SFU Beedie alumnus Charles Chang made his name as the founder of plant-based nutrition company Vega. Charles founded Vega in 2001, initially working from his basement and investing his own savings into the business.
Over the course of fifteen years, he grew the company into an iconic lifestyle brand employing over 180 people, with sales of more than $100 million per year, and products sold in over 20,000 stores across North America. In June 2016, he made a $10 million donation to SFU Beedie to establish a new entrepreneurship institute at the school, the Charles Chang Institute for Entrepreneurship.
The Institute’s activities to support entrepreneurship education include the launch of the Charles Chang Innovation Centre, which was officially opened in September 2016 and offers residences for graduate students and state-of-the-art business incubation facilities, located in downtown Vancouver.
After selling Vega in 2015, Charles founded Lyra Growth Partners, a venture growth equity company that aims to help entrepreneurs succeed, cementing his leadership position in B.C.’s burgeoning entrepreneurship community, and founded the charity Powerplay Young Entrepreneurs to nurture the entrepreneurial mindset in elementary school youth.