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Anton Fast, Simon Geldner, Sebastian Salomonsson,  Gustaf Brandberg, Ida Norström, Petronella Gustafsson. Photo: Evan Pantiel
Anton Fast, Simon Geldner, Sebastian Salomonsson, Gustaf Brandberg, Ida Norström, Petronella Gustafsson. Photo: Evan Pantiel

Press release -

Winners Young Founder of the Year - Ida Norström - Anton Fast and Simon Geldner - Petronella Gustafsson and Sebastian Salomonsson

Ida Norström - founder of Energy Effective Solutions and Anton Fast and Simon Geldner - founders of Ophena received the Growth Rings in Gold, and Petronella Gustafsson - founder of Progress Me and Sebastian Salomonsson - founder of SebSalo Energi received the Growth Rings in Silver for the Young Founder of the Year 2021 award.

The founders were awarded at the Founders´ Gala held at Stockholm City Hall on September 16. Winning founders received the Young Founder of the Year award for having the potential to build a successful company, be a good leader and develop into a role model for other young entrepreneurs. The purpose of the award is to encourage further success, acting as a catalyst to growth for young founders. 

During the day the finalists introduced themselves and their companies to a jury of qualified founders. The Young Founder of the Year award is part of the Founders Awards by Founders Alliance.

Young Founder of the Year Gold
was awarded to Ida Norström - Energy Effective Solutions
Energy Effective Solutions, EES, is an installation company in the electricity industry whose main focus is to provide energy-smart electrical installations. EES has grown organically right from the start in order to build a buffer for future ventures. EES supports local sports associations with a focus on women and girl teams, and also collaborates with high schools to educate the next generation of electricians. EES works to reduce society's carbon footprint through installations focused on optimizing energy use and renewable energy production. By installing solar cells, electric car chargers, smart home systems and electrical installations the company helps their customers decrease negative environmental impact.

The jury's motivation for Ida Norström
“The winner has shown an impressive determination and a strong and mature leadership, based on a clear vision addressing a big and escalating societal challenge”.


Young Founder of the Year Gold
was awarded to Anton Fast and Simon Geldner - Ophena
Ophena revolutionized the equestrian industry with the world's first magnetic safety stirrup sold direct-to-consumer. With customers in over 70 countries and 1000 verified 5-star reviews, riders are loving their products. By offering a product that prevents dangerous accidents, Ophenas goal is to become the most desired equestrian brand in the world and to deliver the very best products with world-leading customer service for a reasonable price. The company focuses on a friendly and open work environment where diversity, sustainability and growth are valued. By offering products Made In Sweden that have a long lifetime Ophena minimise the environmental impact.

The jury's motivation for Anton Fast and Simon Geldner
“The winner has identified a clear problem, shown a learning mindset, and executed flawlessly from start to end, creating a platform with high future potential for both growth and profitability.”


Young Founder of the Year Silver
was awarded to Petronella Gustafsson - Progress Me
Progress Me’s vision is to prevent eating disorders. With the use of evidence-based methods, Progress Me creates tools in digital format, via a mobile app, platform and community with focus on both the affected individual as well as relatives. Progress Me is the result of a personal fight, a fight against a terrible disease called eating disorder and a wish to help others in the same situation. Working via digital channels means help is more accessible compared to traditional care.The company works actively to prevent illness and to support young people who are actually experiencing it or who have had some form of eating disorder. The focus is on self-esteem and self-confidence but also offers support to parents and other relatives.

Young Founder of the Year Silver was awarded to Sebastian Salomonsson - SebSalo Energi
SebSalo Energi works with everything related to heating and plumbing installations in properties and homes, and helps their customers by taking a holistic approach and taking total responsibility for the entire project - from start to finish. SebSalo Energi offers their customers energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable solutions and wants to provide the best service and the highest quality in the industry. The company has an efficient production program with a sustainable use of resources, always aiming to simplify the working methods, thus increasing efficiency. SebSalo are constantly working to develop new ideas and solutions to help both clients and co-workers to create a safe and profitable business.

The jury of Young Founder of the Year was comprised of the following founders: Chairman of the jury - Gustaf Brandberg - Gullspång Invest; Patricia Olby Kimondo - People Productions; Elvira Eriksson - Mockberg and Viktor Stensson - Bokio.



The Growth Rings
What all founders have in common is that they themselves are a seed that grows into a successful company. Just like trees in a forest, founders are the most important organism in the ecosystem that creates growth in the world.

The symbol that pays tribute to these successful founders we call The Growth Rings.

“It starts as a seed in the founder’s mind. For it to grow strong, patience is required and real perseverance. During a company's development, strong years with good conditions alternate with meagre and tough years without development. The Founders Awards annual growth rings symbolize this story”

Learn more about Founders Alliance here

Before using the pictures, please contact Nina Hahn at Founders Alliance, nina.hahn@foundersalliance.com

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Founders Alliance

Founders Alliance was established in 2002 by Niclas Carlsson. Today Founders Alliance is a premium collaborative business forum for founders of large-scale corporations, owners of international growth companies and engaged in multiple social impact initiatives around the globe.Successful founders meet to help each other become even more successful in Founders Groups through deep and long-term relationships that inspire, develop and enable more and better business. Its membership comprises over 400 high performing founders in Sweden and owners in a network of 2000 companies stretching across all industries and areas of expertise. In 2015 Founders Alliance started the international expansion, now with 250 active large-scale founders headed by 50 international founders with headquarters in 11 countries including: USA (CA), India, China (Hong Kong), United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, The Netherlands, Switzerland and Spain.

For membership requests please contact niclas.carlsson@foundersalliance.com


Read more about Founders Alliance here   

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Niclas Carlsson

Niclas Carlsson

Press contact CEO Founder, Founders Alliance +46708107805

Om Founders Alliance

Founders Alliance was established in 2002 by Niclas Carlsson. Today Founders Alliance is a premium collaborative business forum for founders of large-scale corporations, owners of international growth companies and engaged in multiple social impact initiatives around the globe.

Successful founders meet to help each other become even more successful in Founders Groups through deep and long-term relationships that inspire, develop and enable more and better business.

Its membership comprises over 400 high performing founders in Sweden and owners in a network of 2000 companies stretching across all industries and areas of expertise. In 2015 Founders Alliance started the international expansion, now with 250 active large-scale founders headed by 50 international founders with headquarters in 11 countries including: USA (CA), India, China (Hong Kong), United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, The Netherlands, Switzerland and Spain.

Founders Alliance
Drottninggatan 95A
113 60 Stockholm