Charles (Charlie) Grinnell, 28
Life Story: A month and a half after enrolling at UBC on a football scholarship in 2008 with plans to go to law school, Charlie Grinnell injured his back in a car accident. The West Vancouver native dropped out and began making action sports videos that ended up online. Needing to learn more about Internet marketing, he completed certificate courses through New York State’s Syracuse University, SFU and UBC. That led to six months at Invoke Media, the agency that spawned Hootsuite; almost three years in Toronto working on Red Bull Canada’s digital marketing team; and just under a year at RedBull’s global headquarters in Austria.
When his girlfriend returned to Vancouver in 2017 because she couldn’t get a visa to stay in Austria, Grinnell followed. He got a social media job at clothing retailer Aritzia but realized he wanted to do his own thing. In March 2018, he and partner Evan Knight started RightMetric, which analyzes data associated with online marketing to guide strategy in business functions from finance to HR.
Bottom Line: In 2019, RightMetric plans to increase staff from seven full-time marketers and digital strategists to 10 to 15 and annual revenue from mid-six to more than seven figures. Clients include the Canadian Hockey League, Lululemon Athletica and Red Bull.