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When Eden Chen decided to launch an innovation consultancy company in 2013 with his business partner Charles Hu, his first choice for the company’s name—Carpenter’s Labs—was taken.
Chen and Hu had met at their Los Angeles church (Reality L.A.) and wanted their new company to reflect their Christian faith. Since the company was all about “building things” like mobile apps, website platforms, games, virtual reality, and augmented reality, “Carpenter Labs” would have been perfect. But the name they ended up going with—Fishermen Labs—also worked.
Desire - Things - Life - Midst - Conversation
“I’ve always had this desire to set up things in my life so that, in the midst of conversation, people would ask about my faith,” Chen said. And that is exactly what the name Fishermen Labs is: a conversation starter.
It nods to the vocation of some of Christ’s earliest followers, but it also hints at the mission of all Christians: to be “fishers of men” (Matt. 4:19).
Vocation - Chen - Years - Leader - College
This twofold vocation resonates with Chen. Over the last 15 years he has been a worship leader, a college ministry leader, and a church employee. But he has also worked for Lehman Brothers in Manhattan and started a hedge fund.
The two tracks haven’t always paired neatly together, Chen admits, as healthy models of faith-finance integration are something of a rarity. But he is determined not to bifurcate them.
Years - Fishermen - Labs—whose - Clients - Sony
Four years after launching Fishermen Labs—whose clients have included Sony, the United Nations, and Walmart—Chen was last year included in the prestigious Forbes 30 Under 30 list.
Meanwhile, his work in inner-city L.A.—Chen and his wife bought a house in gritty South Central and are leaders in a church plant in the Crenshaw neighborhood—may not be showing up in Forbes, but it is just as entrepreneurial.
Chen - Mission
To Chen, it’s all the same mission.
Chen knows from experience that an entrepreneur’s life can be destructive if it isn’t grounded...
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