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Over the past year, I met some incredibly remarkable entrepreneurs who are shaping the future to advance humanity.
Here’s a specific compilation of the ones in Switzerland who most stood out to me for who they are, their vision & mission and for what they are building.
The reason why these remarkable people inspire me is simple. It’s because my vision is to bring the level of Silicon Valley’s interconnectivity to every other place in the world where entrepreneurial potential exists, to enable and empower Disruptive Entrepreneurs to create the change they want to see in the world.
There is no particular order to the list below, I just let my random thoughts go wild.
I recently connected with Clement on LinkedIn and I was totally impressed and inspired by his audacious goals and what he had already created with his businesses.
Clement is a serial entrepreneur and CEO. He’s the kind of guy you tend to find in Silicon Valley. When we jumped on Skype, we immediately hit it off during our discussion about “advancing humanity”. Clement is extremely passionate about making science-fiction a reality, something I very much share with him.
Future Space Industries is a private company incorporated in Switzerland in 2014, with early R&D rangin back to 2012. Currently financing and incubating the various stages of the KLNR-LEO project, the company has the goal to become a central services partners of the booming private industry.
Research, conception, financing, set up and operation of spaces activities in low earth orbit (LEO), high orbit (GEO, HEO) and beyond, with operations of transport, logistic, debris cleaning, waste management, zero gravity manufacturing and other industrials activities, all aiming at accelerating the conquest of space for a multi-planetary mankind.
Future Space Industries will launch their first products in 2018-2020.
One one sentence, Future Space Industries is clearing the way for humanity to become a multi-planetary species.
I don’t know about you but I get goose bumps when I talk to people with such audacious and impactful goals for humanity.
Clement is also the CEO and founder of AllTheContent, a digital press agency that is now delving content to all platforms in 42 languages
Keith Gunura @ noonee
I met Keith for coffee in Zurich a few weeks ago and was immediately intrigued by what he is building. We immediately hit it off and started talking about Iron Man, Transformers and other science-fiction-inspired characters.
Essentially, with noonee, Keith is changing the way physical work is done by industry workers.
noonee® offers wearable mechatronic technology based on research from the Bio-Inspired Robotics laboratory at ETH Zurich. noonee’s pending patent, Chairless Chair®, technology is a powered, lightweight and energy efficient lower limb (legs) posture support device. It is designed for static as well as dynamic industrial market applications to increase the users’ health, comfort and productivity.
Ralph Schonenbach, Dana Brice Smith & Tom Wedgwood @ Trestle Group Foundation
I met the three of them after I connected with Ralph on LinkedIn. I was intrigued by the model of the foundation because it empowers women entrepreneurs in emerging economies. What also intrigued me is the way they leverage their extremely powerful personal networks to bring together women entrepreneurs, executives as well as other stakeholders like UN Women.
I have the honor to be on the Steering Committee for the 20:20 Initiative and hosted a workshop with women entrepreneurs in Jordan end of 2014.
Developed by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs, Trestle Group Foundation is an innovative nonprofit organization dedicated to creating and expanding sustainable economic opportunities in developing and emerging economies by supporting women-led businesses.
Built on a new model of nonprofit support, and guided by the belief that entrepreneurship fuels the engine that drives economic opportunity, growth and social progress, the Foundation has been working to empower and accelerate women entrepreneurs in emerging economies since 2005.
Michael Weber @ Seedstars World
A couple of months ago, a friend of mine introduced me to Michael. I was very intrigued by his model with Seedstars World because it focuses on emerging economies. Most startup competitions and accelerators only operate in places where I sometimes think “Do we really need another startup support company there?”.
Seedstars World promotes, connects and invests up to $1.5mn in emerging market startups through its exclusive startup competition in over 50 countries.
SeedStars was also present as a major contributor at the Lift Conference in Geneva in 2015.
Marc Krummacher @ Talentory & CircularSociety
A few weeks ago, I connected with Marc because I was inspired by his story and his new initiative, European Youth Employment. Marc has a record of building countless startups, running companies and acting as an investor for the past 18 years.
What intrigued me is how he is leveraging his vast superpowers to create sustainable solutions that tackle real-world challenges.
The goal of European Youth Employment is to create a growing cross-sector alliance of companies, organisations, universities, associations and individuals to create real employment opportunities for the many unemployed young people in Europe and to create a compelling business case for all in order to build momentum.
