications that will impact and help change people’s lives.