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Next Generation of #21toWatch Winners Offer Game-Changing Solutions for the Challenges of Today
AI, IVF, DNA, Bluetooth, Wireless internet, the webcam, inkjet printing, ARM (smartphone chip), ALEXA, smart meters, gene sequencers, the asthma inhaler, the flushing toilet, thermos flasks, cats’ eyes, catflaps, round teabags, the hovercraft, the reflecting telescope, video games, the pacemaker, heart transplants, liver transplants, iris recognition, the Clearblue digital pregnancy test, ghd hair straighteners, Darktrace, Raspberry pi, Hotel Chocolat, the Maris piper potato, Concorde’s droop nose.
All have been invented, developed and discovered in Cambridge.
And it is because of our city’s long history of invention that we look forward especially to the annual announcement of the #21toWatch Top21 which heralds the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators across Cambridge and the East of England, and celebrates those who are building on the legacy of the famed Cambridge cluster by setting fresh standards in innovation and entrepreneurship across the globe.
This year’s exciting #21toWatch winners are, indeed, a true reflection of our time, providing solutions which highlight and address the main concerns of today: Alzheimer’s, inclusion, food security, energy-saving, recycling, sustainability, decarbonisation and other Net Zero challenges. And, over the last five years, the #21toWatch Top21 winners have attracted funding and investment totalling over £300million (£304,889,419.00).
Divided into People, Companies and ‘Things’, the Top21.2023 have all been assessed according to five strict criteria: Innovation, Challenge, Influence, Viability and Memorability, researched via third party platforms, and selected by an independent panel of judges.
The winners, announced at the awards ceremony held at the Storey’s Field Centre in Cambridge, are detailed below.
The seven #21toWatch Top21 individuals for 2023 are:
- Ama Frimpong – already named the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) ‘Young Woman Engineer of the Year’ in January, Ama is Head of Product Development at 52 North Health Ltd. She is currently overseeing the engineering team in the development of NeutroCheck – a portable, low-cost, device which enables chemotherapy patients to be tested at home for suspected neutropenic sepsis, a potentially life-threatening complication of anticancer treatment.
- Broderick House – CEO and Founder of Ethēcos, a venture revolutionising the experience of personalised nutrition. Broderick is also a Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholar at the University of Cambridge, where he is tackling global food insecurity through his cutting-edge research.
- Coco Newton – Neuroscientist and Co-Founder of Fathom Cognition. Her goal is to create new cognitive markers which can help detect Alzheimer’s disease earlier, years before dementia onset.
- Elena Cismigiu – Neuroscientist and CEO of Neuro XR, a company focused on bringing the power of the human mind to Virtual Reality. Listed in The Telegraph newspaper’s “Top 100 female entrepreneurs to watch”, Elena is passionate about inclusion in tech and, as a disabledwoman herself, providing equal opportunities to disabled talent and women wanting to pursue careers within the sector.
- Dr Hannah Sore – Founder and CEO of PharmEnable, a company combining AI and medicinal chemistry expertise to develop the next generation of complex 3D small molecule drugs.
- Lucy Jung – the youngest ever winner of Cambridge Judge Business School’s Woman Entrepreneur accolade, Lucy is the CEO and founder of Charco, an experienced Founder with a demonstrated history of working in the health, wellness and fitness industry.
- Dr Zoe Tolkien – Zoe is Head of Research at Advanced Furnace Technology, an engineering and materials science company working on net zero challenges through the ramp-up of silicon carbide semiconductors and electric transport.
The seven #21toWatch Top21 companies for 2023 are:
- Broken String Biosciences – a genomics tools company leveraging a state-of-the-art platform for assessing off-target gene editing events in the genome. In partnership with leaders in the field, their mission is to bring gene editing therapies safely to all who need it.
- Cambridge Smart Plastics – is relaunching plastics for a smart and sustainable future. Their natural biopolymers have created a new class of sustainable barrier plastics to initially replace metal and chlorinated plastic in multi-layer packaging and ultimately fully replace plastics for guilt-free packaging.
- Helio Display Materials – a joint spin-out venture from the universities of Cambridge and Oxford, which is commercialising technology for brighter and more colourful displays that use significantly less energy.
- HutanBio – aims to decarbonise long-distance transport by making carbon-negative biofuel for shipping and transportation. HutanBio is utilising desert regions to increase global capacity for photosynthesis and achieve atmospheric carbon draw-down.
