Each year we take a look at the young entrepreneurs, based in the UK, who we think are set to have a great year, you can see our 2011 list here, and this year is no different.
So here are 20 young entrepreneurs, founders and co founders, who you may want to watch in 2012, there are some great companies here and I'm sure you will be hearing a lot more about them over the next 12 months.
Here they are:
Josh Buckley (MinoMonsters)
Josh Buckley is the CEO and founder of MinoMonsters, a Pokemon type game where you can battle and trade pet monsters. Josh is the youngest CEO to have raised funding from investment giant Andreessen Horowitz at 19 years of age.
The Kent born youngster sold his first company at the age of 15. He created 'Menewsha' a community where users create whimsical avatars and interact online for fun. He sold this for a six figures sum while still in school.
He then moved to Silicon Valley & participated in Y Combinator to help take his company to the next level and take on Pokemon brand. His USP is it is a game for iOS where Pokemon is not available.
Expect to be hearing more of this young CEO as he ventures into the mobile gaming space with no fear.
Nick D'Aloisio (Summly)
Nick D'Aloisio is only 16 years old but he has already managed to raise $250,00 in funding for his startup, Summly. He created an app that offers a simpler way to browse and search the web by automatically summarising search results, web pages and articles to make content easier to sift to and find what is most relevant to you.
In it's first 4 days after it reached 17k downloads and is now well over 100,000. Still studying for his GCSE's he had to get special dispensation to delay his mocks while he traveled to San Fransisco.
So to sum it up, he is one to watch in 2012!
James Gill (GoSquared)
James Gill is the CEO and co founder of GoSquared a real time web analytics service which he started during his gap year. rather than taking the year to travel, he decided to build a web app which people would pay for and by the end of the year him and his co founders realised they had done just that.
James now works on GoSquared at White Bear Yard from which GoSquared got their angel funding and they are surrounded by other great startups which will help them as they look to grow and take on their main rivals Chartbeat.
You can see our video interview with James here.
Lucian Tarnowski (Brave New Talent)
Lucian Tarnowski is the founder and CEO of Brave New Talent, a social recruitment network. The passionate young entrepreneur loves social media and leverages the sharing and engagement inherent in social networks and applies it to job recruitment.
Lucian has also been honored as Europe’s youngest Young Global Leader (YGL) by the World Economic Forum. He is also the youngest entrepreneur to join UKTI (United Kingdom Trade and Investment) so age isn't a factor as he goes about his mission to change the face of job recruitment and skills building.
He is a confident leader and looks set to have a big year in 2012.
Maria Constantinescu (Slick Flick)
Maria Constantinescu is the founder of SlickFlick, which allows you to create storyboards on the iPhone using your photos. An ex lawyer Maria left law to start Curious Quests and the Slick Flick app.
Maria is trying to take creativity to the masses and has been get the app out into the film industry and creative industries to get support and name out amongst a sector which will find it used by most. Being based in the heart of Shoreditch she is surrounded by creatives in every direction which should serve her well.
Having secured an association with Apsmart, they have a great partner which can help them continue to improve the app and add weight to their proposal when they go for funding.
Ry Morgan (PleaseCycle)
Ry Morgan (right) is the founder and CEO of PleaseCycle, provides products and services for organisations to encourage cycling within the workplace.
Ry went from being an intern at CURB media (a really cool startup by the way!) to founding PleaseCycle with the founder & CEO of CURB media, Anthony Ganjou (left). A born entrepreneur Ry has gone from top student, to graduate to founder & CEO.
He has a great drive to grow PleaseCycle massively and his determination and vision has helped him build a great experienced team which will in no doubt help see them progress rapidly in 2012.
Find out more about Ry from his guest post on YHP.
Michael Korn (KwickScreen)
Michael Korn is the founder of KwickScreen, a portable, retractable, room divider which provides isolation or privacy solutions. Initially the design was meant to be used in hospitals to act as a privacy barrier between patients and it was perfect for this. It's small size and easy and quick set up was perfect for the hospital environment.
Michael has now seen the product, which took 4 years of design iterations to get it ready for release, enter new markets and is being used in universities, exhibitions, offices etc...
It is a well thought out design and the ideas has already received recognition. Michael was named Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2011.
