Min Kao

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Min H. Kao
Born 1949 (age 65–66)
Jhushan, Taiwan
Alma mater National Taiwan University (B.S.)
University of Tennessee (M.S.; Ph.D)
Occupation Co-founder of Garmin

Min H. Kao (simplified Chinese: 高民环; traditional Chinese: 高民環; pinyin: Gāo Mínhuán) is an American businessman. He is the co-founder of Garmin Corporation with Gary Burrell. As of March 2013, his personal wealth was estimated at $2.1 billion.[1]

Early life[edit]

Min H. Kao was born in 1949 in a small town in Taiwan called Jhushan in Nantou.[citation needed] He attended college in Taiwan and received his doctorate in the US.[2]


Before founding Garmin, Min Kao served as a systems analyst at Teledyne Systems. Min Kao graduated from National Taiwan University with a BS degree then joined the University of Tennessee, where he earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering and was involved in research for NASA and the U.S. Army.

May 14, 2007, groundbreaking ceremonies were conducted for the new Min Kao Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Building on the University of Tennessee's engineering campus. The building was dedicated on March 14, 2012.[3]

UT alumnus Kao committed in June 2005 to a transformational gift of $17.5 million to the College of Engineering. This was the largest private donation in UT history to that date. A total of $12.5 million from the donation is designated for the construction of the new facility.[4]


  1. ^ Forbes [1]
  2. ^ Karmin, Craig (January 6, 2010). "CEO of GPS Maker Locates a New Home". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 19, 2013. 
  3. ^ "UT and Min Kao Dedicate New Engineering Building", University of Tennessee news, March 14, 2012
  4. ^ Min Kao Home page at Univ of Tennessee