ROCKVILLE – Montgomery County-raised Tim Hwang is not your average 22-year-old. He’s a founder, CEO, entrepreneur and winner of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year. His accomplishments, unprecedented at his age, have been recognized in TIME, Forbes and the Washington Post.
A graduate of Thomas S. Wootton High School in Rockville and Princeton University, Hwang is currently overseeing duties as the Founder and CEO of his online government analytics company Fiscal Note.
In his MCPS days, Hwang worked his way up from distinguished student, receiving a Male AP State Scholar award, to creator of nonprofit organization Operation Fly at the ripe age of 14. Eventually Hwang’s successes culminated in being elected by the students of the county to become MCPS’ Student Member of the Board (SMOB).
When recalling his high school days, Hwang reveals what he felt he gained the most from his MCPS education.
“There was a certain work ethic and thinking that was instilled in me,” Hwang said. “A lot of opportunities presented themselves that allowed me to gain a lot of formative leadership experience overtime.”
Fast-forward to today and Hwang’s resume is fuller than most. When asked what his most rewarding endeavor has been to date, Hwang said that the work he is doing now with Fiscal Note is intensely rewarding.
“From an idea perspective, it’s something I’m really passionate about,” Hwang said. “But also from an organizational perspective, building something from your own hands, launching it, and turning it into reality is not something that many people get to experience.”
But even Hwang admits that he can’t do it all. In the midst of writing his book “In Between Dreams: How Youth Unemployment Catalyzed a Global Entrepreneurship Movement,” Hwang realized his limit.
“It’s just hard running a company and writing at the same time,” he said, laughing. So for the time being Hwang has decided to put his book on hold as he runs Fiscal Note.
Looking at Hwang’s accomplishments, some may wonder where he can find time to sleep, let alone have fun.
In his free time, Hwang said he does like to let loose. After receiving his pilot’s license last year, Hwang said that he enjoys flying and taking his mind off his work for a little while.
The 22-year-old wonder said that there is a certain internal pressure he feels to make sure he is being the better version of himself than he was a day before, a week before, and a year before. And he certainly feels the heat to prove himself to those younger and older than him.
Hwang was candid in noting how the opinions of a young, successful entrepreneur differed from coast to coast.
He said the west coast is accepting of young leaders in start-up technology companies and looked at the East coast as a place with more “old-fashioned” views on business and politics. In any case, Hwang said, “you have to walk a really fine line.”
So what’s next for the man whose career is really just beginning? Hwang said he’s in it for the long haul at Fiscal Note. He also said that he saw himself staying in technology for the next decade or so.
And after that?
“We’ll have to see,” he said.