Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Andrew Ko
Thank you to Andrew Ko, founder of Kovexa, for answering our questions! Learn more about the Chamber’s DEIA Committee and get involved here.
Where we’re born and raised and, if it was someplace else, when and why did you come to Loudoun?
Born in El Paso, Texas, and raised in Gaithersburg and Potomac Maryland. We moved to Loudoun as my wife and I loved the family-focused neighborhoods and the quality of educators in our public school system.
When did you launch your first business and how did you get into your current line of work?
After spending over 20+ years working for big tech companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Samsung, I knew that the pandemic would disrupt education using technology. I wanted to assist and lead initiatives that modernize teaching and learning by using data, incorporating relevant curricula to our current job demands, and improving the IT back offices. As such, I started Kovexa as an advisory service for K-12 school divisions, higher education institutions, and edtech companies. Additionally, I also joined a venture capital fund called Hourglass venture partners investing in advanced tech such as artificial intelligence.
Have you had any special mentors or inspirations that influenced your career?
There were so many but If I had to choose anyone, it would be my parents. They immigrated to the US with only $100 and worked tirelessly while re-educating themselves. I honestly can’t imagine the challenges they had to go through as non-native English speakers while establishing themselves in a foreign country and raising a family.
What is the best part of your job and why?
I found an improved quality of life that balanced my family and professional time. My new role gives me the flexibility to control my own schedule.
What is it like owning/running a business in Loudoun?
It’s been both intensive and exciting all at the same time. Loudoun has been an incredible area as everyone at the Chamber and the CEO Cabinet have been great for networking and cultivating professional relationships.
What does Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month mean to you?
I had the opportunity to discuss my early years growing up as one of the very few Asians in the neighborhood in a book that was published by Elise Ballard, titled “Epiphany”. I realized that being different was not a disadvantage but a positive one. AAPI Heritage Month is a time to reflect on all the leaders who historically contributed to promoting diversity and equality in the community.
What are some of your favorite things to do when you are not working?
Playing old school games like monopoly, chess, and battleship with my family via iPhone apps. It’s a way to keep a connection with the young kids and something I could do while traveling.