Arash Asli

CEO Yocale, Age 36

After spending 14 years climbing the corporate ladder at Aptean, a $500 million technology company with 1,500 employees, Arash Asli was ready for something completely different.

So, earlier this year, he quit his post as an executive vice-president and started Yocale, a startup with just 18 employees.

"[At Aptean], we used to cater to companies that had between $250 million to $3 billion in revenue," Asli said.

"I ended up working toward a passion that I had, which is really equipping smaller businesses with the tools and the technology available to the bigger businesses, so they can also grow."

Asli was the youngest vice-president at Aptean, a company that makes a suite of applications including business-to-business customer relationship management tools. While there, he managed a portfolio of 32 product lines and put management systems in place that helped to save over $550,000 a year.

With his deep technical skills and a passion for business, he also helped to turn around a declining business unit, returning it to 23% year-over-year growth.

But having reached a senior management position, Asli found himself wanting a different challenge.

"If you want to grow beyond that, it's either Toronto or San Francisco," he said. "My roots are really in Vancouver."

His new company, which will officially launch its product in the first quarter of 2014, will be all about that passion for local.

"It's going to be a new online destination that allows consumers to connect with and discover service providers in their location," Asli said.

"It's about leveraging the mobility of smartphones and local technologies and equipping local business providers, which are mostly small businesses, with the tools that the bigger guys have."