European Entrepreneur of the Year

European Entrepreneur of the Year nominees:

Vincent Zimmer and Markus Kressler came up with the idea for Kiron during a refugee conference in the summer of 2014, where they discussed their visions of a “university 2.0.” This idea aims to use technological progress to concentrate more on each individual student. At the time, Zimmer and Kreßler both worked as volunteers with refugees: Markus with a psycho-social consultancy for refugees, and Vincent with “Study without borders,” which supports students in crisis situations. As a result, in March 2015, they founded the social startup “Kiron Open Higher Education,” which aims to give refugees around the world access to a university education and additional related options. In this way, Kiron supports refugees in facing the challenges of fleeing from their home countries and starting over elsewhere.

Fredrik Carling is CEO of Hövding, the Swedish company behind the world's first airbag for cyclists. In 2006 Hövding won the Venture Cup competition, where young entrepreneurs get to develop their idea into a sustainable business plan. It took seven years to transform Hövding from a concept into an approved and certified product. Today more than 150,000 Hövdings have been sold.Over the years Hövding has grown from just two people with a great idea, to a NASDAQ-listed company that handle everything from development and production to marketing and sales.

Oliver Dlouhý is the founder and 24.5% owner of travel-booking site Kiwi.com, headquartered in the Czech Republic, with a number of global offices. The company has more than 1,700 employees and expects to earn $9 million on sales of $805 million in 2017. Kiwi.com's revenue has tripled on an annual basis and it has raised $1.5M from investors. Dlouhý set up Kiwi.com in 2012 to provide users with the cheapest flight itineraries and combinations through a unique "virtual interlining" algorithmic technology.