The #21toWatch list will be divided into innovative and trailblazing people, companies and ‘things’ that are en route to being industry game-changers locally, nationally and globally.

This list represents the companies across Cambridge and the East of England that meet a defined set of criteria.

The list is updated on a rolling basis throughout the year, with the official nomination window open between 1st November and 31st January. The shortlist will be announced in February, with the Top.21 unveiled on the first Thursday in March.

Always the longest list, here is the #21toWatch Companies list (in alphabetical order):

Longlist Shortlist Top.21 Name Synopsis

5280 Holdings

Software consulting specializing in product development, full stack engineering & growth

Ablatus Therapeutics

A medical device company developing Bimodal Electric Tissue Ablation (BETA) a novel ground-breaking ablation platform technology that has the potential to offer treatment options where existing technologies cannot

AC Biode

Developing the world's first AC (Alternating Current) battery by "Biode", which has both the characteristics of Anode/Cathode. Also providing a battery refresh business, recycling Li-ion batteries and refreshing their data

Achilles Therapeutics

Achilles Therapeutics’ mission is to develop next-generation, patient-specific therapies that harness the immune system to destroy cancer cells

Agile Analog

Founded to accelerate the pace of chip innovation by providing smaller, cheaper, more reliable, and lower power analog chip designs. Agile’s AI-driven platform replaces the existing manual design process, which has not fundamentally changed in 60 years


Aitrak is a visual optimisation solution for brands, retailers, and advertisers. It combines the science of visual saliency with the power of machine learning. No cameras or expensive software required


AI VIVO is a Cambridge based company with a unique systems pharmacology platform powered by AI to accelerate drug discovery

AlphaBio Control

Effective, natural, environment friendly crop protection solutions developed at the convergence of natural chemistry and microbiology


Antiverse is building a world-first computational antibody drug discovery platform


AptaCam is a University of Cambridge spin-off company dedicated to being a leading supplier of high quality oligonucleotides


Supramolecular chemistry company that has made its patented technology AqTMFresh Professional available for the first time


Arecor is a biopharmaceutical company transforming patient care by bringing innovative medicines to market through the enhancement of existing medicines using its Arestat™ technology

Arete Medical Technologies

Drastically lowering the cost of specialist-grade diagnostics for chronic lung conditions like asthma and COPD, enabling access for early diagnosis, improved drug targeting, and preventing flare-ups


Atelerix has a transformative technology for the storage and transport of viable cells at room temperature, overcoming the barriers and limitations presented by the current need for cryo-shipping

Audio Analytic

We've empowered machines with a sense of hearing with our AI sound recognition technology

Bamboo Systems

Provides a new-generation of ARM based server-class platform that natively converges compute, storage and networking with support for web-scale application deployment in a high-density, low-power and scalable manner


Commercialising barocaloric cooling technology to satisfy low carbon refridgeration requirements

Biofidelity Ltd

Provides high performing novel molecular assays for the sensitive detection of low-frequency genetic mutations


Creating the open standard hardware and software interface between the human nervous system and AI

Bit Bio

Bit Bio applies an engineering approach to synthetic and stem cell biology for the efficient and consistent reprogramming of human cells used in research, drug discovery, and cell therapy


Blighter Surveillance Systems is a world leading designer and manufacturer of electronic-scanning radars and surveillance solutions

Blueshift Memory

Created a model for a computer memory chip that could make some data operations 1,000 times faster

Cambridge Cancer Genomics

Builds the software to enable data-driven precision oncology. The precision AI platform analyses and interprets tumour DNA, enabling oncologists to provide more effective, personalised treatment for cancer patients

Cambridge Carbon Capture

Developed a potentially game-changing solution to climate change

Cambridge Energy Data Lab

Our mission is to optimise the electricity demand and supply to accelerate the dawning of mass renewable energy adaption

Cambridge Gan Devices

CGD develops highly efficient power electronics targeting energy savings in applications ranging from power supplies for consumer electronics to LED drives, data centers and wireless chargers

Cambridge Picture Company

Film and television production company, producing high quality drama and documentary projects

Cambridge Touch Technologies

Transforming how smart devices are used, making them more convenient and useful in everyday life


We develop world-class real-time monitoring systems that integrate low-power sensors and long-range connectivity with predictive analytics for key assets management, particularly water resources, saving operational costs and reducing the impact on the environment

Cheddar Creative

Cheddar Creative is a small UX design agency with big ideas. Our mission is to connect people with brands in fun, engaging, socially-responsible ways. We're all about providing unexpected moments of delight!


