FERD's LIST 2018 Honourees

Dalia Lasaite

Co-Founder & CEO of CGTrader

Dalia Lašaitė is a co-founder and CEO of 3D model marketplace CGTrader. CGTrader is one of the leading stock 3D model marketplaces globally with over 1.4M users and over 670K models for film, animation, architectural visualisation, AR/VR/game development and other industries. Individuals and business customers can choose from a wide collection of high-quality free and premium 3D models, and use them in commercial projects decreasing project development time and reducing content creation costs 5-10x. CGTrader gives talented 3D designers the opportunity to showcase their work, get valuable feedback from the community, learn from their peers and interact in a designer-friendly environment. The platform allows designers to directly communicate with their customers and earn the highest royalties (up to 80%) in the market. CGTrader currently has more than 100 of Fortune 500 companies as clients.

In May 2016, the Hundert, a Berlin-based startup publication, named Dalia Lasaite as one of Top 100 European female entrepreneurs. Dalia holds BSc degree in Economics and Business Administration from Stockholm School of Economics in Riga, and MSc degree in Finance from University of Lausanne. Prior to joining CGTrader, Dalia worked in finance and co-founded two other technology startups.

3D Animation

About Dalia

Daniel Bartel

Senior Executive Partner at MAK3it

As an accelerator of good ideas, creative dissident and entrepreneur, Daniel Bartel supports start-up teams in the agile development of business models. He is the only coach for radical innovations worldwide who learned the disciplines of Design Thinking, Business Modeling and Lean Startup and successfully combined them early on. Its network called MAK3it has already enabled over 300 teams of established companies worldwide, including employees of BOSCH, TÜV and Daimler, with the innovation kickbox and an extra portion of start-up spirit.

Daniel Bartel strives for an inclusive and desirable world of tomorrow. He is the editor of several books on the topics of Intra-& Entrepreneurship -even before he completed the Master's programme of the same name, two of these publications developed into national standard works. Since the sale of his last P2P Carsharing Start-up to Drivy, the customer and the learning speed have consistently come first in all his projects. He is also a provocative guest speaker on megatrends such as the sharing economy.

Daniel (@danbar87) is involved as a changemaker in a variety of European projects in the field of social entrepreneurship and deals with the essential questions around the topics of digital society, respectable founders and future business models. Daniel Bartel is one of the youngest graduates of the altMBA, Seth Godin's worldwide leadership program.

Startup Accelerator

About Daniel

Brynhild Vinskei

Chief Markets Officer at 24i

A highly accomplished marketing professional, results-driven, strategically oriented and proactive business leader with strong personal drive and several years of experience from various industries including NGOs, B2C & B2B.

Brynhild is the Chief Markets Officer at 24i Media, an industry-leading global TV app developer with award-winning technology that helps customers develop and deploy apps faster and more efficiently on all devices, screens and platforms, heading up all sales and marketing efforts, responsible for determining how 24i Media goes to market, orchestrating the customer experience and building the brand while fueling business growth globally.

Her areas of responsibility and focus at 24i Media include Public relations, corporate communication, digital marketing, product marketing, marketing operations, market insight, event & trade-show management, marketing automation, social media, CRM optimization, business strategy, brand management, responsible for aligning the sales organization’s objectives with firm business strategy through active participation in corporate strategic planning, sales strategy development, forecasting, sales resource planning, and budgeting, accountable for effective sales organization design, including sales job roles, sales channel design, and sales resource deployment.

Brynhild is also the organizer and host of the annual summit, Nordic TV Summit. The Summit has become one of the most desirable places for the industry to meet and network, recognized as one of the most important event in the OTT calendar.

Brynhild initiated and played a central role in establishing JA Alumni Europe back in 2004 and continued to lead the organisation as European President until 2007. In addition, she was the CEO of JA Alumni Norway from 2003 to 2008. She also worked at JA Norway in addition to studying. She initiated several initiatives that spread to many countries like “Leader-for-a-day” and “Girls in leadership”.

Brynhild was recognized as CMO of the Year 2016 at the 24th Le Fonti IAIR Awards in London, U.K.
Brynhild was named Top 100 talent by Business.dk in 2017

Media Innovation

About Brynhild

Bernhard Hofer

Co-Founder & CEO of talentify.me

Bernhard Hofer, 33, studied Business Informatics at Management Center Innsbruck and Management Information Systems at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He gained professional experience in the fields of online marketing, agile IT project management, building online communities and leadership working for big advertising and tech companies in Vienna.

After several years in corporate life, Bernhard and his wife Doris founded the social business talent 2 talent GmbH in October 2014, based on the idea of a Junior Company he founded 10 years before at his high school in Innsbruck, Tyrol. The main focus of their activities is talentify.me, an educational social network for pupils including Apps that support peer-based tutoring, nurturing individual talents of young people by offering extracurricular workshops and events with several different partner organizations.

