European Entrepreneur of the Year

European Entrepreneur of the Year nominees:

1. Alice Bentinck (Entrepreneur First)

British entrepreneur Alice Bentick was only 25 when she co-founded Entrepreneur First, a company builder and startup accelerator, in 2011. Within four years, it had helped established some 75 startups collectively valued at over $450 million, and expanded in Asia. It has since also caught the eye of major investors including Reid Hooman, co-founder of LinkedIn, who led a $12.4 million investment in the company in 2017. Bentick was awarded an MBE for services to business in 2016. Find out more:  

2. Pieterjan Bouten (Showpad)

Pieterjan Bouten started his career as a consultant, but made the switch to entrepreneurship in 2010 when he co-founded his first start-up, In the Pocket. But it’s with his second start-up, Showpad, that Bouten’s star ascended. The platform, which enables companies’ sales and marketing teams to work seamlessly together, has already seduced over 1,000 clients in 45 countries. An additional $25 million in funding secured earlier this year will see the company expand further internationally. Find out more:  

3. Ludovic Le Moan (Sigfox)

A serial entrepreneur, Frenchman Ludovic Le Moan co-founded his first business, Anyware Technologies, in 2000. But it’s with Sigfox, the company he co-created in 2009 to provide solutions for the internet of things, that Le Moan hopes to revolutionise the tech industry and become France’s first unicorn - a company valued at over $1 billion. He was awarded Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, in April 2016 for his work by then economy minister Emmanuel Macron. Find out more:  

4. Kati Levoranta (Rovio)

When Kati Levoranta stepped into her new role as CEO of Finland’s Rovio Entertainment in 2016, the gaming company had gone through two CEOs in three years and had had to cut its workforce in half because of slowing revenues. But the former head of legal and EMEA sales turned Rovio around, turning the company public, delivering double-digit growth and a smash at the box office with The Angry Birds Movie. A sequel is expected in 2019. Find out more: 

5. António Lucena de Faria (Fábrica de Startups)

Portuguese serial entrepreneur Antonio Lucena de Faria started his first company in 1987, at just 15. Since then he’s created some 10 companies mostly focused on providing a wide range of financial services. He also launched the accelerator Fabrica de StartUps and Energia de Portugal, specifically aimed at Portuguese and Brazilian entrepreneurs with ideas on renewable energy and how best to tackle the challenges from urbanisation. Find out more:  

6. Niklas Östberg (Delivery Hero)

After spending several years in banking and consultancy, Swedish entrepreneur Niklas Ostberg launched his first start-up,, in the late 90s. He then set his sights on Poland, Finland and Austria, where he quickly established market leading companies in online food ordering. Delivery Hero, which he co-founded in 2011, is now the leading global online food ordering and delivery marketplace, present in over 40 countries and across five continents. Find out more:  

7. Fleur Pellerin (Korelya Capital)

Adopted by a French family when she was six-month-old, Fleur Pellerin attended some of France’s most prestigious schools before entering the country’s civil service. In 2012, she became the first French Korean-born minister when she was given the innovation, SMEs and digital economy portfolio by President François Hollande, where she quickly established the French tech initiative. She entered the private sector in 2016 to co-found Korelya Capital, a venture capitalist firm championing European start-ups. Find out more:  

8. Dominic Richter (HelloFresh)

A year after graduating with a Masters from the London School of Economics, Dominik Richter co-founded HelloFresh, a meal-kit delivery firm, in Berlin. Six years later, the company, selling in 10 different markets and valued at over $1 billion, successfully went public. The aim in 2018 is for the European company to overtake its biggest rival in the US. Find out more:  

9. Max Schrems (None of Your Business)

Since 2011, Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems has been a constant thorn in Facebook’s side. Schrems has repeatedly taken the American tech giant to court over its privacy policies and was instrumental in the scrapping of Safe Harbor, a key US-EU deal that allowed for the transfer of personal data over the Atlantic. In late 2017, he launched a non-profit organisation, None of Your Business, to bring consumer privacy cases to court and ensure European data privacy regulations are successfully enforced. Within 24 hours, his organisation had crowdfunded over $60,000. Find out more:  

10. Hussein Shaker (MigrantHire)

Hussein Shaker only had one year left of university as an information technology student in Syria’s Aleppo, when war broke out. He fled the country, moved to Berlin and languished for a while as a call centre employee to focus on learning German. After noticing that companies were crying out for skilled developers in the city, Shaker, along with three other developers, launched MigrantHire in 2016 to match refugees with employers. Find out more:  

11. Sebastian Siemiatkowski (Klarna)

Sebastian Siemiatkowski had no banking experience when he co-created online payment platform Klarna in 2005 at just 23 years of age. Twelve years later, more than 60 million customers use Klarna to make purchases from 70,000 merchants in 17 countries. The company, worth over $2 billion, has also recently been granted a banking licence, making it one of Europe’s largest banks. Find out more:  

12. Boyan Slat (The Ocean Cleanup)

In 2013 and just 20 years old, Dutch inventor Boyan Slat dropped out of his Aerospace Engineering course to launch The Ocean Cleanup, a system to speed up the recovery of plastic amassing in the world’s ocean. The first prototype was deployed in 2016 and Slat is now preparing the launch of the first full-scale operational system, expected in mid-2018. The entrepreneur was the youngest-ever recipient of the UN’s Champion of the Earth award, the organisation’s highest environmental accolade. Find out more: