Business Week recently did some legwork to find the hottest entrepreneurs under 25 in Europe. And the winners are… from Ireland, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, the UK and again the Netherlands (although this last case is a bit more complicated – Thomas Mylonas grew up in Greece and hatched his plans for DotKite design brand while working at Fila in Montebelluna, Italy, before setting up shop in Amsterdam).
None of the five winners come from any of the big three sickly Continental economies – Germany, France or Italy; even Tariq Krim, Netvibes’s founder and a star French entrepreneur, is, at 34, way over the age limit for the contest – 25. (We do have a different concept of youth from the Americans – over here, you can be considered a young writer in your 40s and a young politician in your 50s. Or maybe we just have more gerontocracy?) Even if the German locomotive is accelerating and the French are newly confident about their prospects, the Business Week survey is another symptom of the crucial malaise in the three countries – lack of innovation.
The sixteen finalists among which the five winners were chosen show much the same geographic pattern, with the exception of one native Italian, Michele Finotto, founder of Ruby on Rails developer WonSys (he’s the guy with the biggest smile in the BW slideshow).
Congratulations to Michele for making the list! (Photo courtesy of Business Week). And for next year… Marco P., Michele A., how about submitting some candidates from First Generation Network?