Forbes published a list of 300 young entrepreneurs, innovators and game changers Europe distributed in ten categories from the political, social and economic environment. The Forbes “30under30” Europe comprises of today’s leading young change-makers and innovators below the age of 30.
Caroline Howard from the Forbes Staff comments in her article: “The list was originally inspired by the rising tide young entrepreneurs, mostly in the tech business, making big waves and earning even bigger bucks and world-wide followings. Millennial founders and funders, brand builders and do-gooders aren’t waiting around for a career bump up the establishment ladder. Their ambitions are way bigger -- and perfectly suited to the dynamic, entrepreneurial and impatient digital world they grew up in.”
Among the 300 are nine individuals from Switzerland who, in their different role, are associated with to the Swiss startup environment. These include seven startup founders (teams), a supporter and an investor.
Joël Jaton, founder, DEPsys (Industry): The Yverdon-les-Bains based startup offers a real time management tool for power distributors, with a focus on managing intermittent renewable generation. The company offers GridEye, a network optimization platform, measuring, monitoring and controlling the low-voltage grid for an efficient integration of renewable energy sources at decentralized injection points.
Maximilian Boosfeld, Basil Weibel, and Elias Kleimann, cofounders of Wingtra (Industry): The three cofounds developed a convertible aerial robot that takes off and lands like a helicopter, but flies like a plane. The robot is used to gather data for improvement in wildlife and agriculture. Thanks to the combination of range and flexibility, the fully autonomous it is suited for various civil applications, such as the inspection of farmland, mining or even for parcel delivery.
Christopher Millan, cofounder of CellSpring (Science and Healthcare): Millan invented 3D Bloom, a technology currently used at CellSpring. 3D Bloom is a three-dimensional cell culture technology that forms microtissues and allows for clinical drug testing outside of the human body, reducing the necessity for animal testing and risky human clinical trials.
Philipp Man, founder of chronext (Retail and Ecommerce): The online marketplace for new and pre-owned luxury watches, Chronext – which has landed $18 million in venture funding – makes the experience of buying a high-end timepiece online more streamlined and secure. The son of Russian immigrants to Germany, Man launched his first venture, a clothing retailer, at age 17.
Alexis Bourgeois and Tudor Mihailescu of GovFaces (Law and Policy): The two cofounded the digital start-up “GovFaces” to re-engage democratic communities across Europe through online conversations between citizens and politicians. Since launch, over 200 politicians, high level officials and other stakeholders have used their platform.
Franziska Ullrich, cofounder of Opthorobotics (Science and Healthcare): Ullrich has developed a fully automated robotic injection system that will revolutionize treatments of eye diseases. The microrobotics device, remotely operated by a surgeon, uses eye tracking and recognition to deliver drugs directly to the eye, increasing both the efficiency and precision of eye surgery.
Philomena Schwab, game developer of Niche (Technology): As her final thesis, Schwab developed and designed Niche, a game about population genetics. The main goal of the player is to keep their species from extinction by smart breeding (based on real genetics) and smart resources management. Niche raised $72,000 on Kickstarter. She also founded Playful Oasis, collective of 25 international developers that promotes nature and biology-related games. Schwab is currently studying for a Masters in game design at the Zurich University of the Arts.
Alisée de Tonnac, Cofounder of Seedstars (Social entrepreneurs): Seedstars World is an international startup competition for the developing world that culminates in a competition in Switzerland for a total of $1 million. De Tonnac spent a year traveling the world, establishing the competition to activate up-and-coming areas. Seedstars has activities in over 65 emerging markets in places like Nigeria, Colombia, Jordan and the Philippines among others.
Oliver Heimes Investor and Partner at Lakestar (Finance): As a General Partner at Swiss VC Lakestar, Heimes is in charge of their global investment strategy. Since the inception of Lakestar's first fund in 2011 he and his colleagues have invested more than $500m in AUM in companies such as Oscar Health, Harry's and Everstring. Before joining Lakestar Heimes was a research assistant for entrepreneurship at HBS.
The Swiss startup players in the Forbes 30under30 Europe. Left to right as listed above.