An enthusiastic and passionate army of teenagers and young 20-somethings are largely to thank for the tech movement that has swept across the UK over the last few years. 

Inspired by the hundreds of millions of dollars that have been made by the likes of Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Bebo's Michael Birch, Snapchat's Evan Spiegel, and Box's Aaron Levie, the new generation of talented young tech-types are looking to turn their start-ups into the next big thing. 

Techworld asked some of the leading start-up experts in the UK to nominate who they believe are the most promising entrepreneurs under the age of 25 and here we've caught up with them as part of a new six-part series. Each week we'll bring you two new entrepreneurs until the winner and the runner-up are unveiled at the end of April. 

Those that feature on the list have been nominated by the following people:

  • Benjamin Southworth - former deputy CEO of Tech City
  • Matthew Clifford - co-founder of Entrepreneur First
  • Alice Bentinck - co-founder of Entrepreneur First
  • Oli Johnson - co-founder of Rain Making Loft
  • Sam Shead - senior reporter for Techworld

Last week, Emma Walker (21), ‎programs producer at General Assembly, and Duncan Peters (23), founder of eRiple, were ranked 11th and 12th respectively.

9. Elia Videtta (25), Co-founder and Vice President of Engineering at AdBrain

 

How would you describe what your business does?

Adbrain solves the big problem for digital advertisers: how to target and reach their increasingly multi-screen consumers, no matter the device they're on. We do this by offering them the first truly transparent, multi-screen, real time ad platform. The Adbrain Engine creates a single customer profile using desktop, mobile and tablet data sets and applying advanced algorithms to them.

What do you consider your greatest achievements to date?

I have two particular achievements that I am very proud of and they follow on from one another. Firstly, I am incredibly grateful that I was able to begin my entrepreneurial career as soon as I did and to this, I owe quite a lot to the talented team at Entrepreneur First. Secondly, I am immensely proud that after a year of planning and hard work, we were able to launch our core platform for advertisers. This year has thrown a lot of challenges at us, including from places we could never have foreseen, so this makes launching our first product an even greater achievement in my mind.

What are your targets for the next five years?

My immediate target is to bring in a software development process that will allow us to meet our customer's demands for features in a very short time. Over the next few years, I want to continue my mission of turning Adbrain into a world-leading business.

Who are your top three role models in tech and why?

Bill Gates: he gave me the initial inspiration to one day strike out on my own.

Joel Gasgoines: I followed his blog at university since he was a fellow Warwick grad and reading his articles about starting up Buffer gave me the push I needed to start up something.

Matt Clifford: he helped us loads whilst we were setting up Adbrain.

What initiatives would you like to see introduced in the UK to support young tech entrepreneurs?

Aside from the typical incentives that government can provide (general lower taxes, tax incentives and reduced business regulation), I would like to see an increase in general awareness around entrepreneurship so that school leavers and new grads understand that it exists as an option. I would like young people to understand how and where to begin.

10. Tade Oyerinde (20), Co-founder and CEO of Gleepost

How would you describe what your business does?

Gleepost is a social discovery platform that allows students to stay in the loop about what's going on in their campus community, and meet other students by having random chats with other students exclusively at their university. We organise users into networks based on the university they attend, leveraging the intrinsic properties of the community, mutual trust and aligned interests, by keeping the networks exclusive.

What do you consider your greatest achievements to date?

I think our greatest achievement to date would probably be hiring three of the most talented designers and developers in London. With the big guys like Google and Amazon opening London offices, the city has become an incredibly competitive talent market and I’m really proud that we were able to attract really bright people. There’s no better motivation to get up and go in the morning than to be able to work with really smart people. Screw coffee.

What are your targets for the next five years?

Two words: world domination. Now for a less serious answer; I think we’re really going to be focusing on growing our user base for our next few sprints. We’ve finally gotten our product validated (over 14,000 users signed up for our two month beta program), and have since dedicated tons of resources to make it better...much better. We’re really just a bunch of guys who think that connecting with "someone interesting” should be as easy as taking out your phone and pressing a button. In five years I pray that we’ve made that possible for a lot/hundreds of millions of people.

Who are your top three role models in tech and why? 

Elon Musk: he’s a hero. I studied Aerospace Engineering and one day I’d like to create a company adjacent to Space X. I think that he has a huge appetite for risk, which is awesome. I can’t verify this, but considering that he’s gone after solving the “impossible problems” like fighting the gasoline industry with Tesla and space exploration, I think that we have congruent ideas about being ridiculously and irrationally optimistic.

Bill Gates: he is also awesome.

Brian Chesky: I have a lot of respect for the guy behind AirBnb.

What initiatives would you like to see introduced in the UK to support young tech entrepreneurs?

Good question. There are already a lot of programs like tech incubators and accelerators, and so I’d say that if I had to choose two changes I’d like to see here in the UK tech scene I’d go for more SEIS (Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme)-like initiatives from the government, and more “little brothering/sistering” by local successful tech entrepreneurs. I think that here in England, as opposed to back home in the US, investors seem to have a very high risk aversion and initiatives like SEIS help to mitigate that. Most of the best advice I’ve had building Gleepost, has come from successful entrepreneurs. It’s great to be able to sit down and bounce ideas with people with people who have a lot of applicable experience, and the doors veterans can open are very powerful. They also usually have deep pockets; seven of our 11 investors are successful entrepreneurs.