Whether he was setting up satellite communications in war-torn countries, creating his own film on Canada’s role in Afghanistan or designing and producing sophisticated protective casings for iPhones, Brooks Bergreen has constantly craved challenge.
“You learn the most about yourself when you’re being challenged to your absolute maximum,” Bergreen said in an interview. “That’s the thing that really helps you grow as a person.”
At the age of 21, Bergreen, who grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan, found himself in war-torn Kosovo setting up satellite communications systems for a non-governmental organization.
At 24, he carried his work in satellite communications farther afield to Afghanistan, where he oversaw military projects valued at $40 million that were commissioned by the U.S. Department of Defense, the Canadian Department of National Defence, other NATO countries and NGO and media outlets.
Attesting to his diverse talents, his resumé also includes the making of a film entitled Waging Peace: Canada in Afghanistan. Bergreen said he felt compelled to make the film to ensure that Canada’s role in this perilous country wasn’t misunderstood. He bypassed traditional media by making it available online and licensing it as an educational tool used by dozens of school boards across the country.
Marriage to CBC journalist Sarah Galashan and the birth of their first child have kept Bergreen mostly on the ground in Vancouver.
In 2012, he became founder and CEO of HIT Technologies, makers of a case for iPhones called the Hitcase, which protects the device while still allowing customers to use functions such as shooting video. The business has grown from just a few employees to more than 20, and Bergreen recently listed the company on the Toronto Stock Exchange with a valuation of $25 million.
He got the inspiration for the product while joining Galashan when she was Whistler CTV bureau chief during the 2010 Olympics. He thought an iPhone, with better protection from the elements, would be ideal for shooting action videos while skiing or hiking.
While his 40th birthday is still several years off, Bergreen has accomplished a lot in his life. And, constantly craving challenge, he says he looks forward to accomplishing a lot more in the coming decades.
Join us to celebrate the 2015 Forty under under 40 Awards January 27, 2016 at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel. For tickets and event info visit www.biv.com/events/40under40.