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Sauder has strong representation on this year’s BC Business Top 30 Under 30 list. Six award winners have direct ties to the school – five as alumni and one as an accelerator program participant. On April 28 the winners will be honoured with a special cocktail reception for being movers and shakers in the local business community at such a young age.


David Gens
Founder and CEO, Merchant Advance Capital Ltd.

David Gens launched Merchant Advance Capital in 2010 to lend small businesses money in exchange for what they book in debit or credit sales. It’s a model used successfully in the United States but not in Canada, and to this day Gens is one of the few Canadian lenders operating this way. The 15-person firm has lent $24.7 million to small businesses in Western Canada since its inception. Gens is a graduate of Sauder’s Bachelor of Commerce program in Finance and of the portfolio management program.


Brittany Wong
Principal, Bash + Fete

Brittany Wong began Bash + Fete in 2012, a professional event planning company that specializes in producing and planning bar and bat mitzvahs. BC Business reports that since then they’ve gone from a one-woman operation to employing four full-time, six part-time staff and 50 event vendors while revenues increased. She’s also helped co-found a number of charitable projects that have left a big impact in her community. She graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce, Marketing, from Sauder, in 2009.


Ian Crosby
Co-founder and CEO, Bench Accounting

Bench Accounting is a cloud-based bookkeeping service accompanied by live bookkeepers. The fast growing start-up was founded in 2011 by Ian Crosby and his fellow Sauder BCom graduate, Jordan Menashy, to revolutionize the way small businesses keeps their books. BC Business reports they’ve secured $9 million in venture capital funding to date and their revenues are increasing by 15 per cent month-over-month.


Alexander Chuang
Managing Director, Launch Academy

A Sauder Master of Management graduate, Alexander Chuang joined Launch Academy as Managing Director after successfully building and selling Weeve.it, a “kickstarter for nonprofits.” Launch Academy calls itself “Vancouver’s leading startup hub” and has excelled with Chuang in the Director seat, helping 225 companies since he began there. 


Alexander Graves
Co-Founder and CEO, Symvivo Inc.

Alexander Graves, currently taking an MBA at Sauder’s Robert H. Lee Graduate School, co-founded Symvivo with colleague Mark Fox when he moved to Vancouver. Symvivo is an early-stage pharmaceutical company that researches, tests and patents aspects of the cancer-fighting drug-delivering process to later license to drug manufacturers. So far, the company has raised $2 million in local venture capital, $100,000 in grants from the National Resource Council and at the animal testing stage for a lung cancer drug delivery system.


Marianne Black
Co-founder, Director and Advisor, Arbutus Medical Inc.

Marianne Black is the co-founder of Arbutus Medical, one of five social ventures in the current cohort of Sauder’s social venture accelerator, the Coast Capital Savings Innovation Hub. The company offers an affordable hardware drill cover for use in medical operations (as opposed to the normal $30,000 price tag). The company’s covers have been used by over 2,000 patients across seven countries.

Photos by Paul Joseph for BC Business.