FERD's LIST 2020 Honourees
Since then Joonas has built and grown multiple companies. After running his own event agency for 8 years, Joonas recognised a need in the hospitality industry.
There was no automation or digitization of selling meeting rooms in hotels, even though 20-30% of the hotels’ revenue is generated by Meetings & Events. This resulted in low conversion rates for hotels to win the business as well long lead times for customers getting replies from the hotels. Even larger hotel chains didn’t have any technology in place to offer instant bookings of meeting rooms on their own website.
To solve this problem, MeetingPackage was founded in 2014 with the vision of making meeting room bookings as easy as booking hotels.
It took multiple years and pivots for MeetingPackage to find its niche and service offering that would truly help hotels and event spaces to increase sales while decreasing costs.
During the last years Joonas has grown MeetingPackage internationally and raised more than 4m USD in funding. MeetingPackage has been ranked #1 by HotelTechReport and is trusted by global hotel chains such as Radisson Hotel Group, Nordic Choice Hotels and many others. MeetingPackage is used by more than 10 000 hotels and event spaces in over 120 countries.
Joonas has been awarded with multiple awards and also made his way to one of the Forbes 30 under 30 list makers in Europe.
To stay in shape physically Joonas plays competitive sports such as beach volley, football or any other activity that includes a ball. Joonas also acts as a speaker within the hospitality industry and an advisor for many young entrepreneurs.
Jonas went on to get a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Southern Denmark while at the same time running 3 company projects. He started several minor company projects until his full attention was directed towards UserTribe.
Being part of the JA Alumni Denmark board for 3 years as well as co-founder of the JA Alumni Denmark “Senior network”, Jonas continues to contribute to entrepreneurship in Denmark and Europe. Members of the “Senior network” participated in the Company Programme about 5 to 20 years ago and still meet up 1-2 times a year to support the JA network as well as the European network. Jonas is also today part of the JA Alumni Honoris group and actively mentoring former Company Programme participants as well as supporting and sponsoring Alumni events in Denmark.
UserTribe is the end to end customer integration platform for enterprises. UserTribe connects the people who make things with the people who use things. UserTribe wants to empower a new way of bringing products and services to market where real-life human perspectives are seamlessly integrated into decision-making across the product lifecycle.
UserTribe has offices in 3 countries and works with large global organizations such as Maersk, Mastercard, LEGO, Bain and Novozymes across more than 70 markets on all 7 continents.
Founded more than 7 years ago and run on the belief of bootstrapping for many years, UserTribe has within the past year raised more than €7 million in funding to fuel further growth.
UserTribe invests strongly in the future with machine learning and software innovations to support their offering. As UserTribe wants to become more and more global, further fundraising is planned to support the pace of that growth.
Customer Integration Platform
Drawing on 30 years’ experience with the HSBC Group, Jennifer’s role is to evolve the customer experience, support and develop colleagues, guide the performance of the business and shape the strategic direction of Small Business Banking in an ever changing landscape.
Jennifer’s role at HSBC UK enables her to make a real difference to small businesses. She created the successful ‘Pop-up’ week initiative; in which local businesses showcase themselves in HSBC UK branches and offices. Now in its fourth year, over 5500 customers have participated, with 2021 set to see virtual pop-ups for the first time.
Jennifer’s passion both inside and outside of work is the development of people. She leads the apprenticeship programme for HSBC UK Commercial Banking, and formed a new Degree Apprenticeship programme for HSBC UK Bank which has been a huge success.
Jennifer created NextGen Fest, HSBC UK’s youth festival, part of the world’s biggest business event, The International Business Festival in Liverpool. The event welcomed HRH Prince William, as host for the round table. Which brought together eight young people with a view to inspiring them about what the future world of work could be.
Her dedication to professionalising employees through banking qualifications led her to work with The London Institute of Banking and Finance. HSBC UK’s recognition at The London Institute of Banking and Finance Innovation Awards for placing a culture of learning at the heart of Business Banking is a huge source of pride.
Additionally, Jennifer’s passion for people led her to take a prominent role in Forward Ladies, a support network for women in business. Helping to grow the network from the North across the UK including Ireland.
Jennifer has been involved with Young Enterprise for over 30 years and is passionate about the development of young people’s future skills. She is head judge for the Company programme and was delighted to feature in the ‘No Time Like The Future’ strategy report, as a YE alumnus.
Jennifer lives in Yorkshire with her partner and is step mum to two boys.
Small Business Banking
Through daily passionate efforts as a CEO in Dreamix, a software development association, Todor changes how the entire industry is perceived in the region. Dreamix companies consist of 100+ tech experts who deliver innovative digital products in finance, healthcare, industry and transportation.
