Switzerland / Seedstars World / 30
Born in France, Alisée de Tonnac was well on her way to establishing a storybook career at L’oréal when she gave it all up to co-found the Geneva-based international start-up competition for the developing world. “I was obsessed with having the best CV, making the most money.” And then she met her future business partner, who suggested that they team up to establish Seedstars World. The start-up competition is now held in more than 65 countries, and its ecosystem includes investors from industrialized countries who can support start-ups, a talent pool, and lots of infrastructure such as the global network of start-up hubs in emerging markets (Seedspace). “Entrepreneurship and technology are essential for development,” says de Tonnac.