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April 2017

In this issue

Mar 16, 2017
Using a smartphone camera, his mobile app for arthritis sufferers is a cheaper diagnostic alternative to X-rays and ultrasound
Jacob Parry

Life Story: Born and raised in Sri Lanka, Shanil Gunasekara moved to Canada in 2011 with a B.Sc. in biomedical engineering from the University of Southern California. As an associate at Lumedica Consultants Inc., a Vancouver-based adviser to medical device developers, he came up with the idea for a mobile app that measures and tracks arthritis symptoms. He and his...

Mar 16, 2017
This former refugee turned a non-profit into a successful business
Marcie Good

Life Story: Annee Ngo was born in a refugee camp in Hong Kong and grew up in East Vancouver. After studying political science at UBC and marketing at the University of Toronto, she returned to Vancouver in the summer of 2012 and co-founded retail sports supplement brand GH Nutrition Inc.In 2014, Ngo attended ProtoHack in Seattle and met founder Blake...

Mar 16, 2017
A dancing queen makes exercise fun with hip hop moves
Jacob Parry

Life Story: In 2013, Saschie MacLean’s 17-year-old sister, Chantal, was killed in a car accident. The loss uprootedMacLean’s life: “It was, and still is, devastating,” she says. Clips of dance routines on Instagram were an escape from her grief. Once a competitive cheerleader at her high school in Richmond, MacLean, who earned a bachelor of business administration at SFU and...

Mar 16, 2017
Founder of fast-growing consulting firm tackles homelessness and the housing crisis
Marcie Good

Life Story: While completing a dual master’s degree in international business and economics from Queen’s University and Maastricht University in the Netherlands, John Merkley co-founded a company that transformed waste plastic at facilities in Holland and Berlin into reusable industrial wax. “I was 21, and I got to run an enterprise and realize how hard it is,” he says. “It...

Mar 16, 2017
Why take your car into the shop when Uber for auto repair will come to you?
Nick Rockel

Life Story: Khallil Mangalji calls Burnaby home, but he lives in constant motion, bouncing between B.C., Ontario and California. No matter what’s on his plate, he’s always starting something else. When Mangalji was a Grade 8 student at Meadowridge School in Maple Ridge, he sold copies of Halo to his video-game-obsessed classmates. That illicit business ended quickly, but it sparked...

Mar 16, 2017
A passion for photography led her to create a cloud-based image bank used around the world
Nick Rockel

Life Story: Photography and technology have always been passions for Phoebe Jiang, who found a way to spin that into a business. Jiang moved to Vancouver with her parents in 1999 from Luoyang, a city in Central China. After earning a bachelor of business administration in finance and accounting from SFU in 2010, she worked several corporate jobs, including a...

Mar 16, 2017
She had never made a pot of soup. Now she has a healthy business producing wholesome foods
Nick Rockel

Life Story: Amy Kizaki admits that before she co-founded Kitskitchen Health Foods, she had never made a pot of soup, the company’s product. If you identify a hole in the market and have a strong idea, a strategic vision and some operational experience, she says, you’ll be able to pave your path. Kizaki was born in Fukuoka, Japan, while her...

Mar 16, 2017
With a background in finance, this transplanted American is growing educational farms in B.C.
Marcie Good

Marc Schutzbank completed two bachelor’s degrees at the University of Pittsburgh, one in politics and philosophy and one in finance, before he won a Fulbright scholarship to UBC in 2011. he American was studying the economics of urban farming as part of his graduate work in the university’s land and food systems program when he connected with Ilana Labow

Mar 15, 2017
Why wait for medical care? His new system shows how many are in line at walk-in clinics
Felicity Stone

Although Blake Adam graduated from UVic’s Peter B. Gustavson School of Business in 2011 with a B.Comm. specializing in entrepreneurship, he expected to work his way up the corporate ladder. In 2015, frustrated by having to call walk-in clinics to find out which ones were still taking patients, he and software engineer Jonathan Clark decided to create a website showing clinic wait times

Mar 15, 2017
This military vet is helping to franchise legal practices
Jacob Parry

Life Story: The son of a Canadian Armed Forces member, Victoria native Alistair Vigier planned on a military career, joining the reserves at 17. As a freshman at UVic, where he earned a BA in psychology in 2012, Vigier was injured on operation. Medically discharged, he switched to marketing and business development and launched a consulting firm catering to franchises.

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