The Founders Forum Rising Stars Of 2022


Founders Forum and Silicon Valley Bank have once again spotlighted the top five companies with world-changing potential to join the 2022 Rising Star cohort.

Founders Forum is an event-driven global community of leading tech founders, corporate CEOs and senior investors. Born out of the annual Founders Forum technology event, the initiative aims to discover early-stage startups with world-changing potential. Each year, Founders Forum leverages its network of investors and other companies in the Founders Family ecosystem to search for the most ambitious founders and teams, new and disruptive uses of technology, and inspiring solutions to big and important problems.

This year’s entrepreneurs are transforming healthcare and robotics, exploring the world of NFTs and blockchain technology. They use their expertise and drive to improve the reality of the people around them who are “building our future,” according to Founders Forum. Each of the five exemplifies a determined founder with an unwavering ambition to change the world, described as having “world-changing potential” by the list’s independent jury.

Past Rising Stars list-makers have included Babylon, Bumble, Fanbytes, Desktop Metal, Duolingo, Farfetch, Hertility, Lemonade, Pillpack, Shazam, and TransferWise.


Alexei Zamyatin. co-founder, Interlay

Originally from Vienna and now living in London, Zamyatin is a researcher and software engineer with a special interest in the security and decentralization of cryptocurrencies. Zamyatin has contributed to Bitcoin research since 2015 and obtained a computer science doctorate from Imperial College London, with an emphasis on Bitcoin and blockchains.

Zamyatin is now the co-founder and CEO of Interlay, an R&D company focused on blockchain interoperability. The startup is unlocking decentralized use cases for Bitcoin in major blockchain networks, allowing people to invest, earn and pay with Bitcoin on any blockchain. Interlay describes itself as “radically open and secured by insurance” and the team is made up of coders, early Bitcoiners and DeFi natives.

Dr Ariane Gomes. Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, basic immunity

Since the founding of Baseimmune in late 2019, Gomes has acted as CEO and CSO and led the £4.2 million fundraising effort with her co-founders. She is responsible for executive and scientific strategy and oversees business activities. Gomes is a biologist specializing in immunology and vaccine development with 15 years of experience in laboratories. She started her career in the pharmaceutical sector in quality control before moving to R&D and obtained a PhD in clinical medicine from the Nuffield Department of Medicine.

Founded in 2019, Baseimmune is a biotech startup with a mission to create the next generation of vaccines, specializing in pathogen analysis for antigen discovery and vaccine design. Many of his operations leverage the power of big data and Baseimmune’s goal is to make vaccines with plasticity; effective against current and future unknown strains and variants.

Isaac Bentata. co-founder,

Bentata previously worked at Goldman Sachs, where Bentata worked as a quantitative trader on the fixed income team, building automated market making algorithms for illiquid markets. Bentata holds a BEng (Hons) in chemical engineering 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 cryptocurrency to be. wallet and taking 6% of the primary sale proceeds. Bentata leads both blockchain development and strategy for the platform and implemented the blockchain infrastructure behind Ukraine’s recent NFT sale, the first-ever government-backed NFT.

Doctor Nicholas Hawker. Founder, First light fusion

Hawker’s research on fusion 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 shock-driven cavity collapse. These simulations showed that cavity collapse leads to inertial confinement of the gas in the cavity and revealed that extreme states of matter can be reached, possibly entering the regime for fusion.

To explore the concept of power generation through this process, Hawker and Ventikos co-founded First Light Fusion Ltd in 2011. First Light started at the University of Oxford and continues to work closely with academia and is, in their own words, “solving the problem of fusion energy with the simplest possible machine” in a way that could be a much safer option. are than the nuclear power plants we have today. Recently, Hawker and his team successfully demonstrated hot fusion, the process that fuels the sun, using its own proprietary technology.

Dr Paolo Pirjanian. Founder, embodied

Described as a leading founder, technologist and leader in robotics, Paolo Pirjanian is the former CTO of iRobot with over sixteen years of experience developing and commercializing advanced home robots. Before founding Embodied, he worked on Mars rovers at NASA and led teams and companies at iRobot, Evolution Robotics, and others. Pirjanian was fascinated by AI and robotics from childhood and recalls being inspired by Luxo Jr., a short animation featured 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 how human-machine interaction is performed, in addition to simple verbal commands. An example of this is Moxie, a robot with the ability to understand and express emotions, with emotional speech, believable facial expressions and body language, and aimed at the healthy development of children. In Pirjanian’s own words: “It’s fun to do the impossible, but it can also be a little scary.”

Read more on the Founders Forum Rising Stars website here


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