- Qkine – a UK manufacturer driving innovation in growth factor proteins, essential reagents used in transformative technologies such as stem-cell disease models, organoids, cell therapy, bioinks and cultivated meat.
- Roadfill Ltd – uses recycled waste plastics destined for landfill or incineration to repair and re-lay roads in an environmentally friendly way.
- Spirea – created to advance a new generation of antibody-targeted cancer treatments with significantly better efficacy and safety profiles. Spirea will use its innovative technology to enable a pipeline of superior and differentiated antibody drug conjugates for the treatment of a range of solid tumours.
And, finally, the seven #21toWatch Top21 winning Innovations (Things) for 2023 are:
- Cambridge Sensoriis – easy-to-install, all-weather, technology which is helping to unleash the drone revolution by maximising automation and safety, and minimising costs.
- InferSens – game-changing ‘deep tech’ technology which is enabling ‘deep learning’ on device in the field on low-cost battery power for the very first time. InferSens’ first product, a clip-on, ultra-low power flow and temperature sensor, automates Legionella risk monitoring in building water systems. The sensors support efficient, wide-scale deployment, reducing costs and environmental impact.
- Kerb-e – revolutionary on-street EV charger which is enabling the >30% of UK households that do not have off-street parking to benefit from affordable, convenient and reliable charging.
- PAUA – an EV charge card and app which is making EV charging easier for business. One EV charge card, one app, and one fleet management dashboard is combined with access to 25,000+ charge points in the UK.
- PolyNaut Technology (SomaServe) – polymer nanoparticle platform for next-gen genetic medicines. The PolyNaut polymer nanoparticle platform enables intracellular, targeted delivery of new genetic therapeutics, including siRNA and mRNA, to the brain and other hard to reach tissues and cell types.
- Warmscore (Purrmetrix) – sensors and software to decarbonize housing without sacrificing comfort. For insulation and heating upgrades in housing, Warmscore uses environmental data and powerful software to measure housing and heating performance, so that we can decarbonize housing without sacrificing comfort.
- Vuala X1 – automatic food waste separation technology from Vuala, which makes food waste recycling easy with added benefits. The Vuala X1 automatically separates food waste from other wastes, turning them into raw material for energy production in situ and all in a matter of hours.
Three businesses originated in the broader East of England leaving the majority of the Top21.2023 from Cambridge, which is known, unequivocally, as the UK’s Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation, and is one of the most respected Science and Tech hubs in the world.
Despite its small size, Cambridge receives four times the amount of tech investment per head than in London. And, as the UK’s most inventive city, has more patents published per resident than any other in the UK.
This year, the publication of the #21toWatch Top21.2023 list comes hot on the heels of the Government creating, for the very first time, a brand new, dedicated department for Science, Innovation and Technology.
The news has certainly resonated. After all, the technologies of tomorrow – Quantum, AI, engineering biology, semiconductors and future telecoms, together with life sciences and green technologies – are the lifeblood of Cambridge and the East of England, and this is, undoubtedly, an important step in supporting bold new discoveries which will cement the UK’s position as a technology superpower.
#21toWatch founder, Faye Holland said: “Cambridge is certainly no stranger to innovation and technology. The university alone leads the world in the number of successful tech founders and spinouts it produces. And for most of those appearing on its long and shortlists, #21toWatch is a launchpad to greater things, and we look forward excitedly to following the journeys.”
#21toWatch is a dedicated campaign to showcase and highlight the often lesser known, recognising those exciting new entries across all market sectors, and celebrating the very best work going on today within our region. Many on our list (not just the Top21!) have gone on to achieve great things, including enhanced promotions, additional investment, new clients and a variety of other opportunities. Past winners include Riverlane, Flusso, SATAVIA, Porotech, CMR Surgical, Colorifix, Paragraf, Sook, Better Origin, Cambridge Gan Devices and DiosynVax. Our sponsors and partners also view the cofinitive #21toWatch campaign as a key investment for them as they support new ventures and opportunities.
#21toWatch judges rotate each year, and for 2023, were Maximilian Ge, President of Entrepreneurial Postdocs of Cambridge (EPOC), University of Cambridge; Hanadi Jabado, Managing Partner, Sana Capital; Tom Britton, Co-Founder, SyndicateRoom; and John Stenhouse, Business Support Manager, University of Essex.
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Next Generation of #21toWatch Winners Offer Game-Changing Solutions for the Challenges of Today
AI, IVF, DNA, Bluetooth, Wireless internet, the webcam, inkjet printing, ARM (smartphone chip), ALEXA, smart meters,...