Phillip Hui-Bon-Hua, MCAS ’21, has more on his plate than the typical college student. While working to complete a history major at Boston College, he is also running a marketing and design company that just earned him a spot on Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 marketing and advertising list.
“Yeah, my initial reaction was pretty speechless,” he said. “I did not expect that whatsoever … But the list came out and I woke up extremely early that day, like seven. I checked the list and saw that we were on it, and I was like ‘Wow, this is crazy.’ My partners are on the West Coast, so they were sound asleep, so I sent them a bunch of texts.”
Slope Agency was founded by Jeffrey Zhao, Karine Hsu, and Hui-Bon-Hoa, and is a marketing and design agency for e-commerce and tech companies, according to Forbes. It has worked with over 100 companies, including LEGO, Daily Harvest, Eco, and Gravity Blanket, and has generated over $70 million for them.
Before working with Slope Agency, Hui-Bon-Hoa founded a marketing company called Abacus Growth, where he said he found success utilizing the social media platform TikTok. Their first campaign on the app went extremely well, according to Hui-Bon-Hoa, and they decided to go all in on the platform.
This largely entailed matching creators on the app with companies who wanted their products advertised, he said. Soon after, Abacus started working with Slope, and the acquisition process began. Hui-Bon-Hoa then joined Slope and moved his team from Abacus Growth with him.
“Then around June, July, we started working with Slope and talking to the guys over there,” he said. “We began the acquisition process pretty quickly. So then they acquired me in August. … Slope was already much more established and much more professional. The way they ran their company was just much better.”
Hui-Bon-Hua said the award was just an accolade, and he would rather be measured by his output than his awards. The more tangible effects of being named on the list, according to him, are the recognition it will create for his business.
“It’s definitely opened some opportunities thus far. The press that we’ve gotten has definitely led to deals,” Hui-Bon-Hoa said. “That’s like probably the most tangible thing … There’s also a pretty strong community within that network.”
At BC, Hui-Bon-Hua said he has gained a different perspective on marketing that is useful in running Slope.
“I took an independent study with professor Linda Salisbury,” he said. “She was extremely helpful in helping me understand marketing from more of an academic and organized perspective. So that was one way school really helped with work.”
Hui-Bon-Hoa also attributed his success so far to his supportive friends who encouraged his business pursuits and accommodated his needs.
“This definitely wouldn’t be possible without an extremely supportive group of friends,” he said. “I think I see oftentimes a lot of student entrepreneurs put a lot into the work that they’re doing, and sometimes people, and I don’t want to generalize, but oftentimes I feel like sometimes they get ridiculed for putting themselves out there and really trying to commit to something. That was definitely not the case for myself whatsoever. All my friends were always extremely supportive.”
Featured Image by Ikram Ali / Heights Editor