The 2022 Founders Forum Rising Stars
The Founders Forum and Silicon Valley Bank have once again shed light on the top five companies with global change potential to join the 2022 Rising Star cohort.
Founders Forum is a global community powered by events from technology founders, business CEOs and senior investors. The initiative, born out of the annual tech event Founders Forum, seeks to discover early-stage startups with potential for global change. Each year, Founders Forum taps into its network of investors and other companies in the Founders Family ecosystem to seek out the most ambitious founders and teams, innovative and disruptive uses of technology, and inspiring solutions to important problems. and important.
This year’s entrepreneurs are transforming healthcare and robotics, while exploring the world of NFTs and blockchain technology. They use their expertise and drive to improve the reality of those around them who are “building our future,” according to Founders Forum. Each of the five is an example of a determined founder with the relentless ambition to change the world, described as having “global change potential” by the list’s independent judging panel.
Previous Rising Stars listmakers have included Babylon, Bumble, Fanbytes, Desktop Metal, Duolingo, Farfetch, Hertility, Lemonade, Pillpack, Shazam and TransferWise.
Alexei Zamiatin. Co-founder, Divider
Originally from Vienna and now living in London, Zamyatin is a researcher and software engineer with a particular interest in the security and decentralization of cryptocurrencies. Zamyatin has been contributing to Bitcoin research since 2015 and earned a PhD in Computer Science from Imperial College London, focusing on Bitcoin and blockchains.
Zamyatin is now co-founder and CEO of Interlay, an R&D company focused on blockchain interoperability. The startup unlocks decentralized use cases for Bitcoin on major blockchain networks, so people can invest, earn, and pay with Bitcoin on any blockchain. Interlay describes itself as “radically open and insurance-secure” and its team includes coders, early Bitcoiners and DeFi natives.
Dr Ariane Gomes. Co-founder and Scientific Director, Baseimmune
Since founding Baseimmune in late 2019, Gomes has acted as CEO and CSO, leading its £4.2m fundraiser with his co-founders. She is responsible for executive and scientific strategy and oversees company operations. Gomes is a biologist specializing in immunology and vaccine development with 15 years of experience working in laboratories. She began her career in the pharmaceutical sector in quality control before moving into R&D and holds a doctorate in clinical medicine from the Nuffield Department of Medicine.
Founded in 2019, Baseimmune is a biotech startup whose mission is to create the next generation of vaccines, specializing in pathogen analysis for antigen discovery and vaccine design. Many of its operations harness the power of big data and Baseimmune’s goal is to create vaccines with plasticity; effective against current and future unknown strains and variants.
Isaac Bentata. Co-founder, Fair.xyz
Previously employed at Goldman Sachs, where Bentata worked as a quantitative trader in the Fixed Income team creating automated market-making algorithms for illiquid markets, Bentata holds a BEng (Hons) in Engineering Chemistry and an MSc in Machine Learning from University College London.
Bentata is now applying its knowledge of blockchain technology to Fair, a no-code platform that allows creators and collectors to launch NFTs and other digital assets “in minutes, end-to-end, and completely code-free” requiring only your artwork and a crypto wallet and taking 6% of the revenue from the primary sale. Bentata leads both blockchain development and strategy for the platform and deployed the blockchain infrastructure behind the recent Ukraine NFT sale, the first-ever government-backed NFT.
Doctor Nicholas Hawker. Founder, First Light Fusion
Hawker’s fusion research began in 2007 as part of his master’s thesis, where he worked at the University of Oxford with Yiannis Ventikos. This work continued in a DPhil, where Hawker performed hydrodynamic simulations of impact cavity collapse. These simulations showed that the collapse of the cavity leads to an inertial confinement of the gas inside the cavity and revealed that extreme states of matter could be reached, possibly entering the fusion regime.
To explore the concept of generating energy via this process, Hawker and Ventikos co-founded First Light Fusion Ltd in 2011. Beginning life at Oxford University, First Light continues to work closely with academia and is , in his own words, “solving the fusion power problem with the simplest machine possible” in a way that could be a much safer option than the nuclear power plants we have today. Recently, Hawker and his team successfully demonstrated hot fusion, the process that powers the sun, using its own proprietary technology.
Doctor Paolo Pirjanian. Founder, Embodied
Described as a founder, technologist and industry leader in robotics, Paolo Pirjanian is the former CTO of iRobot with over sixteen years of experience developing and marketing cutting-edge home robots. Prior to founding Embodied, he worked on Mars rovers at NASA and led teams and companies at iRobot, Evolution Robotics and others. Pirjanian had been fascinated by AI and robotics since childhood and remembers being inspired by Luxo Jr., a short animation in a Pixar documentary.
Embodied, Inc. was founded in 2016 by Pirjanian, whose mission is to make robots smarter and more useful, so that they become part of everyday life. The company is rethinking and reinventing the way human-machine interaction works, beyond simple verbal commands. One example is Moxie, a robot capable of understanding and expressing emotions, with believable emotive speech, facial expressions and body language, and focused on healthy child development. In Pirjanian’s own words, “It’s fun to do the impossible, but it can also be a bit scary.”
Learn more about the Founders Forum Rising Stars website here.