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10 Successful Startup Companies & the European Entrepreneurs Who Created Them

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With 500 million wealthy consumers, Europe is the land of opportunities for young entrepreneurs’ ideas. Here you can find a list of successful startup businesses we believe can really inspire you.

Lara Daniel and Christoph Kastenholz –

Lara Daniel and Christoph Kastenholz


Pulse Advertising is an industry leader in influencer marketing with a team of over 90 and offices in Hamburg, London, New York and Milan. Lara Daniel and EU Alumnus Christoph Kastenholz co-founded the Pulse Group in 2014. In 2018 they were included by Forbes in its 30 Under 30 Media & Marketing ranking.

Oliver Dlouhý –

Photo: Marie Stránská

Founder of travel-booking site, Oliver Dlouhý is one of many young entrepreneurs shaking things up in the Czech Republic. Dlouhý set up in 2012 to provide jet-setters with flight price comparisons through a unique ‘virtual interlining’ algorithmic technology.

With a workforce of more than 2,900 employees, earnings of $9 million on sales of $805 million in 2017, and revenue that has tripled on an annual basis, the sky’s the limit for the young Czech entrepreneur.

Christine Spiten –

Photo: Javad Parsa

Co-founder of Blueye and former sailing champion Christine Spiten has a passion for deep sea exploration. Her startup develops and sells underwater drones that are operated via smartphone. The unique design of Blueye’s drones is inspired by the hydrodynamics of fish. They can explore up to 150 meters below the ocean’s surface, providing unprecedented access to the hidden world beneath the surface of our seas.

Founded in 2015, the Norwegian startup now has 22 full-time staff. By the time their first drones were ready to be shipped after three years of development, they had already received 600 pre-orders. Its prototypes have been used for ocean mapping and cleanups in Norway, the U.S. and Australia.

Igor Zhadanov –


Igor Zhadanov founded Readdle from a rented flat in Ukraine. What he lacked in funding he made up for in ingenuity. The company produces innovative Apps, such as readers, scanners and calendars, that can be used in conjunction with various devices, including iPads and iPhones. 

Zhadanov aims to inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs, especially from Ukraine. With over 75 million downloads worldwide, the “App of the Year” runner-up award from Apple in 2015, and top positions on the App Store charts, his creation Readdle is growing year by year.

Josef Průša –

Photo: Jan Homola

In the last seven years Josef Průša has taken a small, innovative product to dizzying heights. And all without a sales team. His company is now one of the largest 3D printer companies in the world. Prusa has shipped tens of thousands of printers to over 130 countries.

With an estimated value of around €236 million (2016, Forbes Czech Republic), his 3D printers are one of the best-sellers around the world. And they’re ‘self-replicating’. At the company HQ in Prague, more than 500 printers are creating parts to construct new printers. With this kind of perpetual growth, Průša’s creation is at the forefront of the technological revolution. 

Robert Heinecke and Sascha Kuntze –


With an ever-increasing awareness of the need to tackle air pollution, Breeze is certainly a breathe of fresh air. Robert Heinecke and Sascha Kuntze created a low-cost air quality monitoring system that enables data-based interventions, providing an understanding of our environment and bringing about positive ecological change.

In December 2017, Breeze was selected as one of the EU’s most promising startups. Their distinguished team has been awarded the Hamburg Founders’ Award, as well as a commendation from the German federal president.

Marc Soler and Jaime Farres –

Photo: Forbes

A fashion trend portal, 21 Buttons enables fashion-lovers to share photos of their outfits and buy the latest clothing of influencers. Founded in 2015 by Barcelona-based Marc Soler and Jaime Farres, this up-and-coming startup boasts 10 million app downloads in Europe and North & South America, and has raised $15.7 million to date.

Using Instagram and Pinterest for inspiration, Soler and Farrer have found a way to tap into the new wave of influencer marketing, blending the trend with the shopablity of their platform.

Elsa Hermal –

Photo: Karl Arsene

Paris-based Epicery is a fresh food delivery app that enables people to order fresh food online. With a speedy one-hour delivery service and a growing list of clients, Epicery is working to bring local communities closer together. Launched in 2016 by Elsa Hermal and her three co-founders, Epicery now works with 350 independent store vendors, including local butchers, fishmongers, greengrocers and wine shops.

Co-founder Hermal was a finalist at the Women Startup Challenge Europe in 2017.

Álex Huertas and Héctor Rey –

Photo: Northweek

Barcelona-based startup Northweek Sunglasses creates low-cost, tailor-made sunglasses for an ever-increasing customer base. From neighbors to classmates and now successful entrepreneurial business partners, founders Álex Huertas and Héctor Rey have seen their startup develop to become the leading brand of shades among Europe’s youth.

Their success is, in part, due to the customization of their product. Northweek’s manufacturing process enables up to 150,000 different sunglasses combinations. This, together with word-of-mouth and the relentless optimism of Huertas and Rey, has led to the company’s meteoric rise. In 2017, the Northweek’s revenue totaled over $10 million.

Omar and Taha Bawa –

Photo: Forbes

A Linkedinesque social media platform that helps students connect with their peers, Goodwall has now connected over 1 million students and professionals, eager to share their talents and achievements.

Brothers Omar and Taha Bawa, from Switzerland, co-founded Goodwall with the aim to help people maximize their potential and make a positive impact on society. Their network enables global talent from a wide range of disciplines, from maths whizz-kids to business entrepreneurs, to connect, share ideas and collaborate.

Europe: a context with an enormous potential

In a talk at EU Business School Barcelona, Guy Verhofstadt, former prime minister of Belgium,  leader of the ALDE group and appointed Brexit Coordinator for the European Parliment, said that potential in digital and capital are bigger in Europe than in any other part of the world. This is due to the enormous potential of 500 million wealthy consumers not yet connected in the way that they could be in the future. Verhofstadt stated that profits can be made in Europe thanks to new entrepreneurial ideas. At EU we hope that this list of successful startup companies has inspired you with new ideas and, if that is not enough, we are always on hand to help with our broad range of programs.

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