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10 entrepreneurs under 30 selected by expert panel of leading figures in the capital’s startup scene.
A selection of experts from Capital Enterprise, RBS, and Google Cloud Platform have chosen their top ten young entrepreneurs to watch out for in London this year.
Nominations to be considered for the final ten had been sent in from some of London’s top universities and accelerator programmes including Techstars, Entrepreneur First, and King’s College London. The winners presented their companies and journeys at an event in December co-hosted by Capital Enterprise, Euclid, and NACUE as part of their work on MyWay - an EU funded project which aims to help student entrepreneurs learn about how to found and lead their own startup. These 10 were:
Nafisa Bakkar started the clothing website Amaliah with her sister to address the difficulty Muslim women face when looking for clothes that are modest yet fashionable. Since its launch ten months ago the site has evolved to also become a panel for the voices of Muslim women in the UK. Nafisa, who studied at UCL and worked at UCL advances before launching Amaliah, said that one of her top tips for future entrepreneurs was to make use of her network and the people you know. She credited Tim Barnes, former head of UCL Advances, and Alex Depledge, founder of hassle, with helping her build the network that later allowed her team to launch the site.
Ilia Zintchenko, co-founder of Mindi – an AI startup whose algorithms are reducing energy usage in data centres. Ilia grew up in Moscow and studied for a PHD in computer science at ETH Zurich, where he met his two cofounders. The team came to London after gaining a place in on the Techstars accelerator programme.
Jonny Grubin, founder of SoPost.co.uk. Jonny grew up in Newcastle and moved down to London for university, where a conversation with seven other strangers on twitter led to them founding his first startup. The business failed, though not, Grubin says, because the idea was bad but because the team was wrong (“don’t start a business with people you met on twitter!”). SoPost, which helps brands to drive their product sampling through online resources, launched four years ago and now has 18 full time employees and offices in London, Newcastle, and New York. When asked about his decision to set up base in his hometown, Grubin said it was a search for new employees that led him there. Having been priced out of the London market by larger corporates he quickly realised that there was an untapped talent pool in Newcastle whose salaries were far more affordable for a relatively new company.
Tommy Williams, founder of All Shades Covered, an e-commerce site providing affordable hair care products and extensions to women of colour. They achieve this by cutting out the middle man involved in most salon’s supply chains and dealing with extension factories directly. Williams grew up in East London and graduated from Oxford University in 2012. He worked as an investment banker for Goldman Sachs and Jumia in Nigeria before his sister’s comments on how much she had to spend on haircare led to him launching All Shades Covered in April 2016.
Tobias Rijken, co-founder at Kheiron Medical – a medical imagery company that uses Machine Learning to develop tools for radiologists that improve the efficiency and accuracy of radiology reporting. Tobias grew up in Amsterdam and studied for a Masters at UCL before joining Entrepreneur First in March 2016, the same cohort as Phoebe Hugh, where he met his co-founder.
Dominik Tomicevic, co-founder of Memgraph – a startup developing the world’s first in-memory real-time transactional and analytical graph database. Dominik and his co-founder Marko Budiselić moved their company from Croatia to London to take advantage of the large Ecosystem and support network of UK and international connections available to those working from the capital.
Nisha Kotecha first started working on her website, Good News Shared, after working for a charity where she gave free holidays to isolated elderly people to help them connect with others in the community. She found that one of the hardest parts of this was getting in touch with the older people to let them know about the charity’s work and she realised this was the case for many smaller charities. Nisha set up Good News Shared in 2014 to share stories about the great work charities are doing across the UK and get them the recognition they deserve. The site now has over 50 regular contributors and has featured the work of over 500 charities.
Jamie Potter, cofounder of Flexciton – an AI company that improves the efficiency of rotation equipment by using machine learning to check the data generated by large machines and figure out a more energy efficient way to use this data. Huge equipment like this can consume over 25% of the world’s energy and Flexciton’s applications can save companies up to £30m in this area. Jamie studied for a masters in maths at Oxford University and began work on a number of initiatives before meeting his co-founder, Dr Dionysios Xenos, when they were both selected to joining Entrepreneur First.
Clarence Ji, founder of ViewLDN – an augmented reality app for tourists to help them find nearby shops, restaurants, and sites of historical interest. Ji grew up in Beijing and is now in his final year studying for a masters in computer science at King’s College London whilst working on his app. He plans to launch ViewLDN in June. When asked how he balanced studying for a Masters with running his company Ji simply said that good time management was key. He doesn’t have any labs, he said, just lectures and doesn’t use the library so can easily get coursework done whilst working on his startup.
Phoebe Hugh, co-founder of Brolly, which uses customised AI to provide individual Insurance Advice. Users can understand all their insurances needs including whether they are over or under-insured. Phoebe started working on Brolly back in 2015 before becoming one of the stars of Entrepreneur First’s 2016 cohort where, like Jamie Potter and Tobias Rijken, she met her co-founder Mykhailo Loginov.
John Spindler, CEO of Capital Enterprise, said “We were looking for young entrepreneurs who had a great product in an interesting market and who we felt were passionate about succeeding.”
“The London Ecosystem is the largest Tech Ecosystem in Europe, not only do we nurture and support entrepreneurs in the UK, but as our selection shows we also attract some of the leading entrepreneurs from Europe.”
“We chose the best entrepreneurs on merit and it was very satisfying to see the range of backgrounds and sectors our selections come from. Within the ten we have 3 women, four non-Brits (one from China and three from Europe), and a mix of AI, E-Commerce and Social Enterprise.”
“I’m looking forward to seeing in 12 months what these companies have achieved – I can confidently predict that some of them will change the world.”
For further information or an introduction to any of the entrepreneurs please contact Julia Rabin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Capital Enterprise is a not-for profit membership organisation for those who nurture, advise, mentor, accommodate, and invest in entrepreneurs in London. Their aim is to make London the best place to start and grow a business in Europe, to this end they have worked on a number of EU projects supporting entrepreneurship in the Capital and across the UK. It was Capital Enterprise members who provided the nominations to be chosen for the top 10.
NACUE is the leading charitable organisation for engaging students in enterprise. Working with college and university students, they provide young individuals with opportunities to boost their skills, confidence and aspirations through student-led enterprise societies, practical programmes and inspiring events. They are dedicated to supporting, connecting, and representing student enterprise societies and student entrepreneurs worldwide.
Euclid Network brings together civil society and social enterprise federations, universities and training institutes, social investors, frontline NGOs, and social enterprises – all working to empower civil society and social enterprise to drive positive change. Their core member organisations represent around 3350 civil society leaders and social entrepreneurs across Europe and work with Euclid via two programmes: the Euclid social Enterprise and the Euclid leadership network.
Euclid Network has a wide range of activities; from creation of capacity-building programmes and peer exchanges between civil society leaders and social entrepreneurs across borders, to designing and facilitating events in which civil society leaders and social entrepreneurs learn from each other in all policy areas, utilizing ‘peer learning’ techniques. Euclid Network is based at Southbank University; Centre for Enterprise & innovation in London.
Capital Enterprise's prime mission is to enable its members to individually and collectively support London's entrepreneurs
01 Oct 2015 13:30
16 Sep 2015 15:00
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