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Startup Stories: Notes from Founders

Startups are often defined by their journeys... How they got started... Where they are now... and where they’re going next...

Journals are visual records: places to capture ideas, make notes, or create memories... an analog view into the human story of a digital business.

The result of combining the two is an eclectic, engaging and ultimately very personal collection of 25 startup stories, and the people behind them.

                                                                                        #AWSStartupStories

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Issue 1: The Visionaries

These founders have the gift of foresight – a knack for identifying a gap and seizing opportunities others fail to see. Vision isn’t the only quality they share, but it’s the one helping them challenge the status quo and find new solutions to old problems with one eye to the future.

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Meet the Visionaries

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Christian Holm is an engineer at heart; but while he’s always enjoyed building technology, he also has a keen eye for business. He co-founded Peakon in 2015. Christian lives in Denmark with his wife and three children.

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Serial entrepreneur and VC Ricky Knox has founded six businesses, the most recent of which is Tandem Bank – a neobank disrupting the way people control and save their money. Ricky decided he was going to start a bank while at Burning Man in 2013, but it took almost five years before Tandem could be launched. He lives near Tandem’s London headquarters.

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Vasco Pedro was just six when he learned to code using a cassette tape and a newspaper. When you consider his passion for tech alongside his ability to master languages, it was perhaps inevitable Vasco would end up creating an AI-based translation service. Along the way, the Lisbon-born serial entrepreneur has also found time to raise four girls and complete a PhD.

 

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The road to success was paved with challenges for Andrey Mikhailov. After contracting for many years, Andrey teamed up with two friends from university to launch the price- optimization platform Competera. When he’s not plotting the path ahead for the startup, the Ukrainian father-of- two leaves the office behind to race a Yamaha R6 motorcycle around some of Europe’s toughest tracks.

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Drawing on her knowledge and experience of banking, Monika Liikamaa quit the nine-to- five to launch pioneering fintech company Enfuce. The 43-year-old’s career includes high-level roles at several leading Nordic banks and financial institutions. She grew up in Sweden, but moved to Finland 20 years ago, where she lives with her husband and four children.

Issue 2: Alchemists

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  • Jenna Brown
    Shipamax
  • Markus Halttunen
    Small Giant Games
  • Leif-Nissen Lundbaek
    Xain
  • Gert-Jan van Rooyen
    Custos
  • Pascal Lecuyot
    Navya
     

Issue 3: Trailblazers

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  • Marijn Speelman
    Tiqets
  • Ezra Olubi
    Paystack
  • Tomer Tagrin
    Yotpo
  • Bas Wouwenaar
    Ohpen
  • Nour Al Hassan
    Ureed
     

Issue 4: Altruists

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  • Michelle Kennedy
    Peanut
  • Akinola Jones & Wale Akanbi
    Aella Credit
  • Holger Weiss
    German Autolabs
  • Lea von Bidder
    Ava
  • Markus Villig
    Bolt
     

Issue 5: Gamechangers

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  • Florian Douetteau
    Dataiku
  • Koen Bos
    Relay42
  • Shota Giorgobani & Giorgi Mirzikashvili
    Optio.ai
  • Edmondo Porcu
    Credimi
  • Orly Shoavi
    SafeDK