Karn Manhas

CEO, Terramera Age: 35

Don’t tell Karn Manhas something can’t be done. He may prove you wrong. Manhas inherited tenacity from his grandfather who emigrated from India at the age of 11. “It took a lot of courage and I’m inspired by my dad and grandfather; their spirit of adventure and responsibility has had a lasting impact on me.”

At 24, Karn Manhas was the youngest MLA elected in B.C.

“I hope someone beats my record. It’s good to have youth in politics. It was a powerful experience.”

During his early days in politics, people stopped him in the halls for help, thinking he was a page. Soon, Karn led the development of Youth Matters and was the primary driver behind the creation of SFU Surrey.

A discussion with a fellow law student led to the idea for Terramera Biosciences. Manhas’ friend claimed there was no natural way to kill bed bugs.

“With my background in genetics and biotechnology I knew there was something in the natural world that would kill the bedbugs.”

After graduation, Manhas wanted to prove that a pesticide-free solution to the bedbug infestation was possible. Without access to a lab, he built a lab in his home garage. Eventually Manhas developed and tested a solution that worked. The next day, Terramera was born.

“One person can make a huge impact to change the world. It’s amazing when you look at history and one person stands up and says ‘something needs to change.’ Everyone has a contribution to make and everyone is here for a reason.” •