Ryan Yada

Forty Under 40 Winner 2017: Co-owner and co-pilot, FlowMotion Entertainment Inc., Age 39

Ryan Yada may be more familiar with Business in Vancouver’s Forty under 40 awards than most people; his wife, Lara Kozan, who co-founded YYoga and Nectar Juicery, won the honour in 2013.

And while Yada is a top-level executive in a completely unrelated industry – mobile gaming – the North Vancouver native maintains, like his wife, a focus on wellness and holistic health, even in a sector not normally known for its awareness of healthy living.

“It’s something down the path that may converge [with mobile gaming],” said Yada, co-pilot and co-owner of FlowMotion Entertainment Inc. in Vancouver. “I think right now we can reach a lot of people, and at some point, I’m excited that we may be able to bring them, in addition to joy, which the games do, something that makes people feel better about themselves.”

A computer engineer by training, Yada didn’t start out as an entrepreneur. His resumé includes several project leads at major multinationals like Stantec, Ledcor Group and Hitachi  before becoming co-owner of FlowMotion two years ago.

Today, the company has increased its revenue base 30-fold since its opening days, with monthly revenue expected to reach $1 million by the end of this year. But it hasn’t always been easy, Yada said, since FlowMotion started out as a maker of its own games before finding a strong niche of marketing products from other developers.

“We focus on owning what we do well, in areas we call ‘zones of genius’ internally,” Yada said. “For us, that’s marketing games where the creators don’t know how to create visibility for themselves. My business philosophy is that we have to look at data that may be uncomfortable and be willing to move quickly. As a company, we’ve pivoted a dozen times because the industry is moving so fast.”

The goal now for FlowMotion, Yada said, is to focus more on games aimed at the female demographic. He noted that more women play games on mobile devices than men do, but the industry as a whole remains male-focused in its culture – something Yada hopes to change.

Birthplace: 

North Vancouver

Where you live now: 

West Vancouver

Highest level of education: 

Bachelor of applied science, computer engineering, University of British Columbia

Currently reading: 

The Collapse of Parenting by Dr. Leonard Sax

Currently listening to: 

Meditations by Abraham Hicks

When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: 

Architect, dreaming up ideas for houses or new buildings

Profession you would most like to try: 

Holistic health/wellness professional/practitioner

Toughest business or professional decision: 

Leaving a big company on my own terms – while not having a new job to go to, especially with a family to support

Advice you would give the younger you: 

Believe in yourself and be more confident; don’t let others’ opinions get to you

What’s left to do: 

We are just getting started. We want to be the best in bringing games to the female casual gaming market – while making people feel better about themselves on a global scale

Join us to celebrate the 2017 Forty under 40 Awards on January 23, 2018, at the Vancouver Convention Centre. For tickets and event info visit http://www.biv.com/events/40under40