These German startup stars are represented in the Forbes "30 under 30" list

Being recognized by Forbes is an accolade for many young entrepreneurs. This time, the European list includes 27 heads from the German tech scene.
This year's Forbes nominees on the "30 under 30" list have received more than two billion dollars from investors
Private, TVNOW / Bernd-Michael Maurer, Legal OS, Poha House / Collage: Gründerszene
The exact criteria for the Forbes ranking "30 under 30" have been secret for years. Candidates can either be proposed or apply themselves. However, the final selection is made by a panel of experts. Anyone who finally makes it onto the renowned list can not only adorn themselves with it in their Linkedin bio. Last year, the business magazine nominated the Koro founders for the European list or Mareike Peters from Naturkosmetik Munich.
In the latest ranking from 2022, not only founders but also investors are represented. Here you can see which 27 millennials from the DACH region were honored by Forbes.

Marco Cancellieri

Thomas Pischke, Marco Cancellieri and Christian Hecker (from left to right)

Trade Republic

Not yet 30, but already a partner in a company worth billions: Marco Cancellieri (27) founded the Berlin neobroker Trade Republic together with Christian Hecker and Thomas Pischke. Shares and ETFs can be traded at low fees via the fintech's app. A business model that has been flourishing since the outbreak of the corona pandemic and the subsequent hype surrounding memestocks such as Tesla and Gamestop. Last year, Trade Republic raised more than 700 million euros in a single round of financing – and thus increased the company's valuation to around five billion euros. A considerable deal for Cancellieri, also financially: the native of Munich and developer still holds almost two percent of the shares in Trade Republic, which corresponds to assets of around 93 million euros.

Collaboration: Daniel Huefner

Ayush Jain

The 29-year-old German-Indian Ayush Jain grew up in Idar-Oberstein and moved to England for his bachelor's degree. After a stint in banking in Frankfurt am Main, Ayush did his master's degree at the US elite university Stanford. Then Jain stayed in California, became an investment banker at JP Morgan and then moved into the investing scene. Today he works at the top VC Softbank, took care of the stake in Contentsquare and sat on the board of Auto1.

Collaboration: Lisa Ksienrzyk

Jasper Koch

Another millennial and investor at the same time is Jasper Koch (29). As Director of Growth, the Berliner has been responsible for marketing and deal flow tools at the asset manager BIT Capital for a year and a half. It was founded by scene head Jan Beckers and now manages around one billion euros. Koch was previously employed at HR startup Taledo and CMO at insurer Getsurance.

Collaboration: Lisa Ksienrzyk

Leonie Riviere

Léonie Rivière (29) has been building the Berlin app fintech Heyfina with her business partner Tim Oliver Pietsch since 2020. Both know each other from their time together at the top VC Visionairies Club, where Rivière worked as an entrepreneur in residence for nine months. With Heyfina, the German-French woman wants to get more women interested in investing, based on the well-known blogger Madame Moneypenny. Heyfina has not yet started, so far 7,000 people are said to have registered for the waiting list. What Rivière has already managed to do: get top-class investors enthusiastic about their app. Among others, the Berlin super angel Christoph Maire (Atlantic Labs), Hellofresh boss Dominik Richter and Wefox founder Fabian Wesemann are involved in Heyfina.

Collaboration: Daniel Huefner

Mirko Schmiedl

"I make decisions based on my gut feeling and build products with the help of big data," says Mirko Schmiedl on LinkedIn. At the age of 27, Schmiedl is currently building his fourth startup. He broke off his business administration studies in the first semester, then worked on the fashion brand Lalalove and since 2018 on crypto concepts. Schmiedl sold his company Hotstake in 2019 for an undisclosed amount. He then led a bitcoin mining project in Thailand. His current startup is called Staking Rewards, which he runs with his brother Jannik Schmiedl. The portal compares crypto prices on all trading platforms and turns over hundreds of thousands of euros a month. The investment arm of fintech VC Ant Financial has already invested in staking rewards.