Citispotter is working towards developing cutting edge Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions to offer insightful and actionable content analysis to optimize business decisions, eliminating misinformation, hate speech and fake news from the content

Closed Loop Medicine

Improving patients' lives by creating closed loop models of care


Marketplace for farmers, growers and growers to sell surplus produce directly to trade buyers before it becomes food waste


An AI powered software for industrial companies. It oversees a whole production process and assists factory engineers in decision making, helping to reduce waste and downtime


Remote sensing technologies and advanced analytic systems for smart infrastructures


A revolutionary platform for building apps and websites on user-owned personal data, Dataswift is a new kind of fundamental technology infrastructure that promises to change how the Internet is built

Developing Experts

We bridge the gap between education and industry – enabling sectors to fulfill their future needs with the experts of tomorrow by supporting teachers to deliver careers through the curriculum

Dyslexia Box

A leading supplier of assistive technology and related services for education and the workplace

Eagle Genomics

Eagle Genomics’ software platform, the e[datascientist], reveals new insights from connections within the world’s life sciences data to enable development of novel solutions within agritech, food and personal care


EBCam’s objective is to assist established and entrepreneurial businesses who CARE for and ENGAGE with their employees, deliver competitive benefits and REWARDs to help them and their employees THRIVE

Echion Technologies

Building next generation Li-ion batteries to power the future of e-mobility


Experimental events agency delivering story-line driven immersive experiences for leadership development


ET-traps Limited has developed a novel and patented therapeutic targeting elevated endothelin-1 levels that may be used in different cancers (prostate cancer), neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and pregnancy disorders

Focal Point Positioning

Creating innovative advances in the fields of positioning, navigation and timing, both indoors and outside

Genomics PLC

Applying breakthrough machine learning algorithms that use genomics data at scale to learn directly about human biology


Glyconics exploits the ability of using light electromagnetic (EM) radiation within a specified IR range to produce a distinctive IR molecular ‘fingerprint’ for a healthy vs a non-healthy sample

Granta Innovation

We solve challenging healthcare problems using AI and ML. Our software for early detection of cancer has demonstrated world-leading performance and is being spun out through Cambridge AI Health.


Healx is an AI-powered and patient-inspired biotech company. Healx combines its AI technology and drug discovery expertise with patient insights to accelerate the discovery and development of rare disease treatments


Use drones (UAVs) to obtain aerial photography and video for a range of applications including construction, property marketing, events, environmental monitoring and precision agriculture

Iceni Diagnostics

Transformational approach to diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics using carbohydrates rather than proteins or nucleic acids


Inawisdom's focus is on differentiation through data exploitation, using the latest enterprise-ready techniques in predictive analytics, machine learning, natural language processing and artificial intelligence to exploit latent value in organisation’s data assets


Our mission is to revolutionise industrial formulations through deep learning, optimising new formulation and process design to deliver better materials, chemicals and drugs, faster and cheaper is an Industrial AI company making mining operations efficient, sustainable and safe through trusted and open Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions. Deployments across Chile, Australia, Kazakhstan, Brazil and South Africa


Isogenica develops LlamdA® VHH: highly versatile small format antibodies which we use to construct next generation biotherapeutics for the treatment of cancer, inflammation and other serious diseases


Helping companies discover and develop the next generation of microbial products

Kalium Health

Empowering millions worldwide with kidney disease to manage their health and reduce their cost of care by enabling blood electrolyte monitoring by anyone, anywhere


Platform which connects farmers, agronomists and procurement managers to manage their supply chains efficiently

Lightcast Discovery

Cell manipulation platform that uses tiny spots of light to control thousands of cells and reagents simultaneously, allowing us to radically alter drug discovery workflows for the pharmaceutical industry


A not-for-profit community-driven organisation working to provide a high quality, security-enabling, open SOC base for derivitive designs

