20 Under 20 2021: The next generation of founders

Taavet Hinrikus
31.08.21
1 minute read

For the fourth year in a row, we’ve hosted our 20 Under 20 competition, looking for the best young entrepreneurs in Europe and - for the first time - in Australia. With this year’s winners Ida and Oliver, we celebrate two amazing standout businesses that are innovators in their field.

Starting your own business is hard, especially if you start at a young age. I was 29 years old when I started Wise together with my co-founder Kristo. We were both frustrated by the hidden fees banks charged us. We had no idea whether anyone else would trust us with their money, but solving a real problem is a powerful driver.

I remember how important it was to find people that believed in us and supported us from the earliest stages. Getting that advice and mentoring from the network we’d built in previous jobs helped us avoid mistakes and allowed us to move forward faster.

That’s why I am so passionate about our 20 Under 20 competition and giving back to young entrepreneurs in the early stages. We’re not only supporting the overall winners financially but we’re also providing mentoring to all finalists from some of the world’s leading industry experts, founders and investors. It’s amazing to see a community of young founders form who inspire each other, collaborate and become friends.

This year, the caliber of entrants was incredibly impressive. From solving problems that arise from learning at home during the pandemic to helping our planet become greener - so many young entrepreneurs today think about how to make the world a better place.

It’s truly humbling to see these young founders so eloquently outlining the problems they want to solve. Even more so given the new challenges the last years have thrown their way.

Luckily, an amazing panel of judges including Sir Richard Branson (Virgin Group), Paola Bonomo (Angel Investor) and Patricia Scanlon (Soapbox Labs), helped me select the most promising businesses this year. In the end, we had such strong candidates that we chose to have two overall winners.

Ida Johansson and Oliver Edholm are the winners of this year’s 20 Under 20 competition.

Ida Johansson (19), founder of Turn Consulting

Ida is on a mission to help young people enter working life earlier and facilitate the recruitment process. Turn Consulting uses Artificial Intelligence to revolutionise the recruitment industry. With youth unemployment at record highs, everyone should have the same opportunity to get a job that suits them.

Oliver Edholm (19), founder of Depict

Oliver’s team solves the problem of irrelevant product recommendations in online shops. The solution is a powerful Artificial Intelligence engine that provides recommendations that customers actually find useful. Oliver already has some big brands in his client base and I am sure he has a bright future ahead of him.

Congratulations to Ida and Oliver and to the entire Class of 2021. I am excited to see what lies ahead for you!

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