Profile: Finding the Fun in Entrepreneurship | AIChE

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Profile: Finding the Fun in Entrepreneurship



Entrepreneurship is 10% idea, 10% luck, and 80% perseverance and grit, says Ryan Chan, founder of the mobile application UpKeep, which aims to transform the way that industrial plants run their facilities. UpKeep allows facility managers and maintenance workers to flag issues with equipment on-the-go and provides a space for mobile work orders and inventory management. Although it was designed for maintenance technicians in the chemical industries, the app has become popular in many other arenas, such as hotels and restaurants, transportation, property management, and education. This year, the company announced that it had raised $36 million in investments amid the pandemic, attributing the funds to newfound concern for monitoring sanitation in industrial facilities.

Chan, a chemical engineer turned entrepreneur, founded the company in 2016 and was named one of Forbes’ 30 under 30 in 2018. Despite his success in business, it was his work as a chemical engineer that inspired him to create UpKeep. In 2014, he graduated from the Univ. of California, Berkeley, and took a job as a process engineer at a plant that manufactures reverse osmosis membranes.

Shortly into his tenure, the manufacturing company purchased a desktop...

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