Known as a region of innovation, digital tech in the Eastern region turns over £8.3bn and employ 89,000 in 19,000 businesses according to the Tech Nation 2019 Report. But success, innovation and turnover are nothing without people.

Behind the figures are bright, original and creative individuals who accelerate the pace of change, pushing both technology and industry to constantly evolve. They are the individuals that are the ones to watch in the business community.

Below you’ll see people who are firing up this #21toWatch list with their insight and expertise (in alphabetical order):

Longlist Shortlist Top.21 Name Synopsis

Anthony Smith

Senior Systems Biology Data Scientist at Healx. Anthony develops new technologies to find breakthrough rare disease treatments by repurposing existing drugs, dramatically shortening drug development time and reducing treatment cost

Beth Singler

Junior Research Fellow in AI. Beth thinks about what you think about machines that might think! As an anthropologist, she researches our fears about killer robots as well as the genuine social impact of AI

Brigette Bard

Developed an HIV self-testing kit with her start-up, BioSure. The products are approved for use in Britain and South Africa and are dispensed in vending machines at some hospitals

Callum Coombes

CEO at Safepoint, Non-Executive Director at Menta and an active member of the East Anglian business community. He aims to save lives with his current business and works to make entrepreneurialism more accessible regionally

Catherine Breslin

Solutions Architect at Cobalt Speech and Language. I am a machine learning scientist and consultant, excited by the application of research to real-world problems involving speech and language at scale

Claire Thompson

An award-winning scientist, strategist and innovator who founded Agility Health Tech in 2012. The consulting and communications agency has an all-female executive team and a global client base

Dr Catherine Elton

Founder and CEO of Qkine

Dr Catherine Ramsdale

Vice President - Device Engineering at PragmatIC

Dr Kam Pooni

A highly accomplished senior business leader with 20+ years’ experience in driving entrepreneurship and commercial success in the Lifesciences industry. Kam’s passion is mentoring young entrepreneurs to achieve success

Dr Kate Hilyard

COO at Healx

Dr Meritxell Huch

Junior Group Leader at the Gurdon Institute. PhD degree in Gene Therapy and pancreatic cancer

Emily Mackay

I'm a business executive specialising in data innovations. I’m currently automating genomic interpretation using machine learning. “Half nerd, half corporate”, I bridge technical and business worlds to realise data strategies

Emma Sceats

CEO at Isogenica

Federica Freddi

Deep Learning Researcher at MediaTek Research

Fotis Fotiadis

Co-founder and CTO Entomics

Fran Baker

Fran has built collaborations with UNICEF and the Gates Foundation (among many others) and has launched 2030 Vision with ARM to push for technological advancement throughout the global south

Giles Barker

Co-founder and COO at KisanHub

Gaia Fancellu

PhD Student at Iceni Diagnostics

Giorgia Longobardi

Founder and CEO of Cambridge GaN devices, leading a team of 14 people set to bring to market efficient electronics. She was nominated 2019 RAEng young engineer of the year

Goncalo de Vasconcelos

Goncalo is deeply passionate about entrepreneurship. After founding and leading SyndicateRoom to success, Goncalo is now starting a new company in InsurTech. He also writes for Forbes and lectures at the University of Cambridge

Gordon Wishart

Professor Gordon Wishart is founder and CEO of Check4Cancer, an award-winning early cancer detection company that has disrupted insured, corporate and self-pay sectors with its rapid access, audited clinical pathways

James Dean

James is the CEO and co-founder of Plastometrex, a company that is leveraging advanced numerical modelling and machine learning algorithms to transform the mechanical materials testing industry

Jason Mellad

Jason is a scientist entrepreneur passionate about translating innovative technologies into more effective therapies and better patient outcomes. Before founding Start Codon in 2019, he was CEO of Cambridge Epigenetix

Joe Glover

Founder of The Marketing Meetup, Empath Marketing and now – Humans of Healthcare

John Cassidy

John is Co-Founder and CEO at, a startup transforming cancer care through its AI platform for DNA analysis: enabling oncologists to provide more effective, personalised treatment for cancer patients

Kane Halsey

Founder & CEO at Pickr

Katja Hofmann

Dr Katja Hofmann is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research in Cambridge, where she leads the Game Intelligence theme. She and her team develop new AI approaches with applications in video games, and other real-world applications

Kieran Miles

Co-Founder at Duco, a former retail-property consultant and entrepreneur. Barclay’s Start-Up Entrepreneur of the East of England 2018 and Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society

Krittika D’Silva

Krittika is a Gates scholar and Computer Science PhD student at Cambridge.  She uses AI to support the lives of individuals worldwide through organizations such as the UN and NASA

Linn Clabburn

Originally from Sweden, Linn is the Programme Director of the Cambridge Norwich Tech Corridor, a partnership initiative set up to attract and support investment and sustainable. inclusive economic growth across the region

Loubna Bouarfa

Loubna Founder and CEO - 15 years researching the field of artificial intelligence (AI), Loubna's goal is to move the healthcare industry towards a future of personalised medicine powered by explainable AI.

Louise Birritteri

CEO & Founder at Pikl and board member of the UK STAA

Peter Knight

Engineering Lead at Majico

Rachael Andrews

Chosen for the chief scientific officers women in science and engineering healthcare science leadership development programme

Rachel Briant

Rachel creates opportunities for the business, charitable and public sectors to collaborate for greater social impact. Using her Consultancy Service, Rachel connects people, delivers change and harnesses resource as a force good

Ravi Solanki

Co-founder of Primera Impact

Rend Platings

CEO at Sugarwise

Rita Cristina Leitao

QA team lead at Switch Studios

Ruchi Sharma

Ruchi is Founder and CEO of Stemnovate limited. She led a million-pound project co-funded by Innovate UK (2017-2019) to successfully deliver cutting edge liver on chip technology

Sachin Shende

Co-founder and CEO at KisanHub

Samer Kurdi

Community engagement lead at Majico and experimental physicist –He works with the local community in Tanzania to deliver water treatment solutions, whilst also researching for sustainable ways to store data

Sarah Howell

CEO at Arecor – passionate about transforming patient care by advancing today’s therapies to enable healthier, happier lives

Serena Belluschi

Serena is co-founder and operations lead at Majico and scientist a Mogrify. She combines her interest and work in cell therapy with her other goal: providing affordable and off-grid water purification technologies to the developing world

Thuria Wenbar

Co-founded, an online pharmacy service enabling easy and discreet access to prescription medication without having to visit your GP surgery

Veena Adityan

Founder & CEO at Smartbell

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

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