Another one of his award-winning projects is AutoButler - a digital platform for the automotive sector, which assists you in your car-related emergencies and support. The solution is recognised by the biggest auto lease companies in Europe and is already implemented by some of the largest corporations in the country as part of their benefit system.
In his spare time Todor is highly invested in developing the Bulgarian entrepreneurial community. In 2012 Todor established Power of Bulgaria - an organisation that gathers the most accomplished Bulgarian entrepreneurs, with proven values and high morals. POB strives to solve local problems and during the Covid-19 pandemic it got a lot of publicity for organising HackTheCrisis Bulgaria hackathon that gathered 850 participants, 50 mentors and 110 teams. One of the winning teams competed in the EU hackathon among 12000 participants and won 1st prize among 2000 teams.
Todor believes that the only solution to the sustainability and environmental problems we face in the 21st century is impact entrepreneurship and impact investing. He is focused on helping impact entrepreneurs build and scale their companies. Todor’s dream is to contribute to the success of the first impact unicorn.
Relocation Service / Business
A cornerstone member of Junior Achievement of the Virgin Islands, Charles has been a key contributor to the success of the organization. After a slow start, Charles, along with key partners were instrumental in rebuilding JAVI from the ground up. Together, they identified new board members, collaborated with schools, established community partners, and recruited students and instructors for the program. As an extension of this, Charles also joined the “JA Americas” Board of Directors, which provides guidance to Junior Achievement’s projects and work in countries throughout North and South America.
In addition to his work with Junior Achievement, Charles works tirelessly in the U.S. Virgin Islands community to support numerous other community organizations. He conceived and spearheaded what is now the Virgin Islands’ largest charitable event, a culinary competition called the “King of the Wing”. In its 11 years of existence, King of the Wing has benefited orphanages and youth programs throughout the Virgin Islands, and has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to these causes dedicated to cultivating young people’s lives.
A first-generation Korean-American and son of immigrants, Charles is also active in Korean-American philanthropies and has most recently established the YS Kim Foundation, named after his late father. The YS Kim Foundation seeks to create long-term, lasting impact through charitable donations to educational institutions and community organizations.
The majority of Charles’ philanthropic efforts are focused on youth-centered programs. He hopes to imbue young people with the entrepreneurial spirit that inspired him as a young JA student so many years ago.
Charles Kim currently resides in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands with his wife, and 3 children
She is the Founder and CEO of Kitchen Station, a culinary makerspace providing the food and beverage industry in Uganda with the commercial resources they need to grow their businesses and create job opportunities. We believe that creating a collaborative environment and community for youth and food-preneurs will encourage female participation, nurture creativity, innovation and sustainability in the food industry. She is also the co-founder of Kahwa2Go, a spry restaurant with a variety of classic flavourful dishes inspired by our team of dynamic and imaginative chefs. Our evolving menu is complemented with the natural fusion of farm-fresh herbs and spices. Our food recipes are bold; a perfect blend to go along with our gourmet milkshakes and juices.
Victoria is a Cherie Blair Foundation Mentee Alumni (2018), was one of the 1000 african entrepreneurs selected and awarded in the first cohort of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Program (2015). In 2014, courtesy of Kahwa2Go was awarded the Barclays Uganda Young Achievers Award (in collaboration with JA) as well as the CURAD Agribusiness award under the category of best new trade idea.
Under the technology umbrella, In 2016 Victoria worked with Hostalite Cyber Academy in organizing a national inter university Health App Hackathon to generate IT solutions for reproductive health challenges in conjunction with Marie Stopes Uganda. Victoria was one of the two Google Student Ambassadors in 2014/2015 for Makerere University training over 100 students in Google applications with my headline program being Online marketing using Google Adwords. She has worked with innovation hubs and organizations like ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) as a Technovation consultant, mentor, and Judge conducting App Inventor training and mentoring to over 100 girls within secondary schools and universities. At Women in Technology Uganda (WITU), Victoria was the program coordinator and supported in the setup of the WITU Hub and spearheaded the Code Girl program where she trained two cohorts of both secondary and university students in web and mobile application development.
Entrepreneur - Culinary Makerspace
Digital Therapeutics and Healthcare
Looking back to their Junior Achievement experience
“JA worked as a catalyst in finding my entrepreneurial path. It also pushed me towards the mindset of learning by doing which still today plays an important role in my day to day life.”Joonas AholaFounder and CEO of MeetingPackage
“I realize that without the Company Programme and a couple of devoted teachers at the business school, I might not have been an entrepreneur – at least not that early. Instead, I can now look back at almost 20 years of entrepreneurship and a lot of learnings – striving to work for my core beliefs around empathy, development and experiences.”Jonas AlexanderssonFounder & COO of UserTribe
“Young Enterprise has had an influence on my life for over 30 years. From the skills I learnt being part of the Company programme to becoming a Business advisor years later. I continue to be amazed and excited by what our young people learn on their journeys - confidence, adaptability and resilience. The young people and the vital business skills they learn are what continue my passion for supporting such a brilliant organisation.”Jennifer CrawleyUK Head of Business Management for Small Business Banking – HSBC UK
"JA switches your perspective so you can actually see the real problems in the world and gives you the tools to solve them. You get everything you need to change the world - the know-how, the motivation and the network of like-minded, good-hearted people who fight for the same future you do."Todor GigilevCEO of Dreamix
“The JA program helped me to realize at the age of sixteen that I can make a difference. It was then when I also decided that with the little time we have in this life, this is exactly what I want to spend my life doing.”Karoli HindriksCEO & Founder of Jobbatical
"Junior Achievement introduced me to my passion and I am forever grateful. The program gave me my first taste of entrepreneurship. I plan to do my part by continuing to invest in our youth, so they, too, can become successful entrepreneurs."Charles KimCo-Founder & Managing Partner of Alpine Global
“Starting out a career or business comes with uncertainty and discomfort. Choosing to sit and wait for the right job to come is equally unpredictable. Both sides come with thorns; your journey to success stems from where you choose the discomfort to find you.”Victoria MbabaziFounder & CEO of Kitchen Station
"Thousands of years of iatrology, the philosophy of medicine, led to a remarkable and consensual proposition in the late 19t century: The understanding that "the practice of medicine is an art, based on science" (Sir William Osler). A few months of JA during my grammar school were enough, though, to let me unequivocally understand it is the same with entrepreneurship - everyday since that time I am thankful for the privilege of being lectured on this so early in my professional life.”Manouchehr ShamsriziFounder & CEO of RetroBrain
FERD's LIST 2019 Honourees
All the activities carried out are fullfiling the idea out of the box, approach that i learned during the JA program. The projects are ecological, economical, effective and glamorous, everything to create a unique object. One of them is the Water Park of Tychy - an element of the city of the future, which instead of absorbing energy generates it as part of the energy cycle coupled with the city. The waste generated by the inhabitants is processed in the wastewater treatment plant. With the help of algae, all CO2 is absorbed and the enriched bio-gas is produced. From this renewable source of energy, electricity, heat and cold necessary for the Aquapark are produced in the building. The excess energy is transferred to the city. At some moments, almost 25% of the city is heated thanks to the Water Park in Tychy, from waste generated by the city.
Andrzej holds an MSc degree in Architecture at the Silesian University of Technology, and is currently completing PhD degree in the field of architectural gamification at the Technical University in Krakow. He is the author of several scientific publications in the field of aquaparks, gamification of architecture and conservation of monuments. He also received numerous architectural and construction awards for his work. Privately, he has PPL (A) pilot licenses to freely move in real 3D.
Steph travels all over the UK to cover economic and business stories for the BBC and since joining Breakfast has broadcast live from over 600 businesses. Whether she’s talking to workers in factories or interviewing FTSE 100 chief executives in the studio, Steph makes it her mission to find out what’s going on in the real economy. As part of her BBC News work Steph has also interviewed several world leaders, including Donald Trump.
Originally from Middlesbrough, Steph's first taste of BBC life came aged 19, when she made a guest appearance on a programme about women in science. Steph had just won the title of Young Engineer for Britain, after saving Black & Decker money on a design she created for their Leaf Hog product. Following her appearance, Steph secured work experience on Tomorrow's World and not long after, made it on to the payroll as a part-time researcher, while studying at University College London.
After graduating she became the main producer for daily financial news on the Today programme on Radio 4, securing interviews with top business leaders and running a number of foreign projects, including a stint in Chicago covering the trial of Conrad Black and a series from Brazil investigating the biofuels industry.
Two years later, within weeks of becoming the producer for the then economics editor, Evan Davis, the financial world was in meltdown. Steph has covered its developments ever since. For three years Steph was the lead producer of business news on the BBC's main news bulletins working with the then business editor, Robert Peston.
Never shy of putting in the hours, Steph also spent time building up her own on-air profile, which included working as a business presenter on the Chris Evans show on Radio 2 and on BBC 5 live.
Along with her daily news duties, Steph is also involved in BBC community projects, such as BBC Young Reporter and BBC School Report. Steph is passionate about education and is a mentor for young people in Teesside, running workshops for schoolchildren around the North East.
