Inventor and entrepreneur Sonny Vu was born in Vietnam and came to the US with his parents and brother, as a refugee, when he was six years old. His family eventually settled in Oklahoma where he went to Hilldale Elementary School, Mayfield Junior High School, and then graduated from Putnam City West High School in 1991.
After graduation, he went to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where he earned a BS in Mathematics and a BA in Linguistics. During this time, he studied abroad in Israel and Hungary. He then worked for Microsoft in their natural language group before leaving to go to MIT to do a PhD in Linguistics with Noam Chomsky as his advisor. He also went to do some work at Microsoft Research in Chinese natural language processing.
At MIT, Sonny got the entrepreneurial bug and dropped out to start his first company, Firespout, where he was Founder and CTO. The company was one of the first to develop machine learning-augmented natural language processing software. The company was sold to a large search engine and Sonny went back to MIT only to drop out again to start his second company, AgaMatrix. The team there pioneered a new field in electrochemistry to produce a number of breakthrough blood glucose monitoring devices for people with diabetes. The company went on to ship over 20 FDA-cleared products, including iBGStar, the world's first hardware medical device that works with iPhone, which was sold to Sanofi, one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies.
Most recently, Sonny co-founded Misfit with Sridhar Iyengar (his friend from college who's been with him at all his startups) and John Sculley, the former CEO of Apple and Pepsi. The company makes a number of award-winning wearable and smart home products, including most notably Shine and Flash, both activity and sleep monitors, and Bolt, a smart color-changing bulb. Misfit's products are now sold in over 50 countries in 17 languages and were highlighted in Apple's recent iPhone commercial.
Sonny, his wife Christy, and their daughter Mary live in Salem, New Hampshire and love attending Highrock Church. He knows over a dozen languages (most of them more interesting than useful), is a patron of good design, and longs to make 10x solutions for big problems and to build a company that matters.