Annee Ngo, 27

Co-founder, ProtoHack

 Annee NgoEvaan KherajLife 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 McCammon. Participants in the daylong event formulate teams, choose an idea and design a business concept. Each team pitches its project to a panel of investors that awards seed funding to the winners.

Ngo loved it. McCammon asked her to join ProtoHack, and she hosted a sold-out event in Vancouver with 75 participants in August 2014. Ngo, who became VP in January 2016, made the non-profit a successful business by introducing white-label events, run by ProtoHack on behalf of organizations such as Adobe Systems Inc., Natural Resources Canada and Stanford University. She also works as global event manager for digital newspaper distributor PressReader.

The Bottom Line: Last year Ngo grew revenue by more than 300 per cent and helped ProtoHack to expand from eight to 23 cities, including São Paulo; Dubai; and Chandigarh, India.