Meet the young founders taking bets, ditching decorum and elevating the media and marketing industries across Europe and worldwide.
By Olivia Peluso and Leonard Schoenberger
Disillusioned with the software development and finance industries after brief stints in each, U.K.-based friends Jide Adetunji, 28, and Ibrahim Kamara, 29, opted for a bold change of course. In 2015, they decided to start their own magazine to tell the stories of emerging creative talent to show the world (and themselves) that it was possible to build successful, colorful careers as creators.
“I just thought back to my youth,” Adetunji says. “I really love creative things. I love drawing. I love music, I love fashion, but I also love being an entrepreneur.” So the two put their heads together to develop something that could showcase all the different avenues of creativity. They’ve since grown their magazine business, called GUAP, into a multi-platform youth media brand that includes a video magazine, an event arm, a podcast studio and a creative agency. They now count brands like Nike, TikTok, Coca-Cola and Adidas among their clients.
For Adetunji and Kamara, it’s all about “leaving the door open once you get in the room.”
Our eighth annual 30 Under 30 Europe Media & Marketing list features a wide range of visionaries who, much like Adetunji and Kamara, are expanding access and increasing diversity in the industry. To be considered for this year’s list, all candidates had to be under the age of 30 as of March 7, 2023, and never before named to a 30 Under 30 list.
Candidates were evaluated by a panel of judges that included John Ridding, CEO of the Financial Times; Asmita Dubey, chief digital and marketing officer of L’Oreal; Trevor Johnson, head of marketing, global business solutions at TikTok; and author and activist Kubra Gumasay, a 2018 30 Under 30 Europe alum.
Over in Warsaw, Ukrainian-born listers Dmytro Samoiliuk, 28, Alina Bondarenko, 21, and Yaroslav Samoiliuk, 22, founded Zeely, an AI-powered, mobile-first web store and ad builder to help micro-entrepreneurs from developing countries sell products and services online from their smartphones. They currently have 7,000 users in the U.S., Brazil and Mexico.
Some are staying focused on their home soil. Rumbi Mupindu, 29, Christina Okorocha, 29, and Ruby Aryiku, 29, are the founders of Vamp, a London-based agency focused solely on the representation and development of Black digital talent in the U.K. Part-entertainment public relations and part-digital talent agency, the Vamp team has found success in elevating the voices of women of color. In addition to managing dozens of influencers, they’ve worked on more than 30 film and TV releases, including Wakanda Forever, The Woman King, Lightyear and Nope, and have collaborated with some of the world’s most recognizable brands, from Sony to Spotify.
Others are breathing new life into a decades-old industry. Rahmon Agbaje, 25, and Maatin Adewunmi, 27, founded Loud Parade, a Gen-Z focused music creative agency, to offer innovative, authentic and creative ads to global youth audiences. The agency creates bespoke tracks for brands to resolve the issue of infringing on music copyright. Their work has resulted in over 8 billion views on campaigns for clients like Nike and Universal.
This year’s list also features several journalists that are creating content across mediums to share some of the most important narratives in Europe and across the world.
Andrei Popoviciu, 26, is a Romanian born, Senegal-based independent journalist, audio producer and photographer covering human rights, security, migration, international development and foreign affairs stories. Together with an international consortium of journalists, Popoviciu investigated violent expulsions at the EU’s external borders, in which officers beat and pushed back asylum seekers across the border without them being given the opportunity to apply for asylum. He’s also reported on mental health conditions in French migrant detention centers and the impact of the Russian invasion on Romania and Moldova by going to the highly volatile region of Transnistria. He’s been published by The Guardian, Al Jazeera English, Libération, VICE World News and Middle East Eye, among others.
Joining him on the list is Olivia Petter, 28, a freelance journalist and author based in London. Petter regularly contributes to a variety of publications on topics including reproductive health, mental health and violence against women. Her first book, Millennial Love, was published by 4th Estate in 2021, and named a 2021 Book of the Year by The Independent, while her debut novel, Gold Rush, is slated to be published next year. On her podcast, also called Millennial Love, Petter has landed exclusive interviews with author and Vogue columnist Raven Smith, supermodel Emily Ratajkowski, illustrator Florence Given and more.
This year’s list was edited by Olivia Peluso and Leonard Schoenberger. For a link to our complete 2023 30 Under 30 Europe Media & Marketing list, click here, and for full 2023 30 Under 30 Europe coverage, click here.