Based on those activities young people discover their talents, document achievements and discover exciting educational and professional paths based on intelligent matchmaking algorithms. In addition, the business network talentify.works offers consulting and recruiting services for companies to communicate, find and hire the right young talents helping to build bridges between the school system and the world around it. With his passion for education and social entrepreneurship Bernhard got elected as an Austrian Ashoka Fellow in 2015. Furthermore he is passionate about rock climbing, beach volleyball and plays the piano.


About Bernhard

Alicia Navarro

Founder of Skimlinks

Alicia is an energetic and creative tech entrepreneur, with a passion for product and business development.
She founded Skimlinks (www.skimlinks.com) in 2007, and was CEO of it from inception for over 10 years, growing it to be the leading content-to-commerce monetisation platform for online publishers globally. Skimlinks is a $50m a year business with global operations, driving $1bn in ecommerce through its platform annually from the 4.5m websites of its customers such as Conde Nast, Buzzed, Huffington Post, and many more.

After over 10 years of being CEO, Alicia has moved into the role of President and Board member, where she continues to contribute to Skimlinks’ market presence and vision.

Prior to starting Skimlinks, Alicia worked in Australia and London for large media/telco companies such as Vodafone, Optus, IBM and Fairfax Media, as well as a number of start-ups (including a few she started). Her passion and talent has always been in working with teams to turn concepts into successful products.

Alicia is also an active member of the tech community, mentoring and supporting new entrepreneurs on their journey. She has won a number of awards including the WIT Female Entrepreneur of the Year and the FDM everywoman Entrepreneur of the Year. She is also on the Board of Trustees for Young Enterprise, the social enterprise she herself participated in as a teenager, that helps young people develop confidence and business skills.

Marketing Technology

About Alicia

Sébastien Deletaille

Co-Founder & CEO of Riaktr

Sébastien is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Riaktr (formerly known as Real Impact Analytics). Building on his entrepreneurial nature, Sébastien launched Riaktr with Loïc Jacobs van Merlen to capitalize on the growing trend of “Big Data” and the emerging need for Analytics. With Riaktr, Sébastien has developed Analytics software for Telecom operators for the last 8 years. He has worked for over 70 Telecom operators, including 6 of the 10 largest global telcos.

In addition, Sébastien has also been instrumental in the development of Data for Good, which is a program that helps governments and international agencies alleviate poverty, food crises and provide disaster relief where it’s needed most. Thanks to these efforts, Sébastien was selected to be part of the Belgian MIT Innovators under 35 community in 2016.

Prior to Riaktr, Sébastien worked for McKinsey & Company, both as a fast-track Junior Associate and member of McKinsey Solutions’ client development initiatives. He also graduated with Summa cum Laude from the Solvay Business School of the University of Brussels (Msc Business Engineering) where he launched the first entrepreneurship club.

During his free time, Sébastien enjoys classical music, running & scuba diving. He participates as board member to BeCentral and supports entrepreneurship education organizations.

Data Analytics

About Sebastien

Looking back to their Junior Achievement experience

"I went from being a shy, awkward, not-terribly-popular teenager, to leading my JA team as Managing Director to national success. That achievement opened the door to more involvement with JA as an alumni, which gave me the confidence, exposure to greatness, and ambition that is directly linked to my entrepreneurial success today."

Alicia NavarroFounder of Skimlinks

"Junior Achievement gave me the permission to make business ideas real at a very young age. Looking back, I got the freedom to create something meaningful and learned how to lead a powerful pupils' business!"

Daniel BartelSenior Executive Partner at MAK3it

"I'm forever grateful for my JA experience- a truly life changing experience that gave me profound insight into business life, my own capabilities, desires and dreams. I am where I am today thanks to JA and I aspire to grow and continue to learn, evolve and make an impact- thanks to my JA experience."

Brynhild VinskeiChief Markets Officer at 24i

"JA had a huge influence on the course of my life. It confirmed my desire to follow business studies at university and it drove me to quit my first job to start 3 start-ups. In a word, JA gave me the entrepreneurship bug "

Sébastien DeletailleCo-Founder & CEO of Riaktr

“Junior Achievement introduced me to the world of business in high school, thereby making entrepreneurship an accessible and viable career choice. During JA programmes, I not only got the basics of business skills that were very useful going forward, but also learned that starting a business is something that any motivated individual can pursue.”

Dalia LasaiteCo-Founder & CEO of CGTrader

In retrospect the Junior Achievement programme was one of the highlights during my school career. The skills I’ve acquired hands-on and the early entrepreneurial experiences we made as a group are still supporting me today: passion, creativity, teamwork, communication, but most importantly developing a vision associated with the feeling that everyone can do something, can change things for the better.

