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Tag ‘Secret of Success’

Secret of Success – Karen Márquez (Infantium)

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Karen Marquez - InfantiumWe set up Infantium because we were sure that technology was ready to disrupt the very traditional sector that is education. Infantium uses brain-inspired computing to personalise learning for children and to deliver a tailored syllabus for every learner based on performance, learning style, level, preferences and motivation. This is education adapting to the child and not the other way round. We have had invaluable support from Telefonica at key stages in our journey, with which we hope to build the most valuable repository of the way children learn world wide, and ultimately give all children better learning opportunities, wherever they start from.

Governments in Europe should make it easier for businesses like mine to attract international talent; should create one-stop-shops for start ups (where they can pay their taxes and complete necessary forms); and improve access to EU RTD funding.

“Entrepreneurs are important to society because we bring innovation to the market and improve people’s lives.”

Start up capital: Savings, bank lending and angel capital

Mentor(s): Carles Grau; Bill Magill and Farly Duvall

Can you code? Learning

Employees: 8

Education / Training: Marketing

Product / Service: E-learning

Secret of Success – Jon Schäffer (Conferize)

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Jon Schaeffer - ConferizeWe set up Conferize (with the help of funds from Accelerace, a Danish business development organisation) to build an event community and increase attendance at events, principally by engaging people in content, live streaming, and social networking. We have built an engine that automatically identifies and converts leads to attendees. We make it easily available for attendees and followers before, during and after the event, all for free.

I’d say that to increase start ups we should reduce their taxes; provide a safety net for the self-employed; and incentivise investment.

“Entrepreneurs are important to society because we are the backbone of the economy; and the key to Denmark’s prosperity.”

Hero(es): Elon Musk

Start up capital: Friends; business angels; accelerator programmes

Growth rate p.a: 500%

Mentor(s): No

Can you code? No

Employees: 14

Education / Training: Business and technology

Product / Service: Event applications

Secret of Success – Taavet Hinrikus (TransferWise)

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Taavet Hinrikus - TransferWise LtdTransferWise was born out of my frustration with the high fees charged by banks to transfer money abroad. So Kristo Käärmann and I built a web platform that allows our customers to transfer money more quickly and cheaply than any of our competitors, particularly high street banks. In the three years we have been operating, we have already saved our customers £45million (€ 56.7million) in transaction fees. Digital technology is making financial services cheaper, more transparent and customer friendly.

I would like to see the bank payment infrastructure deregulated; more transparency in the marketing and advertising of financial products; and new rules to make it easier for us to recruit talent from anywhere in the world.

“Entrepreneurs are important to society because we challenge the status quo: we use innovation to shake monopolies, boost the economy and make people’s lives easier.”

Hero(es):  Niklas Zennström

Start up capital: Own and seed funding

Growth rate p.a: 10%

Mentor(s): Yes

Can you code? Yes

Employees: 101

Education/Training: Web start ups

Product/Service: Online financial services

Secret of Success – Hristo Tenchev (XS Software JSC)

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Hristo Tenchev - XS Software JSC

I had the chance to convert my greatest hobby, computer games, into a business. With five friends, we created the first web browser based game in Bulgaria (Bulfleet) that rapidly became very popular and we grew very fast. Eight years later we have more than 35 million registered players in over 80 countries worldwide. We started lean but venture capital was key to helping us break into new markets and develop new platforms.

The best way to help start ups and SMEs like me grow would be to develop more incubator and accelerator funds and programmes; and to ensure that education is of highest quality for all, especially in IT.

“Entrepreneurs are important to society because we kick-start new ideas, services, products and make our lives better.”

Hero(es): Computer games

Start up capital: Own

Growth rate p.a: 10%

Mentor(s): Yes, including my partner Svetlin Nakov

Can you code? Yes

Employees: 130

Education / Training: Computing

Product / Service:  Gaming

Secret of Success – Elena Tanou (Top Kinisis)

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Elena Tanou - Top Kinisis Travel Public Ltd

 

Top Kinisis was set up to meet the challenges and opportunities arising from the globalisation of online travel. My passion is to create dream holidays for all and to all destinations. Digitalisation is critical for us because it has increased usability, choice and reduced costs for customers. My chief aim is to provide value to our customers, protecting their interests with our prestigious retail history, integrity and a professional image. I’d like to see more funding for economic and technological learning; improved access to EU funding; the removal of bureaucratic barriers; and a big push to encourage successful firms to rescue struggling ones.

“Entrepreneurs are important to us all because we strive harder than anybody else to develop the economy, to employ people and can be trusted more than politicians.”

Elena Tanou

Hero(es): Nelson Mandela and Steve Jobs

Start up capital: own

Growth rate p.a: 10%

Mentor(s): Yes

Can you code? No

Employees: 60

Education / Training: Travel and tourism

Product / Service: Online travel service

Find out more about Top Kinisis: http://www.topkinisis.com/ 

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