#21toWatch shortlist of innovative people, companies and ‘things’ revealed
The 2022 shortlist for the #21toWatch Awards has been unveiled and features some of the most ground-breaking entrepreneurs, start-ups and innovations from the East of England.
After presenting the Top21 awards virtually for the last two years, the Top21.2022 will be back on stage in March, with winners presenting in-person.
The coveted awards – organised by PR and communications company cofinitive, and supported by the Cambridge Independent – will also bring together the alumni from 2019, 2020 and 2021 alongside an exclusive invitation-only guest list made up of investors, press, sponsors, partners, judges and those who support the entrepreneurial community.
Some 127 qualified candidates made it onto a longlist from the 235 entries received, which has now been pared down to a shortlist of 39, featuring a vibrant mix of ‘People’, ‘Companies’ and ‘Things’.
As some of those listed move from stealth to seed and beyond, it is inevitable that some of those who make it on to the #21toWatch list will have been featured before.
This was the case last year when SATAVIA was listed in the Top21 having previously been Top21 in 2019.
However, the majority of those listed are appearing for the first time demonstrating the buoyancy of entrepreneurship in the region.
In fact, this year more than 70 per cent of those that made the longlist are newcomers, and more than 60 per cent of this year’s shortlist is made up of entirely new faces.
The shortlist of people includes Mohammed Alawami, co-founder of Cambridge Nucleomics and a PhD student at Cambridge University. His work at Cambridge Nucleomics focuses on developing cutting-edge cancer early detection technology that counts native RNA molecules quickly and accurately.
The shortlisted companies include R4DAR Technologies, which is on a mission to improve the safety of all road users in the smart autonomous world. It is notably one of 20 companies shortlisted from over 100 applications to take part in Cambridge University’s CISL (Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership) Accelerator Programme.
The ‘things’ shortlist includes Inficaf, bio-bean’s latest innovation from spent coffee. A bulk, uniform raw material, Inficaf has applications for displacing petroleum-based virgin and synthetic materials in plastics, automotive friction and cosmetics, along with potential application in textiles and printing.
The #21toWatch shortlist is being assessed by four independent judges. This year, the judges are Emmi Nicholl, managing director at Cambridge Angels; Matthew Gooding, news editor at Tech Monitor; James Parton, managing director at The Bradfield Centre; and Ruchi Sharma, CEO and founder at Stemnovate, and Top21.2020 winner. The judges assess the candidates based on innovation, challenge, influence, viability and memorability.
Emmi said: “The 2022 #21toWatch programme is a calendar highlight and I am delighted to be part of the judging process.
“Cambridge Angels is a proud supporter of many of the previous winners and I know that each winner places great value on being selected.
“The exceptional quality of the nominations in each category means that the judging process will no doubt be a challenge, and it’s a challenge that I am looking forward to.”
In addition to the stellar cohort of sponsors and partners supporting the #21toWatch campaign is careers and employment company Form the Future.
Anne Bailey, CEO of Form the Future, said: “We are excited to support the innovative people and companies that the #21toWatch campaign and awards celebrate.
“Finding and keeping great people with the skills and competencies to flourish in the 21st century workplace is one of the toughest challenges for any business, and particularly in emerging technologies. We are looking forward to working with the #21toWatch cohort to help build their future workforce.”
- Mohammed Alawami, co-founder of Cambridge Nucleomics and a PhD student at the University of Cambridge
- Darendra Appanah, Cambridge Consultants
- Dr Christopher Cleaver, DeepForm
- Kanta Dihal, Global AI Narratives project at Cambridge University
- Marcel Gehrung, Cyted
- Sasha Haco, Unitary
- Stephanie Martlew, Psyomics
- Dr Alisa Molotova, Futureworx
- Dr Anna Sturrock, lecturer at University of Essex
- Jeroen Verheyen, Semarion
- Carbon Re
- Oomph EV
- Outfield Technologies
- R4DAR Technologies
- Sano Genetics
- Antobot’s Robot Control Units (uRCU)
- Cambridge GaN Devices’ gallium nitride power modules
- Climate Code Shirt
- DIOSynVax needle free vaccines
- eScent’s transformative technology
- Forefront RF’s Adaptive Passive Cancellation (APC) technology
- Flusso’s FLS110
- Happyr health’s app
- HexagonFab’s The Bolt
- Inficaf by Biobean
- Mobilityways’ platform
- WATR - the smart water quality monitor
Emmi Nicholl – Emmi Nicholl runs the angel investment group, Cambridge Angels - some of Europe's leading early-stage investors - sourcing and completing deals in innovative technology companies seeking global impact. Her role as the Deal Sorcerer is to help Cambridge Angel’s develop its reach by building networks to attract high quality investment opportunities.
Matthew Gooding - Matthew Gooding is news editor of Tech Monitor, a site covering the stories that matter to tech leaders. An experienced business and tech journalist, he is a former business editor in Cambridge.
Ruchi Sharma - founder and CEO at Stemnovate, Dr Ruchi Sharma, is driven by her passion for taking the benefits of research and applying them to products and technology to make a significant and positive difference in the real world. Dr Sharma obtained a PhD from the world-renowned Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh, followed by a post-doctorate in the exciting field of cellular reprogramming at the University of Cambridge. She also made the #21toWatch Top21.2020 People list.
James Parton - over the past 15 years James has built four vibrant technical communities for both startup and corporate organisations, whilst advising, investing in, and supporting numerous start-ups and scale-ups. He is also managing director of The Bradfield Centre, a collaborative entrepreneurial community.
Celebrating outstanding talent
The #21toWatch Awards were created by entrepreneur and cofinitive founder Faye Holland and launched in March 2018.
The aim was to highlight the lesser-known but outstanding talent within the region’s renowned science and tech industries - the start-ups, people and ‘things’ on the cutting-edge of innovation that really deserve recognition, funding and support because what they are doing is ground-breaking.