Collaboration: Lisa Ksienrzyk

Paul Bäumler and Ludwig Petersen

Ludwig Petersen and Paul Bäumler

TVNOW / Bernd-Michael Maurer

When Paul Bäumler (23) founded the volunteering app Letsact together with Ludwig Peters (22) in 2018, it was already Bäumler's second startup. Two years earlier he had founded a learning platform with Abi-Retter. Letsact is now about good deeds instead of good grades: The app brings together people who want to volunteer and institutions that could use volunteers. The two people from Munich were guests on the Vox show “Die Höhle der Löwen” in autumn 2020, moving juror Nico Rosberg to tears – but the young entrepreneurs did not get a deal.

Assistance: Nina Anika Klotz

Nikolay Dimolarov

Help with erectile dysfunction? Kranus Health wants to help against this. Nikolay Dimolarov (30) co-founded the startup, which aims to help men overcome erectile dysfunction via a potency app. The therapy plan includes units such as pelvic floor training, cardio and mental training. Some of the costs for the treatment are reimbursed by the health insurance companies. According to the company from Munich, it has raised around two million euros since it was founded in 2020. Dimolarov, who works as CTO in the startup, gained experience as a product manager at the first German Decacorn Celonis before becoming self-employed. Before that, the LMU graduate worked as a software developer.

Collaboration: Fiona Mathewson

Philipp Buhr and Jan Hoffmann

Philipp Buhr and Jan Hoffmann


Philipp Buhr (27) and Jan Hoffmann (28) had great difficulty finding a suitable carer for family members in need of care. According to the founders, the market in this area was too complicated and overpriced, and agencies also absorbed most of the nursing staff's salaries. Two years ago, the two people from Bonn founded their company Marta, with which they now want to turn 24-hour care upside down. With a total of 40 employees, they provide care or support directly to the people concerned.

Collaboration: Katharina Kotrba

Damian HeimelDeevio

Tassilo Glander and Damien Heimel


"We want to become the operating system for quality inspection," Damian Heimel (29) once told Forbes. This is how he aptly described his business idea: Heimel is a co-founder of the Berlin startup Deevio, which specializes in AI and software-based quality control in industry. Error rates, for example in automobile plants or pharmaceutical factories, are to be avoided in this way. Investors believe in the software: The traditional medium-sized company Viessmann, for example, invested millions in Deevio. Heimel himself studied business administration at the LMU Munich.

Collaboration: Daniel Huefner

Lea Hermanns

Leah Hermanns

Fredrik Wolff

The principle of co-working is well known and popular, co-living is the continuation of it. And that's exactly what the 27-year-old Lea Hermanns wants to create the necessary infrastructure for. Their goal: to create “sustainable co-spaces for living, working and getting together under one roof” and renting them out via their own platform, as the startup’s website says. Born in Berlin and co-founder of the Aachen-based startup Poha House, she opened a building with furnished apartments in Münster in April this year. A Poha House in Aachen will soon follow, offering rooms for longer stays, short-term visitors and for working together. Essen and Hamburg are scheduled to start in 2024.

Assistance: Nina Anika Klotz

David Hahn, Julian Madrzak, Hagen Schmidtchen and Cecil Wöbker (Remberg)
Front: Cecil Wöbker, David Hahn. Back: Robert Urban, Hagen Schmidtchen, Beate Plendl, Fabian Memmert, Lucy Ivanova, Julian Madrzak


Remberg was founded in 2018 by David Hahn (30), Julian Madrzak (29), Hagen Schmidtchen (30) and Cecil Wöbker (28). Their software tool is aimed at medium-sized machine builders who want to digitize operational processes and reduce the use of paper and Excel lists in everyday work. So far, the founders have raised around 14 million euros for their company. The last round of financing took place in February of this year. The Remberg founding team met at the Munich Center for Digital Technology & Management (CDTM). Schmidtchen and Hahn previously worked for Vodafone in the field of artificial intelligence. Before founding the company, Wöbker did research at MIT in Boston and Madrzak worked in product management at Celonis.

Collaboration: Fiona Mathewson

Elias Groll and Jonas Zipprick

The two Germans Elias Groll and Jonas Zipprick and the native Russian Roman Frolov are raising their startup Codesphere in Silicon Valley. 24-year-old Groll and 25-year-old Zipprick studied computer science at KIT. Google then brought Groll to California as a developer in 2019. There, the trio founded the startup Codesphere two years ago. Users can use the tool to create web apps without having any programming knowledge. At the beginning of the year, Berlin-based VC 468 Capital and professional soccer player Mario Götze invested 4.5 million euros in the tech company.