Bernhard HoferCo-Founder & CEO of talentify.me

FERD's LIST 2017 Honourees

Boris Kolev

Managing Partner at DigiMark

Boris Kolev is one of the most successful young entrepreneurs in Bulgaria. He started his entrepreneurship career on the age of 13 at the Junior Achievement Student Company program in high school. Right at the age of 18, he founded his first company 'JT International'. His rapid success in the marketing innovations sphere got the attention of world business media and at the age of 19, the Business Week Worldwide Magazine ranked him in the top 3 of 'Europe’s Best Young Entrepreneurs for 2007'.

Currently Boris runs a group of 4 companies in the digital and software innovations sphere as well as 2 non-profit projects and recently founded a new local tech VC company, supporting and investing in the local startup ecosystem. One of his latest projects 'DigiMark' is ranked among top 5 fastest-growing tech companies in the country for 4 years in a row. DigiMark has grown quickly from small local mobile development startup to a global tech company with locations in Sofia, Porto, Utah, New York and San Francisco.

As a personal cause in the last 9 years Boris is investing his free time, funds and efforts for the non-profit organization CSR Bulgaria, which is helping the Bulgarian businesses to implement corporate social responsibility and sustainable development strategies, achieving great impact in the Bulgarian society trough more responsible business practices.

In 2016 Boris founded the tech VC company 'DigiMark Ventures' which has currently invested in 8 local startups in the sphere of Education, Healthcare, Biotech and AI. In 2013 Forbes magazine puts Boris in the first '30 under 30' list of the young Bulgarians with greatest potential.


Mobile Applications

Claudia Suhov

Founder & Creative Director at Kidster

Claudia, an European awarded young entrepreneur from Romania, has received in 2015 her international recognition by winning the Young Leonardo Award in the category Trans-Generational Learning offered by HRM Research Institute under the patron of European Commision.

In March 2014 Claudia was included in the Top Forbes Romania “30 under 30”, being recognized as one of the next Romanian young leaders due to her great involvement in children’s education, positive attitude and creativity.

In 2012 she made her appearance on the Romanian version of Dragons’ Den . She began her award winning career on 2012 when she won the first prize of the national Romanian competition “Start! Business 2012” organized by Junior Achievement.
Being dissapointed in what school offered her she has decided that she can do more by working as a volunteer. That experience was what she needed to discover her talents, passions and inspiration.

In the present, together with her team, Kidster delivers high level educational programs for children aged 8 to 14. Their focus is on technology, foreign languages and personal development activities. She coordinates corporate educational programs and she develops her free resources platform of activities, books recommendations and games for families. Until now she reached thousands of children in Romania and more will come in the following years.

“I'm the most curious person I know and I think is one of my best skills. Sometimes I feel like a detective when I have to solve some challenges for my company. Through my activities I want to inspire people to keep learning, be generous and be kind. We can do everything we can dream of, and even more.”



Christian Erfurt

CEO and Co-Founder of at Be My Eyes

Be My Eyes is a simple but powerful app enabling the blind and visually impaired to ‘see’ through the eyes of sighted volunteers via a smartphone.

“I participated in JA Company Programme where I founded our first start-up that still exists today.

My passion is innovation, personal development, changing paradigms, people and the adventures of life.
This is closely linked to my childhood. Without sharing stories about how I learned to ride a bicycle and how I believed a “goal kick” in soccer actually meant kicking the goal frame, I will briefly address it:

There is no ordinary childhood; however mine was very close to an average lovely Danish childhood: I played sports, ate ice cream, I lived surrounded by playgrounds, green trees, and friends. At the age 13 I was diagnosed with cancer for the first time and here my ordinary childhood stopped.

Fast-forward: 5 years, numerous treatments and surgeries later. I had beaten cancer twice and now consider the cancer being one of the best things that happened to me – besides surviving it. It gave me perspective, a positive approach and a love of life at a very young age.

This approach to life and skill set led me to be absorbed in the world of innovation and entrepreneurship where core skills like adaptability, positive thinking and creativity are very similar to the ‘lessons learned’ from surviving cancer.

Now - at the early stages of my career I use this skill set in creating businesses, helping entrepreneurs and to motivate others. I have been part of the JA alumni network for 10+ years and the community is a key ingredient in my entrepreneurial journey.

JA was the igniting spark to start my journey. I met young likeminded early stage entrepreneurs who showed me that you can make it even at a young age.”

Christian recently participated as a jury member in JA Europe's Social Innovation Relay Global Final in June 2017. He continues to be an inspiration to the JA network.


