Andrew Yang is a technologist and entrepreneur. He has founded companies and been an early executive at multiple successful firms, such as Manhattan Prep (a GMAT test prep company that was eventually sold to Kaplan, a part of the Graham Holding Company). He is running for President. This is not an endorsement article. Silicon Prairie News does not endorse candidates for public office.
However, it is rare that a person embodies the nexus of the two industrial areas for which SPN was created – people interested in technology and people interested in entrepreneurship. At this moment Andrew Yang is running to become the Democratic nominee for President in 2020. So, we think it is newsworthy for our audience. Moreover, he is speaking at Tech Brew in Council Bluffs on Thursday providing an opportunity for an entrepreneur/technologist meet up. There is beer and some light snacks and its free.
We felt that this required us to make an announcement to our readers that he was coming to a forum for entrepreneurs to talk about his plans. While we don’t know what his plans are for his talk on Thursday, we can assume that they will include a significant amount about “universal basic income” (“UBI”). Why? Because Yang is running a non-traditional campaign with an extreme focus on this topic. According to his campaign website, universal basic income is “a type of social security that guarantees a certain amount of money to every citizen within a given governed population, without having to pass a test or fulfill a work requirement. Every UBI plan can be different in terms of amount or design.” Yang’s plan would provide a Freedom Dividend – his specific UBI instrument – of $1000 per month to every U.S. citizen over the age of 18.
However, Yang’s history may be more germane to our readers. He is from an immigrant family. His father arrived to the US while in graduate school and went on to produce more than sixty-five patents for GE and IBM. Andrew grew up and was educated on the east coast – including time at both public and private schools. He ultimately graduated from Brown University and has a law degree from Columbia Law School.
Not only was Yang the CEO of Manhattan Prep, but he founded Venture for America. Venture for America (“VFA”) is a non-profit that takes strong students and places them in startups in urban areas that are outside of the traditional tech hubs. For example, the firm boasts of placements in areas with “high unemployment rates, low educational attainment rates, and low density of creative professionals” (VFA Strategic Vision 2020 document on website). Yang helped grow the company from its inception to its current stable situation with millions of dollars of funding and strong, broad based national support.
In short, Yang is an interesting guy who fits within the Silicon Prairie News tribe. We don’t endorse – but we do think that you should come hear him speak in Council Bluffs, Iowa on August 8th at Kitchen Council, 40 Arena Way, Council Bluffs, Iowa.
To RSVP, check out this Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/473006810144565/