Ryan Chen is the Co-founder of Neuro (@neurogum), a company that makes functional gum and mints to energize, calm, and focus your mind. On paper, Ryan looks like your typical startup success — Forbes 30 Under 30, Shark Tank contestant, revenue in the millions, and an investor in other consumer startups. What these wins don’t capture is how Ryan had to literally rebuild his life from the bottom up.
Over a decade ago when he was 19, Ryan shattered his spine in a bad snowboarding accident. He was instantly paralyzed from the waist down. At first, he was in denial. He had grown up an athlete — playing basketball with friends, competing in Kendo with a Black Belt, and was captain of his high school track team. After a heavy 6 months in the hospital and a ton of support from friends and family, Ryan made it back to college. Slowly but surely, he found reasons to live, from scuba diving to training with the U.S. Paralympic team to working at Hulu, then co-founding Neuro with one his best friends Kent.
Be forewarned — Ryan is inspiring af!