citizen stories of Menlo Park

citizens of Menlo Park in San Francisco's Bay Area- meet Andrew Yeung

Meet Andrew Yeung

The news is out. citizenM Menlo Park hotel is now open! To celebrate, we’re meeting three special citizens who embody the energy, ambition and personality of the Bay Area. It’s not all tech bros and Patagonia vests here – although it wouldn’t be the Bay without them! – it’s a hotspot of culture, nature and art that we’re now lucky enough to call home. 

Meet Andrew Yeung. Describing himself as an immigrant entrepreneur, this ex-Googler has amassed a network of 26,000 investors, CEOs and tech whizzes – born from his desire to connect with those around him. Read on to hear more about his journey from knowing (literally) no one in New York to becoming the ultimate tech and networking Gatsby. Say hello, citizens!

book citizenM Menlo Park

First off: tell us who you are. 
I’m Andrew Yeung, an immigrant entrepreneur, investor, advisor and community builder.

That’s quite a job title! What else should people know about you?
I grew up in five different countries and I moved to New York City in 2020 without a network. With that as a background, I started building a community of investors, founders and CEOs due to my frustration with not having friends, a network or connections in the city.

How did you get started with that venture?
I started by hosting meetups in August 2020. Since then, I’ve hosted over 100 events with 26,000 people coming together – now, it’s a full-time business for me.

When you bring people together, what’s your mission in doing so?
I want to bring the most extraordinary tech leaders and create a platform for them to scale and invest in their businesses. I’ve always been passionate about bringing people together, because, growing up, I didn’t have much of a community. Living in five different countries meant moving around a lot, so I love using tech to bring people together. Bringing people from URL to IRL spaces, creating a platform where people can meet – it’s powerful.

What about tech makes it easier for people to connect?
In real life, people’s empathy rarely goes beyond what they can see. With tech, it allows people to see more people and have more discussions they might not have in real life. You’ve got infinite leverage to reach millions of people – you couldn’t do that without technology. You could use that leverage to build a business and help others achieve their goals. With that being said, real-life and tech-based connections are always going to be complimentary. There’s no replacing that feeling of being in a room with people you love and admire – Zoom and emails can’t do that.

What about New York made it the place to be for you and your community-building?
I always looked at New York as a distant dream, I never imagined that I would be able to live in that city. In 2020 when my first employer, Facebook, sponsored my visa and relocated me, allowing me to live in the greatest city in the world, I was overwhelmed with joy. I’d also never imagined that I’d be quitting one of the coolest companies in the world to build my own business, sponsor my visa and do it all alone.

Tell us about the transition from working full-time to embarking on your solo adventure.
I’m incredibly lucky to do something that I love, something that serves other people and to do that with skills that I naturally have. 

What’s the secret sauce to building a community?
Doing it for the right reasons. You should build a community because you want to bring people together. I see a lot of people wanting to monetise their community immediately, wanting to charge people – it never works. It’s not sustainable and all the people who are a part of it can see that you’re not doing it for the right reasons. Your product, your service is always going to be an extension of yourself and your values, and if you’re not being authentic about that, it’s going to shine through, right away.

Tell us about how citizenM has played a role in what you do.
What I love about citizenM is that there are spaces to rest, work and play. There are always events going on where you can meet other founders and creators, and citizenM does a great job of facilitating interaction between the guests. I immediately feel at home whenever I walk into a citizenM, and that’s mainly due to the incredibly warm and generous ambassadors. The decor, the aura and the presence always make me feel welcome.

What valuable lesson have you learned through traveling?
That every new place is there to teach you something new. New York is there to inspire you with the hustle and grind, San Francisco reminds you of the intensity and focus of people building amazing things. Miami is there to remind you that there’s a place to relax and disconnect from everything, and places like Austin and Dallas give you food, art and culture. Every city serves a different purpose in your life. Travel has made my life richer in that way.

What’s a legacy you want to leave behind?
If you set a goal and put your mind to something, you can achieve hard things – no matter the circumstances. I was an immigrant in the States with no network, community or visa, and managed to build a business out of serving others.

How would you describe the spirit of The Bay Area?
Everybody here is trying to build something that is going to change the world and impact billions of people, and I find that incredibly inspiring. There’s a magnetic energy that inspires you to build something and an unmatched creative energy. Any coffee shop you walk into you’ll see people, heads down, building software or building something that they think is going to change the world for the better.

citizenM Menlo Park hotel living room

thanks, citizen Andrew!

Feeling inspired to build your empire? Experience that magnetic spirit of The Bay Area for yourself at citizenM Menlo Park hotel – a quick 30-minute drive from San Francisco, right on the edge of the Meta campus. Make your Bay Area visit even better with our XL king-size beds and art-packed living rooms in a playful, tech-forward hotel.

book now