Europe’s under 30 founders

Europe’s under 30 founders

10 Founders under 30 revolutionising Dutch and German Tech

13 June 2022

What do a COO from Rotterdam, a mechanical engineer from Berlin, and an art enthusiast from Almere have in common? They’ve all made big contributions to the tech industry and they’ve all featured, at one time or another, on Forbes 30 under 30 list. 

Issued annually by Forbes magazine, the seventh list was released earlier this month, drawing attention to the young entrepreneurs and leaders transforming both business and society. The 300 visionaries featured on the 2022 30 Under 30 Europe list have collectively raised more than $2 billion in funding for their ventures – for context, that’s double last year’s stats. 

Thanks to a wide array of entrepreneurial endeavours, ranging from electric scooters to SaaS solutions, speech recognition to machine diagnostics, the technology category is packed full of the brightest young sparks in their respective fields, known for their vision, tenacity, and technological know-how. 

Here we are highlighting 10 deserving honorees who have made the list in recent years and are continuing to make waves in tech. 


1. Charlotte and Fleur Melkert | 25 and 25, co-founders at Equalture 

The 25-year-old twins are honoured on the 2022 list for shaping the world of unbiased hiring with their Rotterdam-based company Equalture. Now CEO and CCO, in 2018 they developed a tool that removes prejudice based on names or experience, a problem they had previously noticed in the recruitment process. Their software is now used by 280 companies including Holland Casino, PostNL, and the Van Gogh Museum. 


2. Bas Buursma and Ives van Hoorne | 24 and 25, co-founders at CodeSandbox

Featured on the 2021 list, friends Buursma and van Hoorne came up with the idea for CodeSandbox in their student flat. Now five years on and with an Amsterdam-based office, there are more than two million monthly users creating over ten million apps on the platform. 

The platform’s mission is to make expressing and validating your ideations with code easier and remove hassles when setting up a development environment, tooling, and sharing projects. 


3. Jari Hazelebach | 26, CEO and co-founder at Speaksee

Hazelebach was only 23 when he featured on the Forbes 2019 list. Recognised as a social entrepreneur, the Rotterdammer created Speaksee, a speech recognition device that accurately transcribes group conversations in real time. 

Both of Hazelbach’s parents are deaf and watching them struggle to follow conversations through traditional methods throughout their lives led him to take matters into his own hands. The small, sleek device is a big move forward in accessibility for all deaf and hard of hearing people. 


4. Lucas Christel | 26, CEO and co-founder at REO

Already onto founding his second company, Christel made the 2020 list at age 25 for founding digital investment real estate platform with his brother Lennart. REO fundamentally changes how agents, owners, buyers and lenders interact with each other and experience real estate. This easy to use platform was built to cover the entire transaction from acquisition to closing. Join REO on their mission to disrupt real estate.

5. Christian Luiten and Curtis Penning | 28 and 26, co-founders at Avant Arte.

Making the 2018 list at the ages of 24 and 22, Luiten and Penning launched Avant Arte in 2015 as a digital outlet for their personal journey in the world of arts. Compiled of curators, designers, and developers, the platform works both online and offline with bespoke initiatives to empower the new art collector and help artists reach the right audience. 


6. Matthias Auf der Mauer and Maximilian von Duering | 29 and 29, co-founders at AiSight

Just six years after graduating, von Duering and Auf der Mauer made the 2020 list with Berlin-based company AiSight. By monitoring machine states in real time, using sensor data to identify potential problems, the machine diagnostics solution reduces maintenance and repair times to increase factory productivity. 


7. Johannes Landgraf | 28, co-founder at Gitpod

Featured on the 2022 list is co-founder and co-CEO of the developer-led open source startup Gitpod, Johannes Landgraf. Raising an impressive $16 million in capital from top tier funds since founding the Munich-based company two years ago, the cloud platform helps teams securely and efficiently develop software together. 


8. Lilian Breidenbach and Charlotte Kufus | 29 and 29, co-founders at Legal OS

Also on the 2022 list are co founders Breidenbach and Kufus, the brains behind the operation at female-led Legal OS. The platform allows layers to automate lawyer-client relationships without having to code and recently closed a $7 million financing round co-led by Gradient Ventures, for a total of over $9 million raised. 


9. Stavros Papadopoulos | 29, co-founder at Lendis. 

Another 2022 honoree, Papadopoulos founded Berlin-based company Lendis in 2018 with Julius Bolz. The son of Greek immigrants in Germany, Papadopoulos has made his mark on the technology industry, providing SaaS solutions that help companies manage their employees’ equipment and software in the hybrid world of employment. 

And he has even bigger dreams, with the goal to make his company the lead operating system for hybrid work in Europe by 2023. 


10. Raymon Pouwels | 28, co-founder at GO Sharing

Featured in the 2022 Social Impact category, Pouwels is on a mission to make getting around cities easier and greener. What started in 2019 as a small group of 750 electric mopeds around the Netherlands has now grown to more than 15,000 shared electric vehicles across six countries. Thanks to GO Sharing, more than 2,000 tons of CO2 have already been saved. That’s something to shout about. 


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