Top 10 Young Entrepreneurs To Watch Out For In London This Year

Top 10 Young Entrepreneurs To Watch Out For In London This Year

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Young Entrepreneurs
Clockwise (left to right) - Tobias Rijken, Nafisa Bakkar, Tommy Williams (blue shirt), Phoebe Hugh, Ilia Zintchenko, Jonny Grubin, Jamie Potter, Nisha Kotecha, Dominik Tomicevic and Clarence Ji.

Only the fifth day and 2017 is looking bright already – Meet the top ten young entrepreneurs set to disrupt London’s startup scene with their inspiring ventures.

These under-30 somethings all hail from some of London’s top universities and accelerator programmes including Techstars, Entrepreneur First, and King’s College London.

The young entrepreneurs, picked by an expert panel from Capital Enterprise, RBS, and Google Cloud Platform, are passionate about changing the way the world works:


Nafisa Bakkar – Amaliah

Nafisa Bakkar started her clothing website Amaliah with her sister to address the issues faced by Muslim women when shopping for clothes that are modest yet fashionable. Since its launch ten months ago, the site has grown to also become a panel for the voices of Muslim women in the UK. She credits her success to Tim Barnes, former head of UCL Advances, and Alex Depledge, founder of hassle, who both helped her to build the network that enabled her team to launch the site. Amaliah advises future entrepreneurs to make use of their network and the people they know. 

Ilia Zintchenko – Mindi

Ilia Zintchenko’s AI startup ‘Mindi’ uses algorithms to reduce energy usage in data centres. Ilia grew up in Moscow and met his other two co-founders while studying for his PhD in computer science at ETH Zurich. The team later came to London after gaining a place on the Techstars accelerator programme.

Jonny Grubin – SoPost

Jonny created SoPost to help brands drive their product sampling through online resources. The startup, launched 4 years ago, now has 18 full time employees and offices in London, Newcastle, and New York. His first startup, which later failed, was discovered while chatting with complete strangers on Twitter. He advises against starting a business with people you meet on social media. 

Tommy Williams – All Shades Covered

Tommy’s e-commerce startup ‘All Shades Covered’ provides affordable hair care products and extensions to Black women. This is done by cutting out the middle man (mostly hair salon suppliers) and dealing directly with extension factories. His sister’s complaint about the cost of maintaining her hair led him to launching the startup in April last year.

Tobias Rijken – Kheiron Medical

Tobias co-founded Kheiron Medical to develop tools for radiologists through the use of ‘machine learning’, which helps improve the efficiency and accuracy of radiology reporting. He met his business partner through Entrepreneur First’s pre-seed investment programme, which supports technology founders to build world-class tech companies.  

Dominik Tomicevic – Memgraph

Memgraph is currently developing the world’s first ‘in-memory’ real-time transactional and analytical graph database. Initially based in Croatia, Dominik and his co-founder Marko Budiselić decided to move the startup to London to tap into the capital’s large Ecosystem and support network.

Nisha Kotecha – Good News Shared

Nisha set up Good News Shared website in 2014 to share stories and gain recognition for the great work charities were doing across the UK. The site, which has featured over 500 charity organisations, helps to inspire people to get more involved in their community and show people that good things are happening all around them.

Jamie Potter – Flexciton

This AI company aims to minimise operational costs, reduce wear and reduce CO2 emissions of rotation equipment. The startup, which hopes to save companies around £30m, uses ‘machine learning’ to check the data generated by large machines and figure out a more energy efficient way to use this data. 

Clarence Ji – ViewLDN

This augmented reality app helps tourists find nearby shops, restaurants, and sites of historical interest in London. Ji, who is currently studying for his masters degree in computer science at King’s College London, plans to launch ViewLDN in June. The Beijing-born founder says “good time management is key” to balancing his studies with running his startup.

Phoebe Hugh – Brolly

Brolly uses customised AI to provide individual Insurance Advice to help users determine whether they are over or under-insured. Phoebe started working on Brolly back in 2015 before becoming one of the stars of Entrepreneur First’s 2016 cohort where, like Jamie Potter and Tobias Rijken, she also met her co-founder Mykhailo Loginov.

The top 10 entrepreneurs under 30 in London was selected from a list nominations put forward by members of Capital Enterprise such as Universities, accelerators, incubators and workspaces. This list was then judged by experts from Capital Enterprise, Google Cloud Platform and RBS.

Pictures: Copyright belongs to each named founder.