Collaboration: Lisa Ksienrzyk

Johannes Landgraf

Collaboration: Fiona Mathewson

Lilian Breidenbach and Charlotte Kufus

Jacob Jones, Lilian Breidenbach and Charlotte Kufus (from left)


The Berlin startup Legal OS offers a collection of text modules that lawyers can use to draw up contracts. Behind the company are the two 29-year-olds Lilian Breidenbach and Charlotte Kufus and Jacob Jones (33). Although the trio is aimed at lawyers, they have no legal background. Breidenbach studied anthropology and computer science, then worked for Axel Springer's Plug and Play Accelerator for almost a year. Kufus earned her degree in social and business psychology. Legals OS was built by the Berliners at the beginning of 2018, raising a total of nine million euros from investors.

Collaboration: Lisa Ksienrzyk

Johannes Mueller

The software from the Munich company Workpath is intended to help companies achieve their goals more quickly. One of the co-founders is Johannes Müller (30). Before founding the LMU graduate, he worked as a student trainee at the fitness startup Freeletics. He also worked at Fly Ventures, an early-stage investor specializing in deep tech. His experience helped him with the funding: Since it was founded in 2018, Workpath has raised around 13 million euros. Most recently, the startup received ten million euros from VC funds such as Capnamic Ventures and HTGF. Large corporations such as SAP, Ikea, Bosch and Scout24 use the company's software. In the last year, Workpath has grown from 35 to over 100 employees.

Collaboration: Fiona Mathewson

Stavros Papadopoulos

Stavros Papadopoulos and Julius Bolz


The pandemic could easily have been the end of Lendis. Stavros Papadopulos (29) founded the startup in 2018 with his partner Julius Bolz to rent office furniture to large companies. According to Lendis, it has equipped more than 100,000 workplaces for 1,000 companies, including Bitburger, Lufthansa, About You, WWF and Personio. But then the pandemic came and the offices were empty. The founders acted quickly and transformed their startup into a software startup: From now on, they offer companies a SaaS solution with which they can digitally set up and manage their employees' workplace equipment, regardless of location. This flexibility was not only rewarded by customers: In January 2022, well-known investors invested 30 million euros in the future of the agile startup.

Assistance: Nina Anika Klotz

Awais Shafique and Leon Szeli

Awais Shafique, Tomislav Tomov and Leon Szeli (left to right)


First a deal on the TV show "Die Höhle der Löwen", then the exit worth millions on Facebook: Leon Szeli (24) and Awais Shafique managed to do that. Together, the Munich-based company founded the startup Presize in 2019, an AI-supported size consultant for online shops. It was not only used by well-known brands such as Vaude and Esprit, investor and billionaire Carsten Maschmeyer even invested a high six-figure sum in the company.

Collaboration: Daniel Huefner

Felix Bauer and Johannes Julius Kliesch

Felix Bauer and Johannes Kliesch


They actually wanted to start a nursery together. Then the cousins Felix Bauer (28) and Johannes Kliesch (27) decided to found the sock company Snocks during their studies in 2016. At the beginning they put about 4,000 euros in their shop. Today they turn over millions, in the past financial year it was 32 million euros. The company has been profitable since the second year of business. The founders only recently raised venture capital for the very first time: In April, the French private equity fund Cathay Capital invested a two-digit million amount in the Mannheim start-up. This is intended to finance expansion into France and other European countries.

Collaboration: Sarah Heuberger

Moritz Philipp Weisbrodt

Moritz Weisbrodt and Gabriel Thomalla


Exactly at the beginning of the corona pandemic, in April 2020, Moritz Philipp Weisbrodt (29) started together with Gabriel Thomalla and investor Harald Braunstein Alaiko. Weisbrodt and Thomalla previously ran a direct-to-consumer shop together and set up the Kaia health app. Her timing could not have been better with Alaiko: According to Statista, the online business grew by almost 19 percent to 99 billion euros in Germany alone due to the pandemic and the associated store closures. Alaiko provides online sellers with shipping systems to streamline many processes, such as inventory management, warehouse optimization, and delivery automation.

Collaboration: Katharina Kotrba

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