Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang celebrated the company’s founding at a Denny’s restaurant in San Jose, California, where the chip design company got its start 30 years ago. Huang, along with co-founders Chris Malachowsky and Curtis Priem, turned Nvidia into one of the most recognized tech companies, providing graphics chips for 3D games and AI processors. The Denny’s location has now become a symbolic site for Nvidia’s beginnings, with a plaque marking its historical significance. Denny’s CEO Kelli Valade presented Huang with the plaque and announced a new competition called the Denny’s Trillion Dollar Incubator, where individuals can submit startup ideas for a chance to win a $25,000 prize and follow in Huang’s footsteps. The applications are open until November, and the top five ideas will be evaluated “Shark Tank” style to determine the winner.
Both Huang and Valade started their careers at Denny’s, which they credit with teaching them valuable life skills. Huang, who immigrated from Taiwan, worked as a busboy and waiter at Denny’s, where he learned humility, hard work, empathy, and serving others. Valade also began working at Denny’s at a young age, which she believes instills hospitality and important life skills. The Denny’s location on Berryessa Road, where Nvidia was founded, is one of the top-performing restaurants in the franchise’s portfolio. The celebration at Denny’s reflects the impact the restaurant had on Huang’s and Valade’s lives and highlights the potential for great things to happen in unexpected places.