And when she's not talking money or media, Steph is a former champion Irish dancer and often attends international competitions to help coach dancers.
Journalist & TV presenter
Gamification & Technology
In 2017, Danielius has co-founded BitDegree, an online learning platform that aims to create affordable online learning paths that would enable 1 billion people globally to up-skill or re-skill into digital careers. The platform has a proprietary learning motivation system that uses blockchain to provide milestones-based economic incentives tied to credentials so that learning becomes gamified and rewards progress. Learners get paid to learn, sponsored by donors or employers who seek digital talent. BitDegree employs a team of 30 in Lithuania, has reached 500k learners globally, 1.3m+ course enrollments and has been recognized as one of the top European EdTech companies. Danielius has been representing BitDegree throughout its journey and is now recognized as one of the global experts in Blockchain in Education and Future or Learning in general.
Since 2010 Danielius has been involved with Civitta - a management consulting firm startup in Lithuania that he has helped to grow to become the region’s leader with 300+ consultants in 13 countries. While climbing the career ladder to become a Partner in 2018, he has defined himself as the leader in the fields of Startups and Innovation. Danielius’s involvement in startup ecosystems has resulted in the creation of a Civitta-backed NGO – Startup Division - that has become CEE’s leading innovation lab and startup ecosystem developer operating on the European level. Throughout his career with startups, Danielius has consulted 300+ entrepreneurs, run or contributed to dozens of startup accelerators and incubators, including SkyDeck at U.C. Berkeley, and has co-founded four of his own startups. He is recognized as one of the startup ecosystem leaders in the Baltics and in Europe at large.
While in school, Danielius has excitedly taken part in the Lithuanian Junior Achievement programmes and because of them fell in love with business, economics, competition and achievement. Therefore, he went to earn a BSc from the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga (2009). There he co-founded his first major startup - AdCopy, which provided free-of-charge photocopies to students in Latvia and Lithuania by serving as a marketing channel.
Danielius loves running and mountains. He enjoys running ultra-trail races and in 2016 he was on the Lithuanian team in the World Trail Running Championships in Portugal.
StartUp & Education
Before starting FELL, he served in the Norwegian Coast Guard with responsibilities within SAR activities, man over board rescue and marine firefighting. The service in the coast guard gave experience with the dangers at sea and the importance of having correct safety gear. Many of the experiences has been embedded into the solutions around the man overboard system MOB+.
He has a bachelor’s degree in finance from BI International Business school in Oslo and was the leader of the schools finance investment fund for 1,5 years.
FELL as a company was started while still studying finance, through the 2013 national entrepreneurial competition “UE” in Norway. He started a student business together with his cousin Ove Henrik Røine and Fredrik Eriksen. Ove Henrik was also a student at BI, while Fredrik studied cybernetics at OsloMet. Together, they had the broad expertise required to write a business plan which proved that they could get things done, leading to the team winning the national competition.
Today FELL is an exciting and varied job with a lot of travel. The days are filled with contact with foreign clients, suppliers and partners. A typical day at the office is full of emails and administrative work, product development and Skype meetings with people in the US, Europe, Asia and Australia.
After work he enjoys being active and is an avid trainer at CrossFit, during weekends he enjoy hiking or doing cross country skiing in the beautiful Norwegian mountains.
In 2018 Karina was appointed member of PwC Central and Easter Europe Management Board - the only female partner. Consulting requires innovative mind-set and ability to work in a very fast-changing environment. In recent years, Karina was involved in a number of job transformation projects including Shared Service Center in Kazan, Russia, and created several dozen new jobs in PwC Kazan office. Karina is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences on issues related to the Future of Labour markers and Development of Tax Legislation. She runs Taxation and HR programs in Moscow State University and other leading Russian Universities.
Karina Khudenko is Head of PwC Russia Corporate Responsibility Committee and "Green Team" in charge of a large number of projects organized to support environmental and education programs and volunteering activities.
HR and Tax consulting
She is the Founder and CEO of award-winning non-profit social enterprise Lensational, which equips marginalised women with photography training and digital storytelling in 23 countries in Asia and Africa. Chosen as a Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneur in Europe, she has been invited to speak in 16 countries, most prominently at two TEDx talks and the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting 2016 presented by President Clinton.
Bonnie Chiu is also the Managing Director of The Social Investment Consultancy, a social impact strategy and research consultancy with offices in London, Milan, Hong Kong and Doha. Clients include Tata Consultancy Services, Save The Children and Tactical Technology Collective. In this capacity she convenes Women in Social Finance, a network of 100 senior-level women in social finance in London, and the Diversity Forum, a network of leading impact investors in the UK committed to diversity and inclusion.
