While Sahr Saffa was completing his bachelor of commerce at – and playing basketball for – the University of Alberta, he saw a business opportunity. Several friends had small businesses – window cleaning and basketball training camps and the like – but none had marketing experience. “We all suffered the pain of not having anywhere to go to get simple marketing services,” Saffa says. So he and three partners launched Nimbus Creative, which sits in that small-business niche to this day. And Saffa has launched a second business, CruxAR, an interactive, augmented- reality app that brings print products to life with video and audio.

He says he learned about leadership in his playing days, and he reads to hone his skills. Right now, it’s James Clavell’s Shogun, set in feudal Japan. “The message I’ve taken is one of patience,” Saffa says. “The lord never makes a decision on the spot, even if the country is on the brink of war. He always finds a way to buy a day or two. Even as fast as tech is moving, you can’t do everything at once and as a young person, it’s important to develop your patience.”

A leader I admire Elon Musk and Kobe Bryant. “Kobe’s always been an exceptional leader. He’s soft-spoken but assertive at the same time.”