Joao Presa @ mycujoo
I connected with Joao one or two months ago because I was so intrigued by the idea of overthrowing the broadcasting regime in football. I love when entrepreneurs leverage technology to empower people and as a result, create freedom.
mycujoo democratizes football broadcasting.
mycujoo connects football through video. Unique football TVs will allow billions of fans to watch, share and discover live football and on-demand highlights, goals and unique moments.
Dov & Anat Bar-Gera @ YooMee Africa
In early 2015, I got introduced to Dov through a mutual friend and was immediately inspired by what they are building because YooMee is empowering and enabling people through a sustainable for-profit model.
In our Skype call, Dov told me that he tried to retire after he sold one his companies a few years ago but after a few weeks of “retirement”, he could no longer stand it and followed his entrepreneurial itch to create once again.
YooMee Africa is committed to closing the digital divide in sub-Saharan Africa to enable more people to get access to education, resources and connections online.
YooMee Africa is a provider of 4G/LTE high-speed wireless Internet access to the people and businesses of sub-Saharan Africa.
In Cameroon, they quickly became market leader and enabled 70,000 University of Douala students to access broadband internet on campus. They also create relevant local content, such as our local business directory (ici.cm), which has brought 13,000 SME’s in Cameroon into the digital age. In 2014 YooMee launched operations in Côte d’Ivoire and are continuing to expand their services to additional sub-Saharan countries.
Alan Debonneville @ Arcanys & Arcanys Foundation
Alan is a serial entrepreneur and investor. He’s built and run countless startups over the years, especially after relocating from Switzerland to Asia. He spent some time in Hong Kong and then moved to the Philippines where he currently resides.
In early 2015, I found out that Alan and I were already connected on LinkedIn and had a brief email exchange which led to a Skype call.
He’s built a very successful software outsourcing company in the Philippines and after seeing the inefficiencies, especially in education, in the Philippines, he decided to start a foundation to tackle the source through empowerment.
The Arcanys Early Learning Foundation is currently employing 15 pre-school teachers who are doing free math coaching at home, with involvement of parents and children, in the district (barangay) of Ermita and Pasil in Cebu City, Philippines. From June 2012 to January 2015, more than 1,000 families completed a 3 months math training (totalling more than 30,000 math sessions). A new batch of 120 children (and parents) has started coaching in February 2015.
Roman Gaus @ Urban Farmers
One of my clients told me about Urban Farmers and I was intrigued by what they are building because UF leverages technology to empower organizations to grow food in the cities at a large scale and therefore massively reduce the environmental damage done by transporting food across the globe and provide people with ultra-fresh products.
UF’s vision is that 20% of fresh produce including fresh water fish, salads, tomatoes or herbs can and should be grown in cities. UF provides the systems, technology and operational know-how as well as its UrbanFarrmers brand that warrants ultimate freshness, transparency and taste to excite urban consumers worldwide.
Patrick Kleu @ Kingo
Patrick used to work in Aerospace as an advisor and CFO when I got to know him. Originally from South Africa, he has experienced and seen much of the inefficiencies in many sectors in Africa and decided to make it his mission to do something about it.
Kingo’s mission is to turn lives ON! With 20% of the world population living in the dark, Kingo has undertaken the responsibility to sustainably electrify at least 1,000,000 homes globally by 2020, improving the lives of 5,000,000 people.
Janis Leontidis @ VIRUS Clothing Company
I connected with Janis about a year ago. I was immediately impressed by his passion and personality to execute on his ideas. He’s a serial entrepreneur with a very bright mind.
VIRUS changes the way people think about clothing. Or in Janis’ words “Today, the fashion industry is the second dirtiest industry after the oil industry. ViRUS wants to change that.”
With their unique approach of “bring your clothes back when your kids outgrow them” and the dedication to fully sustainable production, they are building a premium clothing brand that is focused on boys apparel.
Amber Bartu Dubinsky @ KidsBaseCamp
I got to know Amber through a mutual friend early this year and had the chance to be involved in a brainstorming workshop to develop ideas and solutions for the KidsBaseCamp.
At KidsBaseCamp children don’t fill their backpacks with food, sleeping bags and torches, but important life skills that will give them the clarity, mind- and skillset to climb the mountain of their own personal summit.
Initially, I wanted to cover many more of the remarkable people I got to know, but quickly realized that the article may actually never end.
So I decided to make it a series and regularly feature remarkable Entrepreneurs in Switzerland, Europe and around the world who tackle humanity’s grand challenges through entrepreneurship.
Share this article with your peers and inspire them to play their A-game every day