Passionate about gender equality and diversity, she is a Forbes contributor, and was profiled as the Ambassador for Sustainable Development Goal 5 in the Lavazza calendar. She serves on various Boards, including the Global Alumni Advisory Board of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and the Women's Housing Fund Advisory Board of Big Society Capital.
She holds a MSc International Relations from the London School of Economics, and a Bachelor in Business Administration from the Chinese University of Hong Kong with exchange semesters in Copenhagen Business School and University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Born and raised in Hong Kong, she has lived in 6 countries: Denmark, Singapore, United States, Germany, Pakistan, and currently, United Kingdom.
Media & Technology
JA Americas reaches more than 1.3 million students across 30 countries each year in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada. Leonardo leads this network and is responsible for setting the strategic direction of an organization with near 40,000 volunteers and more than 2,000 businesses and partners across the region. A native of Cordoba, Argentina, Leonardo began his career with Junior Achievement as an intern at the Cordoba chapter and quickly rose to become its Executive Director. During his four years leading JA Cordoba, the program rapidly expanded to reach over 75,000 students in 60 locations and recruited 35,000 volunteers from more than 200 sponsors.
Leonardo graduated from the National University of Cordoba and is currently attending the Harvard Business School Program for Leadership Development. He has been featured on CNN en Español with Ismael Cala and he has been awarded as 2016 "Latin American Entrepreneur of the Year " by the San Ignacio de Loyola University. Leonardo has participated as panelist during the 2015 & 2016 editions of the World Economic Forum Latin America on differents sessions around "Skills Gap" and "Employment Barriers", as well as the 2018 & 2019 editions of the "Global Education & Skills Forum" in Dubai (UAE).
Education & Employment
In a time of social turmoil, young people are faced with obstacles everyday in the form of mental health, poverty, unemployment, systemic hate, injustice, and prejudice. To address these obstacles, he founded Educational Communities Worldwide, an organization that helps create an enabling environment for young people particularly young girls to thrive through education, cultural awareness, and community outreach! To reach everyone, everywhere, Educom World currently operates in three continents where it has offices with programmes running for youth empowerment and leadership skills.
In 2018, He launched his maiden book, Rise Above, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, during High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. Rise Above, #1 best-selling book, sparked conversations around the world on the need to support young people in business. Rise Above was praised by billionaire, Jeff Hoffman (Priceline), Jayathma Wickramanayake (UN Envoy on Youth) and many other renowned changemakers.
Innovation, Integrity, selflessness and Value Creation are pillars to his approach and it’s evident through his impact. He is a Social Good Advisor at United Nations Foundation, Advisor at SXSW, and as a highly respected social activist, consistently engaged for speaking roles and community development around the world.
Looking back to their Junior Achievement experience
"JA was the spark that lit the fuse: learnings, connections, entrepreneurial mindset"Santiago Jiménez CortésCo-founder and CEO of Liight
"JA sparked competitiveness in me. It led me to study economics and become an entrepreneur."Danielius StasiulisCo-Founder of BitDegree
"The JA Program provided a solid foundation for getting ready for the real world and accelerated our ability to execute on the right things."Christian Frost RøineCo-founder & CEO of FELL
"JA’s greatest advantage is to make you understand that your future really depends on you and how hard you work to achieve your goals."Karina KhudenkoHead of PwC Russia Corporate Responsibility Committee
“The JA program opened doors to many opportunities that ended up taking me to a place that I never imagined!"Leonardo MartellottoJA Americas’ President
"Without the JA program, I would never have had the courage and confidence to take my first step in this entrepreneurial journey."Bonnie ChiuFounder & CEO, Lensational
“The JA company program completely changed my perspective and allowed me to find my passion instantly.”Ray DarghamFounder & CEO – STEP Group
"Through the JA programs, I met with many individuals with high societal responsibility. It makes me feel more confident about the future of the world."Zhang BiweiFounder and Director of Art Dream
"JA gave me a different perspective about economic success. Starting and running a company while in school made all the difference."Emmanuel NyameCo-founder of Educational Communities Worldwide Inc
FERD's LIST 2018 Honourees
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 AnimationAbout Dalia
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 AcceleratorAbout Daniel
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 InnovationAbout Brynhild
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.
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 TechnologyAbout Alicia
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 AnalyticsAbout 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
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.
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.”
“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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.Claudia SuhovFounder & Creative Director at Kidster
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."
"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.Christian ErfurtCEO and Co-Founder of at Be My Eyes
I met young, like-minded, early stage entrepreneurs who showed me that you can make it even at a young age."
"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