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The #21toWatch Top21.2020 Revealed In Live Broadcast

The #21toWatch Top21.2020 were unveiled today via a live online broadcast owing to the ongoing restrictions arising out of the coronavirus pandemic.

The annual awards ceremony – created and curated by cofinitive PR and communications company – celebrates the outstanding talent within our region’s disruptive science and tech industries: the seven people, seven companies and seven ‘things’, all setting the standards in cutting-edge innovation and entrepreneurship across the globe, and across varying sectors and scale. The winners are listed below and can be found in the Top21.2020 brochure.


Success, innovation and turnover are nothing without bright, original, creative people. And these are the seven #21toWatch Top21.2020 standout individuals who are accelerating the pace of change, pushing both technology and industry to constantly evolve:

Brigitte Bard, Founder & CEO, BioSure: With her startup Biosure, Brigitte has developed an HIV self-testing kit. The products are already approved for use in Britain and South Africa and are dispensed in vending machines at some hospitals.

Serena Belluschi, Co-Founder & Operations Lead, Majico/Scientist, Mogrify: Serena combines her interest and work in cell therapy with her other goal to provide affordable and off-grid water purification technologies to the developing world.

John Cassidy, Co-Founder & CEO, CCG.ai: With a background in cancer research in both academia and pharma, John’s startup is transforming cancer care through its AI platform for DNA analysis – enabling oncologists to provide more effective, personalised treatment for cancer patients.

Fotis Fotiadis, Co-Founder & CEO, Entomics: Through his startup, Fotis is pioneering the transformation of organic waste into high quality functional animal feed – and helping to reduce the 1.3 billion tonnes of food wasted globally every year.

Dr Katja Hofmann, Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research (Cambridge): Dr Katja Hofmann leads the Game Intelligence theme, developing new AI approaches with applications in video games, and other real-world applications.

Ruchi Sharma, Founder & CEO, Stemnovate Ltd: Ruchi led a million-pound project co-funded by Innovate UK, developing a ‘liver-on-a-chip’ system, which uses human liver cells on microchips as a testbed for drug toxicity.

Beth Singler, Junior Research Fellow in Artificial Intelligence, University of Cambridge: 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.



These are the #21toWatch Top21.2020 innovative companies across Cambridge and the East of England, en route to being industry game-changers locally, nationally and globally:

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.

Cambridge Cancer Genomics (CCG): 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: A startup which has developed a potentially game-changing solution to climate change. Their patented CO2LOC technology offers a realistic solution to climate change by enabling industry to profitably sequester CO2 through a two-stage mineralization process.

KisanHub: Their Enterprise SaaS platform connects farmers, agronomists and procurement managers enabling them to more efficiently manage their supply chains.

Nu Quantum Ltd: University of Cambridge spin-out developing ground-breaking quantum hardware components and end-to-end quantum cryptography systems.

Reflection Therapeutics: A startup developing cell therapies for the treatment of MND (motor neurone disease) and other devastating neurodegenerative diseases. Their technology guides anti-inflammatory cell therapies directly to tissue sites of need.

Riverlane.io: A research-led start-up developing Quantum computing software technology which is transforming the discovery of new materials and drugs.



We marvel at the products that people and companies create and celebrate the invention, product or development. These are the #21toWatch Top21.2020 ground-breaking ‘things’:

AudioTelligence: This exciting startup is leading the world in blind audio signal separation from multi-microphone captured audio. Their revolutionary AudioTelligence technologies greatly out-perform existing ‘state-of-the art’​ commercially available technologies.

FlexEnable: The Cambridge University spinout has developed and industrialised the lowest cost organic electronics platform for flexible, ultrathin and ultralight displays and optical modules that can be applied to almost any surface.

Foundries.io: Their flagship product FoundriesFactory is a secure, customizable embedded Linux platform that enables customers, regardless of size, to develop, deploy and maintain secure Internet of Things and Edge devices for life.

Herdsy: This award-winning company has developed a low-cost animal tracking technology, which takes the guesswork out of livestock farming and is helping to solve the biggest issue in the Beef Industry, namely sustainability.

PBD Biotech: Developed by PBD Biotech, Actiphage is the world’s first rapid, sensitive blood test for tuberculosis. By detecting live mycobacteria, at an early stage of infection, it enables effective disease control of human and bovine TB.

Techspert.io: Developers of the world’s first AI-driven solution to knowledge exchange, using AI technology powered by machine learning to connect businesses with experts to help them make more informed decisions.

Xampla: Plastic pollution is choking our planet but Xampla has a highly innovative solution … a natural plastic alternative entirely made from peas!


To generate the final Top 21, cofinitive  engaged with an independent panel of judges, selected for their independence and expertise. The judges rotate each year and, for 2020, were: Isabel Fox, General Partner and co-founder of London-based venture capital firm, Luminous Ventures; Bruno Cotta, Executive Director of Cambridge Judge Business School’s Entrepreneurship Centre; Siddhi Trivedi, a multi-award-winning disruptor in technology with 30 years of business innovation, and Tim Robinson, the first Chief Operating Officer of Tech East, the leading voice of the digital tech community in the East of England.

The judges assessed each nomination according to five strict criteria: Innovation, Challenge, Influence, Viability and Memorability.

Entrepreneur and cofinitive Founder, Faye Holland – who created the #21toWatch Awards – said: “This year’s entries have been a much truer reflection of the diversity of industries and sectors building here in Cambridge. As well as receiving submissions for amazing biotech, medtech and life sciences companies, we also had submissions for some really exciting cleantech and agritech companies, and I especially loved that.

“It’s the convergence of all these amazing and very different technologies and sectors, coming together to produce genuinely world-changing innovation, that sets the East of England apart from anywhere else in the world.”

cofinitive’s #21toWatch campaign was launched in 2017 to showcase and highlight the lesser known but outstanding talent within our region’s science and tech industries; those that really deserve recognition, funding and support because what they are doing is truly ground-breaking.

As well as a bespoke sustainable trophy, the winners each received a prize package designed to help them on their next stage of growth and development.

The prize package includes: One-month free drop-in membership at The Bradfield Centre; one-hour business health check with Birketts; podcast with BOOST&Co; podcast with pwc; seminar lunch with Pennington Manches Cooper; free pitch assessment with Price Bailey; 12-months’ free banking with HSBC (covering online banking, payments etc); tailored comms clinic with cofinitive; complimentary lecture/coaching session in the Judge Business School’s Accelerate Cambridge programme; signed copy of Peter Cowley’s book, Founder to Founder; and a chance to participate in a dry pitch run with members of the Foresight East of England Fund investment team.

We are hugely grateful for the support of our sponsors – arm, Birketts, Boost & Co, Foresight Group, HSBC, Penningtons Manches Cooper, Price Bailey, pwc, Judge Business School Entrepreneurship Centre; and our partners Cambridge Independent, Cambridge Norwich Tech Corridor, Engage East, Impact Women’s Network, Invested Investor, St John’s Innovation Centre, Tech East, Tech Nation and The Bradfield Centre.

For details of the full #21toWatch programme and lists, please go to www.cofinitive.com/21toWatch .