Yaeko Tong, 35
Co-founder & COO, Sweet Caesar
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to run an app development company. But just for good measure, Tong has an undergraduate degree in aerospace engineering. “I was never really attached to aerospace. I just like technology,” says the native of Japan, who moved to Canada for Grade 10. While doing her MBA at the University of Toronto, Tong was encouraged toward management consulting or capital markets, but “that’s not who I am,” says the married mom. Her fi rst software job was as a gaming programmer during the late-’90s tech bubble. “The pay was great, but I sucked at programming games. I learned not to chase money.”
Tong helped raise funds for startups launched by others before taking the entrepreneurial plunge herself in 2008. “I can comfortably say I have found where I fi t and can be appreciated,” says Tong. Sweet Caesar has built mobile apps for an impressive list of clients, including the Toronto International Film Festival and U2, and has already doubled its 2010 revenues.
On what makes her tick: “I love seeing a new technology to completion, then watching it implemented.”