20 Under 20 Class of 2020

We're excited to announce this year's

20 most promising young founders in Europe.

This year's finalists, coming from 8 countries across Europe, were chosen by a stellar panel of judges.

The total prize money of £25,000 will be shared between two winners, chosen by the competition chairman and co-founder of TransferWise, Taavet Hinrikus:

  • John McElhone from Northern Ireland, co-founder of CropSafe
  • Henri Pihelgas from Estonia, co-founder of DeepPeat

Scroll down to meet all this year's finalists!

“There’s an astounding level of determination and creativity amongst young people, and all our finalists prove that. The global pandemic and climate crisis has accelerated the younger generation’s ambitions to find solutions for the most pressing problems that humankind face."

"Our winners, John and Henri, are committed to making the world a better place and I believe their businesses can have a global impact. I’m really excited about what lies ahead for all of our 20 finalists.”

TransferWise Chairman and co-founder Taavet Hinrikus

Meet the 20 Under 20

John McElhone, Northern Ireland

Winner of the TransferWise 20 Under 20

Founder of CropSafe, building the world's simplest farm management apps and hardware to help improve productivity and yields for any farmer across the globe.

Nico Rosberg, Sustainability Entrepreneur and Formula 1 World Champion said: An app that automates farming processes and gives the maximum of technical support to the farmer has the potential of exceeding the likelihood of food waste to a minimum, great appliance for sustainable agriculture.

Roxanne Varza, Director of STATION F, Co-founder of StarHer and Tech.eu said: Fascinating - I definitely think there is huge potential and a lot to be done in the agritech space. I'm impressed by his approach, they are already profitable and have customers in Japan!

Henri Pihelgas, Estonia

Winner of the TransferWise 20 Under 20

Founder of DeepPeat, producing peat-based oil collection mats to clean the ocean in a sustainable way.

Nico Rosberg, Sustainability Entrepreneur and Formula 1 World Champion said: The innovative design and materials of the peat based oil collection mats providing a solution for man-made natural disasters with the product being able to extract oil from water it will have a positive impact on the environment. Great product to solve a disastrous problem appearing way too often.

Balázs Vinnai, Chairman of W.UP and Co-founder of Codecool said: Henri picked up a very serious topic where big companies and governments will spend billions in the next few years. I like his style of describing complex things in a simple way and with a touch of a smile.

Marilin Berg, Estonia

Co-founder of MÜNT, producing zero-waste toothpaste tablets, to revolutionize how people brush their teeth around the world.

Amit Gudka, Chief Energy Officer and Co-founder of Bulb said: This is an innovative product to solve a real world problem. Marilin has done a good job branding her product. I could see it getting picked up by a big FMCG company.

Balázs Vinnai, Chairman of W.UP and Co-founder of Codecool said: Change the world with simple and small steps. Marilin toothpills fits into the new world trends in many ways.

Michael E. Bryan, UK

Founder of Lugo, crowdsourcing medical data for biotechnology partners to facilitate the training of their machine learning models.

Nico Rosberg, Sustainability Entrepreneur and Formula 1 World Champion said: Technology available to a wide band of people to expand medical diagnosis worldwide, particularly poor or remote regions. A great example how technology advances can push forward medicine.

Eva Maydell, MEP, President of European Movement International and Vice-president of SME Europe said: Seems like a revolutionary change in gathering data for AI health diagnosis. If they find adequate funding and mentoring, the company could grow swiftly.

Dandre Jones, UK

Founder of MiPromo, e-commerce app that provides a sustainable affiliate marketing platform for small and starting businesses.

Amit Gudka, Chief Energy Officer and Co-founder of Bulb said: I think Dandre has the energy and ambition you need to succeed. I am impressed by his drive to try things.

Jannis Dust, Germany

Co-founder of epap, digitalizing receipts for a greener world.

Roxanne Varza, Director of STATION F, co-founder of StarHer and Tech.eu said: LOVE THIS, I think he will go far. I think I have often wanted to launch something in this space to address this problem.

Amit Gudka, Chief Energy Officer and Co-founder of Bulb said: Jannis has identified a real world problem and come up with an idea that could genuinely do something about it. I think there's potential to scale.

Katherine Terence and Shrey Parmar, UK

Co-founders of Medapply, creating video courses to help youngsters get into medical school.

Amit Gudka, Chief Energy Officer and Co-founder of Bulb said: It's great to see Shrey and Katherine take their experiences and use them to help others to get into the same position. Everyone will benefit from better care if the pair can take the success they've had so far to scale the business up.

Eva Maydell, MEP, President of European Movement International and Vice-president of SME Europe said: A business with a potential to solve a problem and save money to a niche part of society.

Kirija Kandiah, UK

Founder of Nebula, creating educative fun books for kids.

Nico Rosberg, Sustainability Entrepreneur and Formula 1 World Champion said: Innovative idea, introducing children to diversity, equality, inclusion and further scenarios with appropriate communication tools in form of a book. Raising the next generation in full awareness and tolerance, embracing diversity. It’s a starting at the root program, great idea.

