Big names have triumphed at the 2015 Europioneers Awards.
The European Commission, Deloitte, LEWIS PR and the European Young Innovators Forum have rewarded the winners of the 2015 Web Entrepreneur of The Year Awards. Europioneers is part of Startup Europe initiative and celebrates the success of web initiatives in the European Union for the third consecutive year.
This year’s winners are:
- Web Entrepreneur of the Year: Taavet Hinrikus, Kristo Käärmann – Transferwise (Estonia)
- Young Web Entrepreneur of the Year: Domenico Colucci – Nextome (Italy)
- Female Web Entrepreneur of the Year: Ida Tin – Clue (Germany)
Jyrki Katainen, vice president of the European Commission, and Markku Markkula, president of the European Committee of the Regions and vice chairman of the Open Innovation Strategy and Policy Group, presented the awards. The winners were announced during Slush Conference in Helsinki where the European web entrepreneur community was represented by 15000 participants, including 1700 startups, 800 investors, and 650 representatives of media.
About the winners
Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus are the founders of TransferWise, an Estonian developed and UK-based peer-to-peer money transfer service with headquarters in London and offices in Tallinn and New York. More than €3 billion has been transferred through TransferWise.
‘Winning this award is a great achievement by the whole TransferWise team. We’re only at the beginning of our mission of making the world of finance a little fairer. Our goal is to bring low-cost, fast and fair international money transfers to everyone who needs to send money abroad,’ says TransferWise executive founder Kristo Käärmann.
Domenico Colucci founded Nextome, the most innovative indoor positioning and navigation system. Thanks to Nextome it will be finally possible to locate your own position in enclosed spaces and to know where you are in real time.
‘I am very excited to receive this precious award and become the Young Web Enterpreneur of the year. Thanks to the jury of Europiooners and European Commission for appreciating us and the potential of Nextome. Thanks also to all my colleagues for sharing with me this goal today,’ says Nextome founder Domenico Colucci.
Ida Tin developed Clue, a digital fertility tool that lets users (and their partners) track their menstrual cycle by entering data about their period, sex drive, mood, fluid and pain. The more input the application receives, the more accurate Clue becomes in predicting your cycle.
‘It’s an honour to be recognized for this Europioneers Award, especially considering the talent, innovation and skill of the other nominees. I’m proud to be working with an exceptional team, who has helped to grow Clue into a truly global digital health platform, with over 2 million users tracking their cycles each month. I firmly believe that it is essential for female entrepreneurs to empower each other to take their space in the industry,’ says Clue Founder Ida Tin.
‘It´s great seeing all these successful companies and entrepreneurs coming out of Europe. Europioneers is an excellent way to put the spotlight on all this great entrepreneurs and innovators starting and scaling up in Europe. We need to celebrate their success and make them role models for the future generations. The digital economy has a huge growth potential in the EU and this is why we are supporting startups and entrepreneurs with our Investment Plan for Europe,’ says Jyrki Katainen, European Commission vice president for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness.
‘Europe needs a whole new mindset change towards innovation, experimenting and rapid prototyping. With this we can give the economy the fresh start it needs to boost jobs and growth. We must foster and encourage the entrepreneurial spirit of discovery that has always been the recipe for European success.’
‘The Digital Single Market is one of the key tools for bridging the distances in Europe and a bottom up movement is needed to secure its operation. It is through insightful entrepreneurs, like the ones we have awarded today and before, that we can showcase the added value and encourage others to join,’ says Markku Markkula, president of the European Committee of the Regions.
The selection of the winners depended on the public voting and jury input. The 2015 jury includes Carlos Espinal from Seedcamp, Carlos Silva from Seedrs & Beta-I, Jan Reichelt from Mendeley, Simone Brummelhuis from The Next Women and Robin Wauters from Tech.eu.
The 2015 winners followed the footsteps of last year’s winners, Peter Arvai, CEO and co-founder of Prezi, Guillermo Garcia, founder of Alumn-e, Javier de la Torre, CEO and co-founder at Carto DB, and Sylvia Klein, founder and managing director at paij.