Milun Tesovic

Co-founder and CTO, MetroLeap Media Inc. Age: 24

Milun Tesovic founded his first company when he was 14 out of a desire to create a fan website about one of his favourite animated shows.

He discovered that he could either rent the server space required to power the site for $30 or buy an entire server for about $100 and resell portions of it to others.

He chose to do the latter and formed a web-hosting company with some friends, but quickly learned that teenagers are not the best business partners and sold the company.

His second venture has been much more successful: MetroLeap Media Inc.’s lyrics website gets more than 34 million unique monthly visitors, is among the 10 most popular music websites worldwide and is the largest lyrics website worldwide, according to ComScore.

There were few other robust online lyrics offerings when Tesovic first developed the Metro Lyrics website in 2002 at the age of 16.

“I started off just wanting to develop a more comprehensive database that had songs I was looking for,” said Tesovic, who emigrated from war-torn Bosnia at 10.

In 2004, he founded MetroLeap with his mentor and the company’s CEO Alan Juristovski.

Rather than creating an unlicensed database with frequently incorrect lyrics – as is the norm for many lyrics engines – MetroLeap struck a licensing deal with Gracenote, a digital publisher that manages a large lyrics database.

As a result, the company has legitimized and legalized its lyrics engine.

It compensates artists and songwriters for their content through an advertising revenue-sharing model.

“We’ve helped create a new revenue stream for the music industry,” said Tesovic.

As he goes head to head with competitors in the lyrics space like MySpace and Yahoo! Music, Tesovic is completing an undergraduate business degree focused on entrepreneurship at Simon Fraser University.

He will begin his MBA studies next year. •