Ben Silverman started out wanting to be a screenwriter for the film and TV business.
And though he has written, co-written and co-produced a number of films, his biggest accomplishments have been behind the scenes as a businessman and founder of several companies.
“I love business,” he said. “I was born to be an entrepreneur.”
At the age of 18, he invested all his earnings from a part-time job into Apple and Amazon stock, and when he cashed out four years later, it helped bankroll one of his companies.
His latest venture, now six years old, is Integral Artists Inc., a talent agency that has counted among its clients two Canada’s Walk of Fame stars – the late Alan Thicke and Canadian writer-director Evan Goldberg (Superbad, Knocked Up, Pineapple Express).
“We have grown to be the largest film and TV talent agency in Vancouver, by head count,” Silverman said.
Actor-director Patrick J. Adams credits Silverman for helping to solve a legal logjam that had threatened to kill a TV series that he had developed.
Silverman’s own film credits include being an associate producer of the Canadian hockey comedy Goon. He is also the president of Various Things Entertainment, an entertainment investment company.
Born in Vancouver, Silverman grew up in Richmond and earned a fine arts degree in creative writing and film studies from the University of British Columbia. Not long after graduating, he created his first business, Astone Fitness, which manufactured and marketed fitness equipment, while also producing films and interning at a talent agency.
He turned down a $500,000 offer from Dragons’ Den in 2012 and sold Astone Fitness a year later. By then, he had learned the ropes of the talent agency industry, and by 2012 he had already started his own.
With a team of 13 employees, Integral represents actors, directors, writers, cinematographers and production professionals and has recently expanded, opening offices in Calgary and Toronto.
Silverman is married with two young children, is a longtime LGBTQ and animal rights advocate, and volunteers his time and talent to the Bayit Synagogue.
Where you live now: Vancouver
Highest level of education: BFA, creative writing, from UBC
Currently reading: The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company by Robert Iger
Currently listening to: The podcast How I Built This on NPR with Guy Raz
When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: An NFL safety or a screenwriter
Profession you would most like to try: A fireman
Toughest business or professional decision: Buying out my former business partner
Advice you would give the younger you: Trust your instincts
What’s left to do: There is too much left to do to sum up in one sentence, but I can say what might be next is to open an L.A. office for Integral Artists
Join us to celebrate the 2019 Forty under 40 Awards on January 30, 2020, at the Westin Bayshore. For tickets and event information visit https://www.biv.com/forty-under-40