Look out for KwickScreens popping up near you in 2012.
Emi Gal (Brainient)
Emi a young Romanian entrepreneur started Brainient in 2009. Brainient is a a video advertising technology company, based in London's silicon roundabout, and currently has two products. First an interactive video advertising product and second one is a personalised video retargeting platform.
Emi has a lot of experience with startups at his young age, having previously founded two and has also been an advisor or helped out on various other tech startups.
This experience will hold him in good stead and help as Brainient looks to grow further in 2012.
Check out our video interview with Emi here.
Damian Kimmelman (Duedil)
Damian founded Duedil in April 2011 with the aim to make business more transparent, helping executives and entrepreneurs make well-informed business decisions, by allowing users to easily find company information for free.
Damian has pivoted Duedil from a people recommendation system, like a 'Yelp for people', to it's current state as a database of companies.
He has also overseen Duedil raise funding from some of the investors behind Skype, LastFM & Yahoo as well as being chosen as a Microsoft Bizspark company which should help his disruptive startup make big strides in 2012!
Kevin Flood and Mike Harty (Shopow)
Kevin & Mike started the company, a social shopping engine and community, straight out of university raising £830,000 in angel funding.
Founded in early 2010, it was launched in May 2011 and currently works directly with over 22,000 online retailers to help give them the most accurate price comparison.
Currently available in the US & UK they look to grow further in 2012 and with the social nature of the site and strong community it has the ingredients to rapidly accelerate growth as members share recommendations across there networks.
The company is expecting to surpass £3million in revenue in it's first year has already seen it's popularity abroad with 50% of revenues coming from overseas.
It has been dubbed the 'Facebook of shopping' & the two founders have already been named in Growing Business Young Guns.
Chris Prescott and Daniel Noz (Fantasy Shopper)
Fantasy Shopper is a social shopping game, only launched in October 2011 and has already seen massive interest. Users spend fantasy currency to buy clothing & create a virtual wardrobe full of different outfits from over 300 real high street shops. It's a bit like creating a wishlist but what's great is you can then buy your virtual outfits from the real life stores.
It's a fantastic idea that Chris dreamt up one night and has proved very popular to date. apparently it is very addictive and it shows. Within 2 weeks of launching, the platform was seeing a fantasy sale every 14 seconds.
One feature that brings users back for more is that every hour you gain more credits, so users login multiple times a day to collect their virtual paydays.
The fact that it is linked to your Facebook also helps increase awareness of it to your network and this social sharing will greatly help with it's growth.
Chris has come up with a great idea and is described on the Fantasy Shopper site as "having all the traits of a mad inventor... i.e. he's a little bit nuts!" Which is good right? Even better is he is backed up by Dan, the tech guy who 'get's stuff done'.
All this will help Chris & Daniel take Fantasy Shopper to the masses in the next year.
Fiona Wood (Naturally Cool Kids)
As a mum Fiona has had to deal with all sorts of skin allergies which led her to search for natural skincare products for her kids, but to her surprise found a lack of natural skincare products for kids.
She entered the 'Barclays Take One Small Step' competition, where she was one of the 10 regional winners, after mum's across the country voted for her idea. She started the company in July 2010 and has not looked back since.
Fiona spotted a gap in the market and is taking full advantage of this. She has the passion and determination to see her products being sold across the world. After her initial plans to launch two skincare products, she actually launched with six products and has already seen them in over 20 retail stockists, including John Lewis & Tesco Nutri centre, as well as online.
She has big plans ahead and look out for her products across the UK this year as she looks to further expand the number of stockists.
Luke Hood (UKF)
Luke Hood is a 19 year old from Frome, Somerset who is taking Youtube by storm with his UKF channels. After starting putting up his favourite dubstep tunes up on youtube and showcasing fresh new music he found his subscribers rocketed and he was soon over 1 million!
What started as a hobby has become a business. He is super passionate and since this was what he was passionate about in the first place it will help in growing it as a business.
He has started expanding into events and live online events as well so youngsters into dubstep and drum n bass who can't get into these events can view it from online.
There is lots of scope to grow and he already has the subscribers, maybe in 2012 he can do what Jamal Edwards has done in 2011.
