Full Name
Victor Hwang
Job Title
Founder and CEO
Right to Start
Speaker Bio
Victor Hwang is an economic growth expert whose ideas have shaped the economic lives of millions of people worldwide. His work has helped more than 300 communities, cities, states, companies, and even entire countries in creating greater prosperity.

He is founder and CEO of Right to Start, a campaign fighting to expand entrepreneurial opportunity for all. Right to Start seeks to level the playing field by lifting the voices of everyday entrepreneurs, grassroots mobilizing and organizing, and engaging with policymakers at all levels.

He is also founder and CEO of Victor & Company, an economic growth consultancy. His clients have included the World Bank, Ford Foundation, Inter-American Development Bank, and the U.S. Agency for International Development. He has also worked with corporate clients seeking to grow entrepreneurial innovation, including Accenture, IBM, and Microsoft.

Previously, he was vice president of entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation, the world’s leading philanthropy supporting entrepreneurs with an endowment of $2 billion. At Kauffman, he led initiatives that impacted over 200,000 entrepreneurs, including efforts in catalyzing capital formation, transforming economic development practices, launching a national policy roadmap, and breaking barriers for underserved entrepreneurs.

Hwang has created two leading conferences on unleashing innovation and entrepreneurship: The Global Innovation Summit and the ESHIP Summit. The Global Innovation Summit became Silicon Valley’s leading conference on building innovative economies, with more than 1,000 delegates from 50 nations. The ESHIP Summit, during Hwang’s term at the Kauffman Foundation, became the nation’s leading conference on building entrepreneurial communities, with more than 1,200 attendees from all 50 states and over 100 mayors and key staff.

Hwang was co-founder and CEO of the startup Liquidity, a Silicon Valley venture-backed firm making safe drinking water filtration based on nanotech manufacturing. He led the company through product launch, early revenue, and winning the TechCrunch Disrupt startup competition.

He was CEO and co-founder of T2 Venture Creation, a venture firm that built startup companies and designed ecosystems that fostered entrepreneurial innovation in dozens of countries and cities.

He was president and chief operating officer of Larta Institute, an organization commercializing technology from key government agencies, such as the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

He was chief strategy officer of Veatros, a video startup that he led to acquisition by a public company.

Hwang practiced corporate and technology law with the firms of Mayer, Brown & Platt and Irell & Manella.

He has been a contributing columnist to Inc., Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, and Entrepreneur, and his opinions have been cited in The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, among others.

The Atlantic proclaimed him a ""guide to the next America."" National Public Radio named his graduation address to Austin Community College one of “the best commencement speeches ever.”

Hwang pioneered the use of the metaphor “rainforest” in a business context. He applied it to show how communities can replicate the historical innovation dynamics of Silicon Valley. His co-authored book, The Rainforest, was awarded Book of the Year, Gold Medal, by ForeWord Reviews for “a big idea that defines a way of thinking.”

Hwang received his bachelor's degree (with honors) from Harvard University, where he studied government, plus additional studies in computer science. He received his law degree from the University of Chicago.
Victor Hwang