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Top 20 Under 40 - Daniel Debow and David Stein

Published: January 19th 2011
in Culture » Society

David Stein

Shalom Life is proud to introduce our inaugural ”Top 20 Under 40” list. This list encompasses 20 individuals of diverse occupations and backgrounds; from businessmen and businesswomen and innovative entrepreneurs, to philanthropists, entertainers, doctors and more, the inaugural list places a spotlight on the myriad of talented, creative and passionate Jews, all under 40, who call Toronto home. Each day we'll introduce a new profile. We hope you enjoy the list and look forward to expanding it to other cities in the coming year. 




Daniel Debow & David Stein




Daniel Debow and David Stein are the co-founders and co-CEO's of Rypple, a company that provides web-based social software which allows for team feedback and coaching for the office. The company was founded in 2008 with the aim of changing the following problem: people don't get enough feedback at work. By borrowing ideas from behavioral science and social software, Debow and Stein created the Rypple product with the values of "creating a product that people love, which allows them to have fun at work in an open and collaborative environment without hierarchy, challenge the status quo, and to be learning all the time."


Debow was born in Toronto and lives in the city again after moving around for university and other jobs before Rypple. After graduating from the University of Western Ontario in psychology, where he was deeply involved in student council and the Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi, he worked for the fraternity for a year.


"Working for AEPi, I learned a lot from traveling around the United States and Canada opening new chapters," said Debow. "I was the first Canadian to hold that position, but since my time several more have followed."


He has studied at various other educational institutions and loves learning. Before starting Rypple, Debow was involved with a company called Workbrain, a business software company, that he helped to sell in 2007 for $227 million. In Toronto he is involved with the Jewish Chamber of Commerce through the United Jewish Appeal, where he sits as co-chair and helps organize such events as get-togethers for entrepreneurs.


"Recently I have become more serious about bass guitar and have some great musician friends who I learn a lot from," said Debow. "I am also passionate about my nine month old son and my wife."


Stein was born in South Africa and immigrated to Canada as a child. "Being a newcomer and starting over ingrained in me a work ethic and a desire to succeed," said Stein.


After graduating early from high school, Stein worked for his father in the diamond business and there he learned how a business operates, gained insights into negotiating, and the paramount importance of customer service. He graduated with a B.Sc in Computer Science from McGill University and during his studies got a great grounding in technology and the knowledge required to enter the software industry.


Stein was also part of the founding team at Workbrain in 2000.


"At Workbrain I worked with an amazing group of people that accelerated my learning in the key business areas of strategy, marketing, sales, and product development," Stein recalls. Within Toronto, Stein sat on the Jewish Vocational Board for two years where he helped immigrants to more successfully settle and integrate in Canada. He enjoys making a positive difference within the community and another way is through investing in and supporting other entrepreneurs, who he says he also learns a lot from. Stein is involved in the arts where he works with and supports the Art Gallery of Ontario, Power Plant and the Art Gallery of York University. His free time includes an interest in sports, golf and tennis in particular, wine (learning about, collecting, and sharing with friends), and he enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.

Related articles: (David Stein, Daniel Debow, Top 20 Under 40, Profiles, Jewish, Rypple)

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