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East Asian Founded Marketplace Startups Revolutionizing American Industry Landscape

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Welcome to another issue of our series on startups founded by minorities. Here at Pretty Progressive, we are eager to shine a light on the rollercoaster world of startups and more importantly, the groundbreaking strides made by founders of East Asian descent in the marketplace industry. The past decade has seen an impressive number of startups, demonstrating a variety of innovative approaches and solutions to existing problems.

In this issue, we will be diving deep into 11 startups that are not only shaking up the market but also embody the diverse spirit of the East Asian entrepreneurial community. These startups hail from a range of industries including beauty, digital media, fashion, and many more.

So, let’s jump right in and take a look at these cutting-edge startups that are making significant waves in their respective industries and embody the spirit of innovation, tenacity, and forward-thinking problem-solving so characteristic of startup culture.

Creator Nova

Founded by James Tong and Mark Fleming, Creator Nova is based in San Francisco and operates in the advertising, B2B, beauty, content creators, e-commerce, and marketplace industry. To connect with Creator Nova, follow them on their Linkedin: LinkedIn


Based in San Francisco and founded by Dannie Chu, Ryoma Ito, and Yash Nelapati, MakersPlace is a unique digital creation platform powered by blockchain technology. They are all about authenticity as they enable creators to protect and sell their original work. You can follow MakerPlace on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.


Brandboom, founded by Eric Ni, Jason Tsai, and Ken Leung, is a B2B platform innovating the wholesale market with its AI-powered marketplace. Their aim is to streamline and improve B2B commerce. Follow Brandboom on Twitter and Facebook.


Karen Lee founded Glou Beauty, a re-commerce platform for beauty lovers aimed at promoting conscious consumerism. To learn more, follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


Established by Jun S. Lee and Vincent Ning, Nabis is a cannabis wholesale marketplace providing a range of services including marketing, financing, sales, and distribution for cannabis products. Connect with Nabis on their Twitter handle, Facebook page, and LinkedIn profile.


Co-founded by Christine Y. Kim and Dave Meyer, Village operates in the consumer, marketplace, and real estate industry. They strive to build connections and facilitate interactions amongst consumers. Find them on Twitter and LinkedIn to learn more.


Virtuosica, co-founded by Danica Radisic, Teri Lee Hirano, and Warren E. Peterson provides a tech and services platform for musicians. Visit their website at Virtuosica or follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


Cindy Lee, the founder of Giftsy, pioneered the platform with the goal to promote the barter system with a modern twist. Giftsy focuses on sustainability and creating connections among users while addressing global environmental challenges. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay updated.


MealDrop co-founders Andrew Fede, Ryan Widgeon, and Thomas Allen strive to revolutionize meal delivery with their innovative “Home Room Service” delivery platform. They aim to empower local chefs and restaurants while providing consumers with a robust choice of meals. Follow their Twitter handle and Facebook page to stay updated.


Co-founded by Peggy Chang and Shilpa Dalmia, ActivityHero is an online portal connecting parents to a plethora of after-school activities and summer camps. To learn more about them, visit their Twitter handle, Facebook page, or LinkedIn profile.


Founded by Connie Zhang and Kerry Wang, Mocaa aims to revolutionize the college application process by connecting prospective students with admissions advisors. Follow Mocaa on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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