Matias Marquez

Forty under 40 winner 2018; Founder and CEO, Buyatab Online Inc., Age 30

Chung Chow photo

At age 30, Matias Marquez isn’t content to rest on his success so far and is already thinking about his next business venture. While there are still lots of opportunities and strategic plans at his company, Buyatab Online Inc., seemingly nothing can tame his entrepreneurial spirit.  

While attending university, when most students were focused on their grades in the hopes of finding a good job down the road, Marquez decided to take matters into his hands and develop his own career. As he walked on the campus grounds, Marquez hatched the idea of an online gift card after having personally experienced issues with the traditional variety, a format he observed was not the most consumer friendly. Rather than accept its shortcomings, Marquez decided to solve the problem himself, a decision that would seed the success of his company. 

It might seem obvious in hindsight that Marquez made the right choice in taking the road less travelled and starting his own business rather than becoming a lawyer or an accountant. But he’ll tell you it was a struggle to choose an entrepreneurial path, which does not come with the same level of security and stability that safer, traditional jobs might have provided. 

“You’re just such a busy individual when you’re a student,” he said. “You have friends and a part-time job – and then I took on this challenge of building a business, and I was just fortunate that I’m in Vancouver. I think there’s a support system here that’s pretty special, that allows someone who’s super green, a university student, to have an idea and build it into a meaningful business.”

However, it takes more than a good support system to expand your business from an at-home website to securing Whole Foods Market and Air Canada as clients. Marquez is unequivocal in saying that it has been the most exiting journey of his life. 

“I really love what I do, and if I can help others doing what I love, then as much as it helps them, it helps me,” he said. “Part of it is me paying it back and the other part is it adds a personal level of fulfilment that I don’t think I would get otherwise.”

Birthplace: Edmonton, Alberta

Where you live now: Downtown Vancouver

Highest level of education: Bachelor of business administration/CFA

Currently reading: Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Currently listening to: Hotel California by the Eagles

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

Profession you would most like to try: Professional dog trainer

Toughest business or professional decision: To stay focused, especially in a fast-moving world that is full of other opportunities

Advice you would give the younger you: Ask more questions. Don’t believe everything you think

What’s left to do: Lots. I think businesses are increasingly focused around impact and I completely believe this trend will continue. I hope to have an increasing impact on the larger community as I progress in my career as an entrepreneur

Join us to celebrate the 2018 Forty under under 40 Awards January 24, 2019, at the Vancouver Convention Centre. For tickets and event info visit