Social Entrepreneur

Chris Slater

Co-Founder & CEO (USA) at Simply Business

Chris Slater helped turn Simply Business from a tiny start-up company into one of the UK’s largest online business insurance providers in less than ten years. He is now on a mission to change insurance for all small businesses across the world driving their first international business outside of the UK; launching the business in the US in the fall of 2016.
Co-founding and launching a new way for small businesses to get protected in 2005, he has been a driving force behind the company becoming the leading insurance broker for small and medium sized UK businesses. The firm has been phenomenally successful, generating annual revenues of over £60 million, recently selling for £400m to Travelers , and currently insuring over 435,000 customers across the UK.

Today Simply Business employs more than 450 people across its London and Northampton offices, has a growing team of over 30 people in Boston, Massachusetts, and has won the Sunday Times Best Company to Work For in both 2015 and 2016. Most recently the business has achieved B-Corp accreditation, enshrining the social and environmental values the business has been built on in creating a new force for good within the corporate landscape.

Now responsible for developing Simply Business’ expansion into new markets, Chris is primarily focused on launching the US business, looking to harness the same capability of a group of lean product development specialists and commercial team, an agile development platform and an award-winning operations team that has delivered success in the UK, to
deliver a great customer proposition to the US small business community. The launch is imminent.

Prior to working at Simply Business, Chris worked in a number of roles at Royal & SunAlliance, including a role on the MORE TH>N launch team, and he currently invests in and advises to a number of start-ups across a range of sectors, as well as advising and supporting a number of charitable ventures including the UK’s largest enterprise education charity, Young Enterprise. Chris holds a BA in Economics from University of Liverpool and an MBA from Cass Business School.

Chris shared his experience of the JA Company Programme in UK with Young Enterprise: “With start-ups you’re dealing with similar challenges that you face during Young Enterprise. You’ve got to profile your customer base, do market research, get backers, get the business operational and come up with a brand. Young Enterprise whetted my appetite for business (...). It taught me some important lessons about the dynamics of people in a business.”


Financial Services

Erik Fjellborg

CEO & Founder at Quinyx

Erik founded Quinyx with the idea to develop one of the first fully cloud based Workforce Management solutions. Over the years Quinyx has grown to become the market leader within SaaS Workforce Management serving industries such as Restaurant, Retail, Gyms, Call Centres and hotels. The web service today has over 250,000 active users all over the world and the business has over 100 employees spread across offices in Sweden, United Kingdom, Germany, Norway, Denmark and Finland.

Quinyx has been appointed one of the fastest growing companies in Europe by the newspaper Dagens Industri’s Gasell-competition with 600 % organic and profitable growth 2010-2014.

Erik has been mentioned as one of the most promising young entrepreneurs in Europe by BusinessWeek and is a frequent speaker on topics such as start-ups and SaaS. He has received numerous awards, for example Entrepreneur of the Year by Founders Alliance and International Growth Award by Ernst & Young.


Wokforce Management

David Darmanin

Founder & CEO at Hotjar

Over the 12 years before founding Hotjar, David generated hundreds of millions of dollars in growth consulting fast growing startups and fortune 500 firms.

He has built multiple teams, developed brands and run hundreds of tests for his clients… spanning across 19 languages, 12 currencies and 13 industries.

Today Hotjar is used on over 220,000 sites and is one of the fastest growing analytics startups in the world.

David participated in the JA Company Programme in Malta in 1998, he was Managing Director of the JA Company 'Omicron', winner of National and European Competition.

“Looking back, I now realise that participating in Junior Achievement Young Enterprise was the beginning of everything for me. It changed my path. It landed me jobs with amazing bosses that made me the CEO and business owner I am today.”


Web Analytics

Looking back to their Junior Achievement experience

"This experience changed my career and my future because it pushed me to develop an international vision of my business.
If it weren't for the Junior Achievement programme I don't think I would have been so successful, have developed my skills that fast, I probably did not have the support and the business network needed for the organisation."

Claudia SuhovFounder & Creative Director at Kidster

"What was really important to me was to get the opportunity to run a company in high school and to get the mentors and advisers early on that could tell me the steps involved in building a business."

Erik FjellborgCEO & Founder at Quinyx

"Looking back, I now realise that participating in Junior Achievement programme was the beginning of everything for me. It changed my path. It landed me jobs with amazing bosses that made me the CEO and business owner I am today."

David DarmaninFounder & CEO at Hotjar

"Junior Achievement was the igniting spark to start my journey.
I met young, like-minded, early stage entrepreneurs who showed me that you can make it even at a young age."

Christian ErfurtCEO and Co-Founder of at Be My Eyes

"With start-ups you’re dealing with similar challenges that you face during Young Enterprise. You’ve got to profile your customer base, do market research, get backers, get the business operational and come up with a brand. This experience whetted my appetite for business. It taught me some important lessons about the dynamics of people in a business."

Chris SlaterCo-Founder & CEO (USA) at Simply Business

"The first moment was the JA Student company where I learned to set my goals: If you try hard enough, you will be successful."

Boris KolevManaging Partner at DigiMark