Michael Cheng

Michael Cheng
Born Hong Kong, China
Residence Vancouver, Canada
Nationality Chinese Canadian
Alma mater Simon Fraser University
Occupation Entrepreneur

Michael Cheng is a Canadian entrepreneur.[1] Cheng co-founded Sniply, Beta Collective, Covr, Needle HR, WittyCookie, TEDxSFU, and 12 other ventures.[2][3]

Early life and education

Cheng was born an only child in Hong Kong and moved to Vancouver, British Columbia at the age of 7.[1][4] While in high school Cheng started a business called Auto Quick Trade.[1] Cheng studied Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University (SFU) and was "offered a lecturer’s position, teaching digital design" during his freshman year.[1]


In 2009, Cheng co-founded International Student Connection, an international student agency that was named "Best New Student Business of the Year".[5]

In 2011, Cheng launched TEDxSFU, an annual TEDx event at Simon Fraser University which featured John Furlong (CEO), Jim Chu and Ryan Holmes.[6] The event was named "one of the greatest TEDx events of 2012” at TEDActive 2013 in Long Beach, California.[7] That year, Cheng also co-founded WittyCookie which offers website creation and maintenance to small businesses.[8] As of 2013, WittyCookie employed 40 people and serviced more than 600 clients.[2]

In 2012, Cheng was selected by the Surrey Board of Trade as one of the "Top 25 Under 25" entrepreneurs.[5] He was also given the "SFU Entrepreneur of the Year" award[1][9] and the "Surrey Business Excellence Award".[10]

In 2013, Cheng co-founded Needle HR, an Internet marketplace for web designers and other creative services.[11] The company featured 120,000 designers and 2,500,000 design projects.[4] Cheng received "The Satchu Prize" and "Outstanding Venture Award" from educational organization, The Next 36[12][13] and spoke at Canada’s First Thiel Fellowship Event in Toronto.[14] That year Cheng received the "Coast Capital Venture Prize" from Venture Connection[15] and was selected by Maclean's Magazine as one of the "Future Leaders of Canada".[1] He was also selected by 24 Hours (newspaper) as one of "Top 24 Under 24".[16][17]

In 2014, Cheng co-founded Covr,[18] a music discovery platform,[19] and was selected by BCBusiness as one of "Top 30 Under 30".[20] That year, Cheng also co-founded Sniply,[21] an online marketing tool,[22] as well as Beta Collective,[23] the first Coworking space in Surrey, British Columbia.[24]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 MacDonald, Nancy. Canada’s Future Leaders Under 25. Maclean’s. April 12, 2013.
  2. 1 2 Conner, Shawn. 11 startups and counting for 23-year-old Michael Cheng. Vancouver Sun.
  3. Czikk, Joseph. Both Failure and Success Define Entrepreneurs Like Snip.ly's Michael Cheng. Betakit.
  4. 1 2 Scott, Alec. Where Canada’s next billion-dollar idea is being hatched. The Globe and Mail.
  5. 1 2 Diakiw, Kevin. Surrey’s Top 25 Under 25 honoured. Surrey Leader.
  6. SFU Surrey student hosts local TED Conference. The Now (newspaper).
  7. Gray, John. Building a Global Village Takes Work. The Huffington Post.
  8. Meadahl, Marianne. WittyCookie founder nets fourth award. SFU.
  9. Toth, Spencer. SFU Entrepreneur of the Year 2012. Enactus.
  10. Surrey Business Excellence Award Winners. The Now (newspaper).
  11. Czikk, Joseph. How The Next 36’s Needle HR is Changing the Creative Industry. Techvibes.
  12. Maimona, Mashoka. The Next 36 venture day: Program adds 36 new graduates. Financial Post.
  13. Poon, Christopher. Young entrepreneur noticed nationally. The Now (newspaper).
  14. Czikk, Joseph. Project RHINO to Welcome Canada’s First Thiel Fellowship Event. Techvibes.
  15. Meadahl, Marianne. Trio of Winners at Coast Capital Savings Venture Prize Competition. Venture Connection.
  16. Ball, David. Top 24 Under 24: Michael Cheng — The Web Entrepreneur. 24 Hours (newspaper).
  17. Czikk, Joseph. Next 36 Alum Named Among Top 24 Under 24. Betakit.
  18. Czikk, Joseph. Next 36 Grad Michael Cheng Launches Platform for Discovering the Greatest Musicians You've Never Heard Of. Betakit.
  19. Woods, Ben. If you love cover versions, check out Covr’s music discovery platform. The Next Web.
  20. Czikk, Joseph. BC Business Releases Inaugural 30 Under 30 List. Betakit.
  21. Ali, Anwar. Are incubators relevant to all startups? How Snip.ly profited from not making the cut. Financial Post.
  22. Michael Stelzner. Blogger Outreach: How to Build Relationships With Bloggers. Social Media Examiner.
  23. Czikk, Joseph. SFU Alumni Launch Surrey Coworking Space, Beta Collective. Betakit.
  24. Bjornson, Leah. Alumni make space for Surrey entrepreneurs. The Peak (newspaper).
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