East Asian Pioneers Revolutionizing America’s E-Commerce Industry

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Feminist magazine, Pretty Progressive, is here to showcase the innovation and ingenuity exhibited by startups, and more particularly, those founded by minority groups with a special focus on East Asian founders. This continues to be part of our commitment to highlighting diversity and representation in the entrepreneurial landscape. This article offers insights into some of these brilliant minds, and the cutting-edge startups gracing the e-commerce industry.

A melting pot of creativity, innovativeness, and resilience, the e-commerce industry continues to be a hotbed for startups. The industry’s growth and dynamism have been spurred on by the onset of digitization and the widespread adoption of technology. This dynamic landscape has attracted entrepreneurs from different walks of life, and in this feature, we focus on East Asian founders who are leaving their indelible marks.

In highlighting these East Asian-founded startups, we aim to celebrate their impact and influence in revolutionizing the e-commerce industry, from 3D technology and customized clothing to e-groceries, AI-driven skincare, and much more. Read on and discover the inspirational success stories of these game-changing startups.


Founded by Elizabeth Esponnette, Kevin Martin, and Walden Lam, unspun is an innovative apparel company based in San Francisco, California. The startup leverages 3D technology and robotics to create custom jeans for individual consumers on demand. unspun prioritizes sustainability, championing automated, localized, and intentional manufacturing to help reduce global carbon emissions. Being a recipient of multiple awards and accolades, unspun proves that fashion and technology can harmoniously coexist while promoting a greener planet. Follow unspun on Facebook or LinkedIn.

Creator Nova

Creator Nova is a startup creating a transformative platform for the content creation and advertising industry. Founded by James Tong and Mark Fleming, the company pioneers new ways of connecting brands and content creators worldwide. Learn more about Creator Nova by visiting its LinkedIn profile.


Under the leadership of Hannah Ryu and Veronica Shelton, OAK THEORY is redefining brand marketing and web development. The New York-based startup focuses on building brands, web experiences, and products that fuel business growth through creative problem solving and agile development. Check out OAK THEORY on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Otaku Lamps

Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, Otaku Lamps holds licenses for over 20+ Japanese and Korean IPs to create collectible LED lighting products that have taken the merchandise industry by storm. With partnerships like Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Aniplex, Otaku Lamps have become a must have for animated series lovers. Interact with Otaku Lamps on Facebook or through their LinkedIn page.


Bowie Cheung, Chetan Narain, and Ivana Tesanovic founded Pepper to disrupt the food supply chain industry. The company offers an eCommerce platform that empowers food distributors to grow their customer bases, boost revenue and streamline operations. Find out more about Pepper on their Facebook and LinkedIn pages.


Chieh Huang, Christopher Cheung, Jared Yaman, and William Fong launched Boxed to bring the wholesale club experience to the digital age. As an online bulk grocery retailer, Boxed allows consumers direct access to their favorite warehouse club products without any membership fees. Engage with Boxed on Facebook or LinkedIn.


Dannie Chu, Ryoma Ito, and Yash Nelapati are the intellects behind MakersPlace, a unique digital art platform powered by blockchain technology. The platform allows creators to sell original and authenticated editions of digital creations, thus affording artists greater control over their work. Follow MakersPlace on Facebook or LinkedIn.


STORY SPARK was founded by Alex Louie and Sun Kim and is a perfect blend of art, technology, and fashion. STORY SPARK specializes in creating graphic t-shirts, and inspires a culture that appreciates the fusion of technology with human design. Connect with STORY SPARK on Facebook or LinkedIn.


Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, Brandboom is a notable startup founded by Eric Ni, Jason Tsai, and Ken Leung. The company is renowned for refashioning traditional B2B commerce and wholesale markets with its innovative, cloud-based line sheets, ordering, and invoicing tools. You can learn more about Brandboom on their Facebook page.

Proven Skincare

Proven Skincare by Amy Yuan Zaoshi and Ming S. Zhao is truly groundbreaking. The startup uses artificial intelligence to analyze individual skin conditions, allowing them to create a custom skincare regimen for consumers. Visit Proven Skincare or look them up on Facebook and LinkedIn.


Last but not least, Wisy is an AI platform that optimizes retail products’ display. Co-founders Min Chen, Nélida Gómez, Orlando Reyes, and Ricardo Chen have created a platform that brings products into the light, ensuring they are seen and sold. Follow Wisy on Facebook or on their LinkedIn page.

As Pretty Progressive, we continually celebrate diversity, particularly in the startup ecosystem. These startups have shown exemplary ground-breaking efforts in driving the future of e-commerce, led by the innovative minds of East Asian founders. The future of the e-commerce industry is certainly brighter and more inclusive, thanks to their contributions.

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