Wisam Abdulla

Wisam Abdulla

CEO and Co-founder

AGE: 29

COMPANY: Rise (formerly Paysavvy Canada Inc.)

The story: In 2011, Winnipeg native Wisam Abdulla, along with father Faiz and brother Tim, launched Paysavvy to build online software for managing payroll, vacation, workforce scheduling and attendance for companies with up to 500 employees—going up against payroll heavyweights such as ADP and Ceridian. While his father has focused on the platform’s architecture and raising money, and Tim has served as the CTO, Wisam has been in charge of branding, the sales process and marketing. In February, Abdulla moved from COO to CEO as the company rebranded as Rise, with their technology taking on more functions than just payroll; with new tools for recruitment and retention on its platform, Abdulla hopes to expand into every corner of the HR department.
Markers of success: Rise’s revenues have grown 300 per cent each year since 2011, while the company’s headcount has more than doubled since early 2015 (from 20 to 45 employees). The company has raised $4.5 million in venture capital to date.