BC Business Magazine - - Office Space -

Co-founder and CO-CEO LONDRE BODYWEAR INC. Prin­ci­pal AINS­LEY ROSE PHO­TOG­RA­PHY AGE: 28 LIFE STORY: Patrick Tolchard went back to school to help fi­nance his busi­ness. A year af­ter grad­u­at­ing from Medicine Hat Col­lege with a bach­e­lor of sci­ence in eco­tourism and out­door lead­er­ship in 2013, Tolchard, who grew up in Pitt Mead­ows, moved to Ra­dium Hot Springs. His boyfriend had bought the town's only pub, Horsethief Pub and Eatery, and Tolchard worked in white­wa­ter raft­ing and then for Fair­mont Hot Springs Re­sort as a spe­cial events co­or­di­na­tor.

When a for­mer class­mate, Krista Berg, vis­ited the area to ski, the two be­gan talk­ing about buy­ing a derelict theme park and con­vert­ing it to an eco­tourism ad­ven­ture and ed­u­ca­tion des­ti­na­tion. To qual­ify for grants through the

Start Up Com­pany Pitch Com­pe­ti­tion, Tolchard re-en­rolled at Medicine Hat Col­lege and ob­tained a diploma in en­trepreneur­ship. In May 2017, he won $10,000 in the com­pe­ti­tion, plus a year of ac­count­ing ser­vices and the com­pany's first tax re­turn from Johnston Mor­ri­son Hunter & Co., the ac­count­ing firm that spon­sors the com­pe­ti­tion. The park opened to the pub­lic on July 21.

THE BOT­TOM LINE: Rec­og­nized as Ris­ing Star Busi­ness of the Year by the Columbia Val­ley Cham­ber of Com­merce in Oc­to­ber, Val­ley Zi­pline did $100,000 in tour sales in five weeks of op­er­a­tion, with 2018 sales pro­jec­tions of $343,000. It ex­pects to add three to five mem­bers to the 18 full-time staff. –F.S. LIFE STORY: Born in Kras­no­yarsk, Siberia, and raised with a younger brother in Van­cou­ver, Ilya Brotzky tends not to see bor­ders. His par­ents moved the fam­ily first to Is­rael, in 1991, and to Van­cou­ver two years later. In 2010, af­ter earn­ing a bach­e­lor of busi­ness ad­min­is­tra­tion from Cornell Univer­sity, Brotzky headed to Rio de Janeiro as a man­age­ment trainee with Brazil­ian mining gi­ant Vale S.A. When he be­came friendly with Brazil­ian soft­ware en­gi­neers who wanted to re­lo­cate to Canada, he had a eureka mo­ment. “A lot of them were good tech­ni­cally, but they were miss­ing English as a skill,” Brotzky ex­plains.

So in 2015 he launched Van­hack Tech­nolo­gies, an on­line school and re­cruit­ing plat­form where in­ter­na­tional job seek­ers can re­ceive help with their English, re­sumés and in­ter­view skills, and get hired by com­pa­nies look­ing for hard-to-find tech tal­ent. Van­hack is based in Van­cou­ver, but Brotzky leads it from wher­ever he is, which could be one of any num­ber of tech ac­cel­er­a­tor pro­grams he's tak­ing part in, from Tech­stars Ber­lin to Start-up Chile.

THE BOT­TOM LINE: Run by a staff of 10, Van­hack has 142,000 mem­bers from 73 coun­tries. Ba­sic mem­ber­ship is free, but a $65 monthly fee pro­vides pre­mium ac­cess to English-lan­guage cour­ses, one-on-one coach­ing, re­sumé and cover let­ter tu­to­ri­als, and in­ter­view prep. Up­ward of 350 com­pa­nies have used Van­hack's re­cruit­ment ser­vices, for which Brotzky charges a finder's fee of 20 per­cent of start­ing salary. The com­pany broke $1 mil­lion in rev­enue last year, and he ex­pects to ex­ceed that in 2018. –J.W.

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