Jack Smith (Vungle)
Jack Smith is the founder of Vungle, a mobile app user acquisition platform focused exclusively on video ads. The company helps those with apps to show the apps full potential through video advertising rather than just text descriptions and user reviews. Using video to help acquire quality users.
Although just 22, Jack has a fair bit of experience having started his first company at the age of 15 and then while at uni, set up ideabox an undergraduate business ideas competition and was MD at Mediaroots.
He has now seen Vungle expand to the US with an office in San Fransisco and I wouldn't be surprised to see Jack get funding for Vungle this year.
Joshua March (Conversocial)
Joshua March is now onto his second business, Conversocial an integrated Social CRM and marketing software which helps companies with marketing and customer support via social media.
With social media becoming a mainstay in our day to day lives it is essential for all businesses to be active on social networks and be able to effectively monitor conversations around your business and industry.
Josh saw this and started Conversocial a couple years ago and has developed it too a position where they can expect to grow rapidly as more and more businesses start realising the potential of social media.
Josh previously founded the first preferred Facebook Development company in the UK with Dan Lester and has lots of experience in the social space from it's early days.
Helen McAvoy and Naomi Kibble (Rocktails)
Helen & Naomi two Cardiff based young entrepreneurs tapped into the huge popularity of cocktails drunk by the population on nights out. Despite this there isn't a competitive offering for easily making cocktails at home.
These two cocktail fans went about changing that spending over £20,000 developing frozen cocktails in a pouch. Great for consumption at home with friends, the two friends managed to secure a six months trial with Sainsburys which could lead to a wider deal.
Helen & Naomi have already secured a big deal early on in the companies life & are ahead of their forecasts, this should hold them in good stead as they look to expand in 2012.
Mansoor Hamayun, Christopher Baker-Brian & Laurent Van Houcke (BBOXX)
Christopher, Laurent & Mansoor started BBOXX a company which develops methods of distributing renewable energy to developing countries. The three young entrepreneurs have spun off the company from e.quinox, a charity at Imperial College London.
With power consumption growing in developing countries, solutions to cope with the increased demand for energy will be more in demand than ever and these two entrepreneurs are making sure they are in a position to supply a suitable solution in the way of portable solar products.
They will look to rapidly expand on their partnerships in developing countries over the next year.
Emma Sinclair (Target Parking)
Emma Sinclair is a passionate young entrepreneur. She had the high powered, high paid city job but she left it to start Target Parking. After investing in a small car parking firm she set up Target parking which offers services for car parks across Britain. Including cash handling, security & facilities management.
The 29 year old is the youngest person to float a company on the Alternative Investment Market and her business acumen has seen her tie up some big deals which helped the company see revenues of just over £1million and she fully expects that to grow further in 2012.
She is excited to see what the future holds and determined to make the company the best in it's industry and her background suggests she has what it takes.
Russell Whitter (Rate Your Player)
Russell Whitter (right) is the founder of Rate Your Player (RYP) an online social football network. Having started it after seeing his favorite football forum close it's doors he has developed the website into a fully fledged social network based around football.
Russell is the brother of footballer Wayne Routeledge (left) and has therefore been able to call on him and his footballer friends to help endorse the site and increase it's popularity. He was able to call on his friends to help him build the site and keep costs down and hopes to see the site increase in popularity as social networks do. Since this is targeted specifically to football which has more fans than any other sport in the UK he has a large market to tap into.
Russell hopes to expand the network into other sports as well and looks to grow the number of users quickly in 2012 as the social aspect snowballs with more and more users helping it grow further.
Rashid Kasirye - (Link Up TV)
Rashid Kasirye finishes up our young entrepreneurs list after he started Link Up TV, an online music and talent platform, straight out of college and has seen it grow from humble beginnings to a strong online community, which sees their YouTube page hitting over a million monthly views and thousands of fans on Facebook and Twitter.
Rashid has already seen the company make music videos for artists on some of the top UK music channels and his popularity is sure to keep growing in the industry. As we journey through 2012 and Link Up TV step up their video production capacity I'm sure you will see even more music videos in the charts made by Rashid and his team.
Who have I missed? Who are your young entrepreneurs to watch in 2012?
Let us know in the comments we would love to hear from you!
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