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October 2017

In this issue

Oct 20, 2017
How Scott Menke's gamble on Parq Vancouver hit the jackpot
Nick Rockel

On a brilliant late-June afternoon, Scott Menke strides through the posh lobby of Vancouver’s Rosewood Hotel Georgia. “What’s up?” asks the co-founder and CEO of Paragon Gaming as he extends a hand. At first glance, his aquiline gaze appears haughty, but don’t mistake the tall American’s confidence for condescension.For 20-odd days a month, Menke lives alone in this downtown hotel.

Oct 11, 2017
Whisky Wisemen Society serves good spirits in support of worthy causes
Nick Rockel

Boy, yuppies have changed. On an August evening at Shebeen Whisk(e)y House in Vancouver’s Gastown, the local chapter of the Whisky Wisemen Society is holding its monthly Third Thursday event. Among the lively crowd gathered round the bar are a software entrepreneur, a business development director for a construction management firm and a staffing services company owner. Shebeen will donate...

Oct 2, 2017
6 ways to engage consumers, from retail to marketing
Felicity Stone

There was a time when visiting a department store was an event, as depicted in the TV series Mr. Selfridge and The Paradise. Now, says Canadian consumer futurist Doug Stephens in his recent book Reengineering Retail, “most stores we visit are devoid of any theater, excitement or aesthetic delight, much less any sort of engaging physical experience.” But the tide is...

Sep 30, 2017
Entrepreneur of the Year 2017: B.C.'s winners
Marcie Good, Dee Hon, Jacob Parry, Felicity Stone and Jessica Werb

Rob McCurdy (Pacific Region Overall Winner)CEO, Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc. Zak El-RamlyPresident and CEO, ZE PowerGroup Inc. Jamil MurjiPresident and CEO, Inter-Urban Delivery Service Aamir Baig + Fraser Hall + Andy Prochazka + Sam Prochazka Co-founder/Director/CEO + Co-Founder/Director + Co-Founder + Co-Founder/Director, Article.com Brian Paes-BragaCEO, Lithium X Energy Corp. Matt Leslie + Kevin Pederson + Mitch EvaneczCo-Founder + Co-Founder + Director of Operations, West Coast...

Sep 29, 2017
Entrepreneur of the Year 2017: Mining & Metals
Jacob Parry

On a Sunday in October 2009, William Lamb got a text message from a friend in South Africa: “Do you have $42 million—because you may need it by the end of the week.” “I knew straight away what it was for,” says the head of Lucara Diamond Corp. in his mile-a-minute South African lilt, recounting how he heard the tip...

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...

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