For ten years now, the Forbes 30 Under 30 list has been identifying and honouring personalities that are creating impact in society, young innovators and businesses that are poised for growth thanks to their innovativeness. The Europe list has been released. This features 300 leaders from across Europe including Switzerland, which is represented by 11 personalities selected in seven of the ten categories.
Among the nominees are six startup founders. They are:
Freddy Hunziker, 27, Cofounder New Roots, Thun – category Art & Culture
New Roots wants to enable people to enjoy animal-free cheese without comprising on taste and quality. The company’s vegan creamery makes organic, plant-based cheese and yogurts using traditional methods from the Swiss Alps. Through direct sales and wholesale orders, the company grew last year despite the economic downturn.
Nicole Aegerter, 28 cofounder Antefil Composite Tech – category Manufacturing
Founded in 2019 as a spinoff from ETH Zurich, Antefil Composite Tech is a specialist in hybrid bicomponent fibre technology. The company combines thermoplastic polymers with individual reinforcing filaments, before a yarn is formed to develop Antefil Materials, which are fiber-reinforced thermoplastic materials that are both 100% recyclable and more durable than alternatives. The first prototypes were developed in 2018 and today the company is developing the scaled production of its innovative new preform.
Robin Gnehm, 28; Nicholas Hänny, 29; Carla Vilela Gonzaga Hänny, 28 cofounder Nikin – category Social Impact
Nikin promises to plant one product for every product sold. Started with only $5,000 in savings, the founders have already generated millions in revenue and planted over 1.1 million trees. They work with OneTreePlanted to focus on locations that have suffered deforestation due to agriculture, timbering and natural events.
Wiktor Bourée, 29, Founder of Technis – Category Technology
After graduating with a master's in chemical engineering from ETH Zürich, and developing a treatment technology for non-drinkable water at Harvard University, Bourée founded Technis at the age of 23. The Lausanne-based company creates smart flooring, capable of sensing, recognising and predicting activity happening at its surface, useful for any organisation watching footfall and trying to maintain hygiene standards.
In addition to the start-up founders, Antoine Bosselut made it to the Forbes list. He is a postdoctoral computer science researcher at Stanford University and will join the School of Computer and Communication Sciences (IC) at the École Polytechnique Fédéral de Lausanne (EPFL) as assistent professor in a few months. According to Forbes, Bosselut's research examines how modern machine learning tools should interact with human knowledge.
Further personalities with a connection to Switzerland are: Sashidhar Jonnalagedda (Geneva), Co-founder of Surgibox, Ozan Yildirim (Zurich), musician; Jorit Schmelzle (Zurich), cofounder of Peregrin Technologies; Evelyn Kachaje (Geneva), Legal officer at United Nations world Food Programme; and Laura Cincera, Markeing Manager at Google.
Photo: Freddy Hunziker (l), Nicole Aegerter (top), Robin Gnehm, Nicholas Hänny and Carla Vilela Gonzaga Hänny (bottom), Wiktor Bourée (r)