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October 2017

In this issue

Sep 29, 2017
Entrepreneur of the Year 2017: Financial Services
Dee Hon

Hamed Shahbazi spent 20 years building the Vancouver-based fintech startup he founded, Tio Networks, but officially went from entrepreneur to corporate employee this past summer. Silicon Valley giant PayPal Holdings Inc. bought his bill-payment-processing company for $302 million in July. Shahbazi has stepped down as Tio’s chief executive to take on two new titles: vice-president of PayPal’s bill-payment service and...

Sep 29, 2017
Entrepreneur of the Year 2017: Investment Services
Jessica Werb

A financial crisis that has equity markets plummeting isn’t exactly the perfect environment to raise capital for a venture in the commodities sector. But that was what Nolan Watson faced when he founded Vancouver gold mining financier Sandstorm Gold in 2009. “It was the worst time in generations to try to raise money,” Watson reflects. “I was a 29-year-old guy...

Sep 29, 2017
Entrepreneur of the Year 2017: Software as a Service
Jacob Parry

Jack Newton, founder of one Canada’s largest legal software companies, isn’t a lawyer, but he’s learned to think like one. A software engineer by training, Newton began his unlikely legal career over coffee in 2007 with the director of practice standards at the Law Society of British Columbia, who kvetched about a problem that beleaguered smaller firms. The day-to-day tasks...

Sep 29, 2017
Entrepreneur of the Year 2017: Technology
Jessica Werb

Some entrepreneurs seem to come into the world predisposed to doing business. Take Scott Phillips, president and CEO of StarFish Medical; while the closest most preteens come to setting up shop is operating the odd lemonade stand, Phillips launched his own framing business at the age of 12, on the Ping-Pong table of his family’s Tsawwassen home.The precocious young Phillips...

Sep 29, 2017
Entrepreneur of the Year 2017: Manufacturing
Marcie Good and Jacob Parry

Three years ago, Gary Shokar found himself out of a job. Escorted out after the hostile takeover of his family-owned firm, Shokar built a competitor with incredible speed, scaling up his construction supply company, AvenEx Coating Technologies, from a dozen to more than 1,000 employees. “When I was let go, just because I had ties to prior ownership—that gave me...

Sep 29, 2017
Entrepreneur of the Year 2017: Real Estate/Construction
Felicity Stone

In 2008, most Canadians buying U.S. real estate were looking for deals on vacation homes. North Vancouver native Janet LePage was just looking for deals. Over two years, while working full-time as a senior marketing manager at Ledcor Group, LePage purchased, upgraded and resold 58 homes in Phoenix. Unlike in Canada, where foreclosed properties must be sold at fair market...

Sep 29, 2017
Entrepreneur of the Year 2017: Emerging Technology
Felicity Stone

‘‘You wouldn’t think that four engineers would be that passionate about furniture, but we think we can really make a difference to people,” says Fraser Hall, who launched Article, a Vancouver-based online home furnishings retailer, in 2013 with fellow software designers Aamir Baig and twin brothers Sam and Andy Prochazka. The company’s goal is to sell high-quality furniture more efficiently...

Sep 29, 2017
Entrepreneur of the Year 2017: Business to Business
Dee Hon

The worst wildfires B.C. has seen in 59 years raged through the province this summer, but Rob McCurdy was prepared. The CEO of Richmond-based Pinnacle Renewable Energy was an executive for French cement giant Lafarge in New Orleans when he led his team through one of the deadliest natural disasters in U.S. history: 2005’s Hurricane Katrina and its chaotic aftermath.

Sep 28, 2017
Numerology: Aboriginal wealth and prosperity
Melissa Edwards

That’s the square footage of commercial real estate managed by the Okanagan’s Westbank First Nation (WFN), the largest such on-reserve development in the country. AFOA Canada (formerly the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of Canada) will feature WFN as a case study of leadership success at its inaugural conference in Vancouver from October 2 to 5. Some 1,300 business owners, chiefs...

Sep 27, 2017
What to put on your business agenda in October 2017

SMALL BUSINESS SUMMITThis one-day event presented by Small Business BC kicks off with a trade show and ends with a networking reception. In between, workshops offer tips on digital marketing, social media and networking; a panel of young entrepreneurs discuss their paths to success; U. Gary Charlwood, founder of Century 21 Canada LP, talks about his journey from employee to...

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