Two Vietnamese entrepreneurs among Europe’s 30 Under 30

By Nguyen Quy   March 20, 2020 | 12:00 am PT
Two Vietnamese entrepreneurs among Europe’s 30 Under 30
Jesse Khanh Tran (L) and his co-founder Son Chu. Photo courtesy of Jesse Khanh Tran.
A Vietnamese duo in Finland making the world’s first shoes from coffee grounds have made it into Forbes's 30 Under 30 Europe listing.

Tran Bao Khanh, 28, and Chu Hoang Son, 24, co-founders of Rens Original, have been honored in the category of Social Entrepreneurs in the annual list recognizing the most influential people in Europe across various categories.

"This Vietnam-born duo is recycling them by turning discarded grounds into fresh kicks. The Helsinki-based company has sold their sneakers to individuals in over 100 countries," Forbes said.

Born in Ho Chi Minh City, Khanh moved to Finland to study international business and logistics major in 2011 while Son came to Finland’s Helsinki to study information systems in 2014. Both won Finland's Summer of Startups 2016 with their Factory Finder project, an online platform that connects European fashion brands with Vietnamese factories.

Rens Original is a startup founded by the duo that uses residual coffee grounds as raw material for shoes, the first time ever that it has been done. Rens shoes are waterproof and odor-free. Each pair is made from 300 grams of used coffee grounds (equivalent to the remains of 21 cups of coffee) and six recycled plastic bottles. 

The 2020 Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe lists 300 young, visionary leaders reinventing business and society from 62 countries in Europe and around the world. They were chosen from over 1,500 entries.

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