11 questions with MS in Entrepreneurship student Minnie Yuan

We asked current Foster students to tell us why they chose Foster, what they like to do for fun, and to share advice with potential applicants. Meet Master of Science in Entrepreneurship student Minnie Yuan.

MS in Entrepreneurship Minnie Yuan

MS in Entrepreneurship Minnie Yuan

1) Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan. I moved to the Bay Area for high school and Seattle for college.

2) What did you do before entering this program?

I graduated from the University of Washington in 2017 with a degree in Arts and Communications. I took a year off doing some part-time interning while growing my beverage start-up, Mikki, along with my two other co-founders. We were able to participate in the Jones + Foster Accelerator program to fund our growth in the initial stage which took us from being in 0 retail locations to 13 at the end of the program.

3) Did you have any entrepreneurship experience before entering this program?

My first entrepreneurial experience dates back to when I was 12 and I decided to make Christmas cards to sell to my friends and teachers at school. Little did I know that 10 years later, I would start a company with my friends at the University of Washington!

Minnie's Christmas Cards Minnie's Christmas Cards 2

12-year-old Minnie with Christmas cards

4) Tell us why you are excited to be a part of the second cohort for the MS ENTRE degree program?

It’s exciting to essentially have a “crash course” on everything you need to learn for starting a business! Even though I had previously been in the entrepreneurship minor and have had some experiences starting my business, I have never had any sort of formal business training and I am excited to use this opportunity to further strengthen my foundation in business knowledge.

5) What are your thoughts on the entrepreneurship scene in Seattle?

The entrepreneurship scene in Seattle is super welcoming and supportive! I think it’s a great place to start a business because there are so many resources and communities that help young start-ups. I have never been in another startup community so I can only speak for what I’ve experienced, but the connections and tight community here is really something that I value and love the most.

6) What connections are you hoping to make while in the program?

Since starting the program 5 months ago, I’ve already met so many inspiring people who have helped Mikki overcome some obstacles, including a mentor’s contact that led us to an invaluable food scientist connection that we wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.
On top of connections in the food and beverage industry, the most valuable connections to me are the people in this program. Everyone came from all walks of life and have various experiences and expertise in different industries. The program creates a space for us to exchange our knowledge, learn from each other, and foster lifelong friendships all around the world.

7) Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

I see myself moving back to Taiwan, seeking opportunities, and itching to start the next new thing. 🙂

8) What skills and/or knowledge are you looking to develop?

As the creative person on the team, I am really looking to develop more of my business knowledge and technical skills such as accounting, finance, and sharpening my marketing skills.

9) What do you like to do for fun?

I love to explore the world: whether it’s through traveling, hiking, visiting a new coffee shop, or simply running around Green Lake to enjoy the beauty of nature that changes with seasons.

Minnie on the Mountain

Minnie on a mountain

10) What’s been your favorite part of the program so far?

The professors and their expertise! The program gathers all the top-rated professors from the Foster School of Business. You get a wide range of expertise from accounting, strategy, to negotiations and marketing. I love how you get the best resources for all the essential aspects of starting your business. It really is a blessing to learn and get to know all of them thus far.

11) What advice would you give to someone who’s thinking about applying to the MS ENTRE degree program?

Speaking more particularly to students who have been through the Entrepreneurship minor program at the University of Washington, this could still be a valuable program if you came from a non-business background like myself. The first quarter might serve as more of a refresher but the rest of the curriculum were all new and exciting for me. It really feels like condensing a four-year business degree into a one-year program with the most essential curriculum and effective professors that will help you to get where you need to be .

Learn more about the Master of Science in Entrepreneurship program

This post is part of a series where we ask current students to answer 11 questions about their experience at Foster. Explore the 11 questions tag for more interviews.

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