Meteor Inkjet Ltd

Leading independent supplier of industrial inkjet print head driving solutions


Mogrify has developed a proprietary cellular conversion technology, which makes it possible to transform (transmogrify) any mature cell type into any other, while bypassing the stem cell- stage, addressing challenges associated with efficacy, safety and scalability in the development and manufacture of new cell therapies


Mursla is Cambridge-based startup developing a novel platform to trace tumour early in the blood via the discovery and quantification of cancer-specific exosome subpopulations


Developing high capillarity micron-scale metal foams for heat transfer, energy storage and lightweight structures


Creating novel small molecule immuno-oncology therapeutics

Nu Quantum

Developing ground-breaking quantum hardware components and end-to-end quantum cryptography systems

Okra Technologies

OKRA delivers suggestions, predictions and explanations to empower life sciences executives and operational teams to drive the right drug, to the right patient with humanised and understandable AI outputs


Elegant software solutions for small molecule design, optimisation and data analysis

Outfield Technologies

Platform for gathering, analysing and viewing the data you need to manage your orchard effectively


A cybersecurity consultancy platform enabling access to hidden talent. Padlock's freelance consultancy model bridges the crucial skills and diversity gaps in cybersecurity. European 2019 MIT Future of Work winner (2019


The global leader in harvesting energy and data from footfall

PenTail Enzymes

Biotechnology company harnessing the power of enzymes to improve human health. Pentail's primary goal is to engineer and produce enzymes that target harmful substances in the human body for rapid elimination


Focuses on bringing more effective and affordable targeted medicines to patients

POCKiT Diagnostics

New blood test to diagnose potentially fatal strokes


To enable better treatment and outcomes for patients with chronic immune-mediated diseases


A platform designed to quickly deliver targeted, personalised antibiotics


Qureight was founded in 2018 by 2 Cambridge doctors. Their platform enables analysis of images and data from multiple sources to better model diseases and assist with clinical trial endpoints

Reflection Therapeutics

Reflection Therapeutics is a startup developing cell therapies for the treatment of ALS and other devastating neurodegenerative diseases. Their technology guides anti-inflammatory cell therapies directly to tissue sites of need


Quantum computing software technology which is transforming the discovery of new materials and drugs

Safety Rocks

Safety Rocks Limited delivers bespoke in-company health, safety, environmental and management training which improves safety culture, reduces accidents and incidents, increases employee engagement and ultimately saves organisations time and money


At SATAVIA our vision is to make aviation smarter and more sustainable: We simplify decision-making for cleaner, greener, next-generation aviation


Crisps from Cambridgeshire in exotic flavours

Sense Biodetection

Founded with a vision to improve peoples' lives by bringing powerful tools for fast, accurate and affordable diagnostics into the hands of everyday users

Shift Bioscience Ltd

Pre-clinical biotech company targeting the root cause of aging to extend healthy lifespan

Sorex Sensors

Novel mass sensor with advantages over existing sensors inc mass sensitivity & small size

Spark EV Technology

AI-based range prediction software for electric vehicles that overcomes range anxiety and builds driver trust


a Cambridge based disruptive technology company that provides an integrated 'lab on chip solution' for big data combining stem cell expertise and microengineering for precision drug discovery.The smart microengineering is an enabler of deep learning with a huge potential to reduce animal testing

Sutherland Partners Ltd

Aid to birthing cattle (ABC) is the only non-surgical, non-drug based product that faciliates natural birth in cases of dystocia (problems with birthing)


Turation develops edge and embedded AI solutions for industrial applications. Algorithm-hardware co-design enables the new level of automation and brings high quality, productivity and safety

Velocity Commerce

Turning brands into category leaders on Amazon and eBay


VividQ is a deep tech company with world-leading expertise in 3D holography. Their patented software powers holographic display in smart-glasses, automotive Head-Up Displays and more

VNC Automotive

VNC Automotive deliver ingenious connectivity software for the vehicles of tomorrow. Their solutions enable time spent in-vehicle to be more entertaining and more productive than ever

Delivers innovative legal, process and tech solutions to businesses


Pioneering artificial intelligence software for self-driving cars


Web based platform helping farm input supply chain

Should your company be on this list? Or do you know a company that should be? Submit your nomination by completing the form, emailing or following @cofinitive on Twitter and using #21toWatch.

We are also looking for the people and ‘things’ who could be a #21toWatch Top21.