Credit: Tanya Goehring on location at Leisure Center

Stefanie Grieser, 29



Life Story: Born in Colorado to what she calls “ski bum parents,” Stefanie Grieser was always intrigued by the world of business. But she wasn’t sure what that would look like as a career. A stint at a large Calgary insurance company didn’t inspire her. Then came an entrepreneurship competition at UVic, which she attended after a year on exchange in France. Her idea? A ski pass app, “not unlike what you see at places like Whistler now.”

Grieser won the competition (and $5,300), but more important, through the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business entrepreneurship program, she realized that perhaps the suit-and-tie set wasn’t for her. “The professors were very cool, they’d bring in panels of industry entrepreneurs, and you’d meet them and make so many connections,” says the energetic Grieser. “And that’s when I thought, That’s it. I’m either starting a startup or joining a startup. I’m not going back to any kind of corporate setting.”

In 2012, she found herself in Vancouver at Unbounce, which creates landing pages for clients. When Grieser left after six years, she was head of global markets, partnership and events, and the company had grown from 15 to about 200 staff. She’s now director of marketing at Sphere, an eight-person Vancouver startup that matches clients with business coaches via an app, and one of three founders of Shine Bootcamp, which holds three-week coaching boot camps for women in business.

Bottom Line: Shine, which accepts 15 women for each boot camp, had more than 50 applicants for its latest edition. Grieser is also talking to some major technology companies about partnering with Shine.


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