Amit Gudka, Chief Energy Officer and Co-founder of Bulb said: Kirija is applying herself to an important topic, and it's something she clearly cares a lot about.

Chunxi (Derick) Guan, Italy

Co-founder of Thinkers, organising design thinking workshops and project consulting for sustainable development.

Eva Maydell, MEP, President of European Movement International and Vice-president of SME Europe said: Thinkers is definitely forward looking business idea with a potential to scale up.

Vladislav Virtonen, Estonia

Co-founder of Edukoht, coding schools for youngsters in small towns and rural areas.

Eva Maydell, MEP, President of European Movement International and Vice-president of SME Europe said: The fact that Edukoht uses computer science students as teachers is an interesting novel perspective. The commitment to make a change in distant and small regions is admirable.

Amit Gudka, Chief Energy Officer and Co-founder of Bulb said: Getting more children to learn coding is very important and Vladislav's story is inspiring.

Jonas Sander, Germany

Founder of Sharezone, bringing internal communications in schools to a new level.

Roxanne Varza, Director of STATION F, co-founder of StarHer and Tech.eu said: Live product with 100K users helping the education market, what's not to love?

Eva Maydell, MEP, President of European Movement International and Vice-president of SME Europe said: The business has a huge potential in the markets it operates as the need for digitalisation of education has been widely realised and rapidly moved forward in the institutions agenda after Covid-19.

Arya Yurdacan, Turkey

Founder of Entella, producing sea waste collectors to clean natural water sources.

Roxanne Varza, Director of STATION F, co-founder of StarHer and Tech.eu said: I think she is addressing a real world problem.

Eva Maydell, MEP, President of European Movement International and Vice-president of SME Europe said: Arya's project does not only hold high potential to solve real-life sustainability problems but also to inspire young entrepreneurs to dream and aim as high as tackling major global problems. The fact that Entella has already been launched in a few marines in Turkey and a agreement has been made with the Istanbul Municipality demonstrates the business potential of the idea.

Kevad Belle Saarepera and Anna Kriger, Estonia

Co-founders of Not Your Average superfood coffees, to improve people's health through coffee-drinking.

Amit Gudka, Chief Energy Officer and Co-founder of Bulb said: Kevad and Anna have created a novel, well-designed product.

Balázs Vinnai, Chairman of W.UP and Co-founder of Codecool said: Changing people habits is more difficult than to tweak it. It looks like a fantastic solution to be healthier with less effort, and their ideas have a ton of other opportunities.

Melinda Szegedi, Hungary

Founder of e-Fásli, producing the world's first self-learning thermotherapeutic devices, aka smart compress-bandages.

Amit Gudka, Chief Energy Officer and Co-founder of Bulb said: An impressive product and achievements to date.

Ayush Sanghavi, UK

Founder of app developing company AYUSH Apps and Veggie Alternatives app, helping people find vegetarian and vegan substitutions.

Nico Rosberg, Sustainability Entrepreneur and Formula 1 World Champion said: Innovative technology that features a wide range of applications for encouraging and easing the transition to vegan or vegetarian diet which ultimately will play into sustainability actions as meat production causes heavy carbon emissions. Great appliance that introduces a more sustainable lifestyle.

Eva Maydell, MEP, President of European Movement International and Vice-president of SME Europe said: The strenght of Ayush' project comes from the fact it has been conceived from his own experience with veganism.

Mohammad Karim, UK

Founder of MMK Public Speaking, offering public speaking trainings.

Amit Gudka, Chief Energy Officer and Co-founder of Bulb said: This is a really important thing to do.

Eva Maydell, MEP, President of European Movement International and Vice-president of SME Europe said: A solid business plan which is already profitable.

Mihkel Annus, Estonia

Founder of Plyke, company revolutionizing eco-friendly production, starting with friendly-sounding bicycle bells.

Amit Gudka, Chief Energy Officer and Co-founder of Bulb said: Great idea!

Eva Maydell, MEP, President of European Movement International and Vice-president of SME Europe said: A creative sustainable innovation which could easily be sold across borders.

Photo by Elina Kaarneem

Joana Baptista, UK

Founder of She., creating children's picture books to reverse social prejudice.

Amit Gudka, Chief Energy Officer and Co-founder of Bulb said: She. could have a really great impact.

Eva Maydell, MEP, President of European Movement International and Vice-president of SME Europe said: A fantastic social enterprenership activity.

Danielle Okine, UK

Co-founder of The RACE Network with Princess Nwafor, a platform to open up the dialogue of race and culture.

Amit Gudka, Chief Energy Officer and Co-founder of Bulb said: Danielle and Princess have some great ideas around a very important issue. I particularly liked the work they're doing with schools, and it's clear they make a good team.

Eva Maydell, MEP, President of European Movement International and Vice-president of SME Europe said: RACE is driven by a topical and noble cause and has a strong vision for a world with more awareness about cultural diversity.

Stein Bongers, Netherlands

Founder of Snapput, offering affordable homework tutoring videos.

Amit Gudka, Chief Energy Officer and Co-founder of Bulb said: Great mission to be helping students and democratising home tutoring.