Jeff Jang

Co-founder and art director, Boximals Studios Inc.

Age: 25

The story: Jeff Jang is a gamer—and thanks to his company, more kids may end up gamers too. Boximals Studios produces educational video games featuring animalized boxes—picture the cartoon lovechild of a cardboard box and a puppy—called Boximals. The company’s strategy involves targeting markets like Brazil that are underserviced by educational software, Jang explains. “North America is competitive,” he says. “We’re not fans of throwing in a huge amount of money and competing with everyone else. Generally, we’re looking for opportunities where we can spend less.” That frugality may have been inspired by his mother, who he says had a hard go of things financially when her husband “bailed,” leaving her to raise two kids on her own. “I still live at home to keep costs down and hopefully pay her back,” Jang says.

Markers of success: The 15-person company, with an office in Gastown, has launched its games in seven countries, partnered with Microsoft (which paid Boximals to create games for its app store) and generated north of $1 million in revenue since launching in 2013. —Trevor Melanson

who inspires me to succeed

“Mark Cuban. He’s very cutthroat, but he knows what he wants”

Founder and Chief Innovation Officer, ShareShed

Age: 23

The Story: Daniel Dubois has always had an interest in turning a profit by empowering consumers. Customers at his childhood lemonade stand outside the family’s Vancouver home always complained about the price, “even if I lowered it to five cents.” But when he let people pay what they wanted, suddenly loonies and toonies came his way. That early lesson informed Dubois’s other ventures, including two clothing lines launched in elementary and high school, and finally ShareShed. Dubbed the “Airbnb of things,” ShareShed connects people looking to rent outdoor sporting goods with the considerable number of people who have gear gathering dust. “Younger generations aren’t looking to own,” says the Capilano University business student—but they are, he contends, willing to support the emerging sharing economy and create profits by building a more sustainable, affordable world.

Markers of Success: ShareShed has earned Dubois a spot as entrepreneur-in-residence at Hootsuite’s Next Big Thing Foundation, which kicked in $10,000 in startup funds. ShareShed also won $100,000 in in-kind support after placing first in the region at the Entrepreneurs’ Organization’s Global Student Entrepreneur Awards. —J.B.

What’s on repeat on my device right now

“The only music I have on my phone is Ministry of Sound: The Annual 2014 and The Psychology of Achievement audiobook. It’s quite possibly the best combo ever. I put it on shuffle and have the extremely motivating Brian Tracy speak about what it takes to be successful followed by a high-energy club banger”