2019 30 Under 30
Health is a recurring theme in Stacey Wallin’s career. In 2012 she co-founded LifeBooster, a tech company that helps employers assess and address workplace injury risks. It evolved from SmartFit, an employee wellness solution that won Wallin’s team a prize at SFU’s Beedie School of Business, where she obtained a BBA with a concentration in innovation and entrepreneurship.
A childhood friend with a sleep disorder set Rachel Chase on the path to entrepreneurship. “He didn’t find out until he was 25 that he had obstructive sleep apnea,” says Chase, who grew up in South Surrey and earned a bachelor of business administration from SFU’s Beedie School of Business, concentrating in finance, management information systems, and innovation and entrepreneurship.
Alicia Close has loved math since she was a child, when her father, a self-employed financial adviser, would have her solve tough problems during car rides. Close, who was born in North Vancouver and raised near Toronto, earned a BBA from Wilfrid Laurier University, majoring in finance and international business.
Willson Cross calls his latest venture a startup lab. Launched late last year, Pattern Labs is a Vancouver-based fund that tests consumer technology ideas in industries from travel to home services to food. “We will build an enduring company around the winner, and that’s a product that will improve the lives of millions of people,” Cross says.
Returning to her hometown of Langley after completing a BBA at SFU’s Beedie School of Business in 2015, Melissa Quinn took a maternity leave HR contract that turned into a much bigger job. At Maple Ridge–based Left, she quickly moved into corporate development with the tech outfit, which had worked in the web domain name business but was turning its attention to blockchain and cryptocurrency.
What’s an Ivy League economics grad to do? In 2016, Matthew Segal appeared to be headed for a career in investment banking after leaving Yale University, where he rowed First Varsity for four years. But several job offers later, Segal decided his heart wasn’t in it. Back in his hometown of Vancouver, he also chose not to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, prominent developers Lorne and Joseph Segal–for now, anyway.
Maxwell Webster got the idea for Hastings Overland when he took a break from work in 2016 to spend six months touring Russia, Asia and the Middle East. “I kept finding myself gravitating toward overland travel–renting vans or rickshaws or motorcycles,” says the Nanaimo native, who started his first business, a dog-walking service, when he was six and co-founded a clothing company at 18. “I realized this was an underserved market in B.C.”
“Lezé is just like saying lazy but in a fancy way,” says Karen Lee. She and Tanya, friends who share a last name as well as a business, co-founded Lezé the Label last year to produce comfortable women’s clothing that can go from the office to the gym. “We’re kind of in the workwear category but made with leisure characteristics,” Tanya explains.
Rather than follow his dad and his twin brother into medicine, Langley-raised Andrew Hansen earned a business administration degree from Trinity Western University in 2013. Soon he was an operations manager for the resources and transportation division of Vancouver-headquartered construction giant Ledcor Group.
Since growing up as the “token Asian guy” in Tsawwassen, Alex Wan has capitalized on his knowledge of East and West: “I always found myself enjoying educating my friends on Chinese culture, which is a natural precursor to what I do now.” Wan, whose family immigrated to B.C. from Taiwan when he was five, never planned to be an entrepreneur.