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St Johns Innovation Centre
17 December, 2020 - 20:27 By Tony Quested

Cambridge quartet aim to add strings to their bows

Life sciences duo Start Codon and Evonetix, Cambridge sensors innovator Sorex and AI shooting star are among the latest entrants to the 2020-2021 Business Weekly Awards.

Start Codon, which has entered the Life Science Innovation Award, represents a new model of life science and healthcare business accelerator, based at the Cambridge Biomedical Innovation Hub.

This year Start Codon closed a £15 million fund, which will be used to support its related life science and healthcare business accelerator’s offering to startups. 

This includes a minimum of £250K seed funding, business support services, expert guidance, and access to cutting-edge office and lab facilities. Investors in the fund include Novartis and Cambridge Innovation Capital. 

Through its accelerator, Start Codon has revolutionised the way life science and healthcare innovation is developed and commercialised, through de-risking investment opportunities by helping to spin startups out of institutions and providing startups with the support and resources that they need to thrive.

Evonetix is gunning for glory in the Disruptive Technology category. In March  Evonetix closed a £23 million Series B round, led by San Francisco-based investor Foresite Capital. 

The company is developing the technology to allow biology to address some of the world’s greatest problems across a wide range of industries, from pharmaceuticals and biotech, food and agriculture, chemicals, materials and energy. 

This year, it announced partnerships with major industry players including imec, a world-leading research and innovation hub active in the fields of nanoelectronics and digital technologies, and Analog Devices, a global high-performance analog technology company. These collaborations will fast track the development and scale-up of Evonetix’s first product, its desktop DNA writer, which is set to change how scientists access, make and use DNA.

Cambridge University spin-out Sorex Sensors is a candidate in both the Young Company of the Year and Disruptive Technology categories of the Awards.

The global market for sensors – valued at $153.3 billion in 2018 – is expected to increase to $323.3 billion by 2024. Sorex launched its first product based on its breakthrough film bulk acoustic resonator (FBAR) sensor technology last year. It consists of a particulate sensor along with an accompanying development kit – and is designed for use in devices for monitoring indoor air quality.

The FBAR sensor developed by Sorex is extremely small, measuring less than 0.5 square millimetres. It uses microwatts for power and can detect changes in mass down to femtograms – the weight of a single virus. That makes it the most accurate and cost-effective sensor available. has entered three categories – AI Innovation, Young Company and Disruptive Technology. is transforming the way knowledge is shared around the world by making it quicker, more precise, and accessible.

It has developed AI-driven search technology that trawls through billions of online data points to find high-quality subject matter experts. It then matches these specialists with businesses who need their domain-specific, primary insights to make better-informed decisions.

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