2021 Founders to watch awards
This group is driving innovation in therapeutics, diagnostics, sustainable foods and more. Each founder will receive access to individually tailored coaching from CEOs and experts to help accelerate the growth of their companies.
Co-Founder and CEO at LatchBio
I was born and raised in Mexico and came to the US to study Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at UC Berkeley. After short stints at Facebook and Google, my passion for big ideas and bleeding edge science led me to drop out with Kenny and Kyle to start LatchBio. Biotech is solving the worlds biggest challenges, yet the best data software is made for ad-optimization companies. LatchBio aims to build and disseminate a world-class data infrastructure for the biocomputing revolution.
CEO at Lucy Therapeutics, Inc.
Amy Ripka is CEO of Lucy Therapeutics, a Boston-based, mitochondrial platform biotech revolutionizing treatments for rare and neurological diseases. She received her PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and subsequently worked in the lab of Nobel Laureate K. Barry Sharpless for her post-doctoral studies. She has over 30 issued patents and has been involved in multiple INDs in different therapeutic areas. She is currently a SAB member at Caraway Therapeutics and Q BioMed. In her spare time, she plays classical violin professionally in and around the Boston area and has performed with such artists as Yo-Yo Ma, Hillary Hahn, Peter Gabriel, Sarah McLachlan and Smokey Robinson.
Co-Founder + CEO at Yard Stick PBC
Chris Tolles, CEO and Co-Founder of Yard Stick PBC, is a Boston-based entrepreneur focused on science commercialization which addresses climate change. Previous to his founding roles, Chris worked with HBS Professor Clay Christensen, creator of the theory of disruptive innovation, at Clay’s firm Innosight, focused on entrepreneurial innovation efforts at large corporate clients. Chris holds an MBA from Boston University and a BFA in Furniture Design from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).
Co-founder & CEO at Aralez Inc.
Christina Boville is the co-founder and CEO of Aralez Bio, a startup harnessing enzymes to unlock hundreds of new amino acids. She has been recognized as one of MIT Technology Review's Innovators Under 35 and was awarded a fellowship from Activate, the premier program for hardtech entrepreneurs. Boville received her Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Colorado and conducted her postdoctoral research at Caltech as a Resnick Prize Postdoctoral Fellow, where she co-developed the enzyme platform that Aralez Bio uses today. Boville founded Aralez Bio in 2019 alongside Dr. David Romney and Prof. Frances Arnold, and since then the company has secured venture funding, won prizes from the Rothenberg Innovation Initiative and Caltech Rocket Fund, and counts top global companies among its customers.
Emerging CEO at Kano Therapeutics
Floris Engelhardt is Co-Founder and emerging CEO of Kano Therapeutics, a company spun out of MIT’s Prof. Mark Bathe, BatheBioNanoLab where she worked as postdoctoral researcher. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the Friedrich-Schiller University in Jena, a master’s degree in Molecular Biotechnology, and a Doctoral Degree in Physics from the Technical University of Munich. Her work focuses on single-stranded DNA production and Nucleic Acid Nanostructures for gene and cell therapy.
Cofounder at Nabla Bio Inc
Frances is a cofounder of Nabla Bio, a biotech start-up focused on integrating machine learning and protein design to engineer novel proteins. Her previous experiences span venture creation at Flagship Pioneering, R&D at NIBR and analytics in healthcare consulting. Frances has a PhD from Harvard University where she was an Onassis Scholar and worked on advancing therapeutic applications of DNA origami.
CEO at Manifold Bio
Gleb is co-founder and CEO of Manifold Bio, a Boston-based startup creating protein therapeutics with an in vivo biologics design platform. Gleb holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT and a Ph.D. from the Harvard Biophysics program. As a graduate student, he led several projects and teams applying DNA technologies to engineering proteins and genomes. This passion for building teams to build cutting-edge technology and take on challenging problems led to Manifold Bio, which he co-founded with his colleague Pierce Ogden (CSO), their advisor George Church, and Shane Lofgren (Head of BD). In addition to hacking DNA, Gleb is an avid kiteboarder.
Co-founder / CEO at Modern Synthesis
Jen is the co-founder and CEO of Modern Synthesis, a London based biomaterial company. She has been widely recognized for her biodesign work, winning the 2018 Mills Techstyle prize, LVMH Green Trail Award, and Honorable Mention in the 2019 STARTS Prize. Working previously for German sportswear giant Adidas in materials design, development and creative direction, she holds a masters degree in Material Futures from Central Saint Martins and a Bachelor of Science in Fiber Science and Apparel Design from Cornell University.
Co-Founder and CEO at Glyphic Biotechnologies
Hi, I'm Josh, the co-founder and CEO of Glyphic Biotechnologies, a biotechnology startup commercializing a next-generation protein sequencer. I previously co-founded Nephrosant, a diagnostics startup focused on prediction of kidney transplant rejection. As a student in the MD-PhD program at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and in the MBA program at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, I was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 Healthcare list in 2021. In my free time, I enjoy going to farmer's markets on Sunday mornings, sipping on dirty chai lattes, and creating pastries from scratch.
Founder & CEO at Stemloop, Inc.
Khalid Alam is the Founder and CEO of Stemloop. He holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and a graduate certificate in Life Science Innovation and Entrepreneurship from the University of Missouri. He then trained as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Northwestern University (NU), where he led efforts in the lab of Prof. Julius Lucks, in collaboration with Prof. Michael Jewett, to develop cell-free biosensors. While at NU he received a Business for Scientists and Engineers Certificate from the Kellogg School of Management. At Stemloop, Khalid is responsible for defining the vision, building the culture and team, fundraising, and advancing technological innovations into commercial products that address global challenges.
CEO at Compound Foods
Maricel is the founder and CEO of Compound Foods, a food-tech startup recreating coffee without coffee beans. Maricel and Compound aim to create a sustainable coffee that reduces the negative environmental impact on the planet and ensures we have coffee for the foreseeable future. Maricel is a Costa Rica native, passionate about sustainability and coffee. She has a Bachelor of Commerce from The University of British Columbia and attended Singularity University's Global Solutions Program. Maricel has a background in finance and previously co-founded Nextbiotics, a synthetic biology startup addressing antibiotic resistance. She worked in international development in South Africa, with local entrepreneurs, and in Cambodia with Hellen Keller International to empower women.
Founder at Lingua Franca Therapeutics, Inc.
Lingua Franca Therapeutics, Inc.
Michael Gidding is founder & CEO of Lingua Franca Therapeutics, a stealth-mode healthcare startup. Before Lingua Franca, he was an early employee at Kaleido Biosciences and other companies launched out of Flagship Pioneering. Michael received his MBA, Master of Engineering, and BS degrees in a five-year combined degree program at Washington University in St. Louis, including a year spent at Imperial College London. Michael has been active on behalf of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Massachusetts, CGI U, American Cancer Society, and other nonprofits.
Co-Founder and CEO at Vulcan Biologics
Mike Koeris is the CEO and co-founder of Vulcan Biologics, a startup aiming to use the bodies own microbiome to make therapeutics. Prior to founding Vulcan, Mike helped a therapeutics company go public (BiomX), and before that he sold his first startup (Sample6).
CEO at Medsix
Nikin is the Co-Founder and CEO of Medsix, a medical device startup based in Boston focused on improving post-operative recovery management. Prior to Medsix, Nikin was the founding engineer at a deep-tech startup developing novel radiation detectors. He has a background in electronics and has been the recipient of several awards including BostInno's Top 25 Under 25, Forbes U30 Scholar and Young Global Shaper at the World Economic Forum.
CEO at Somnial Inc.
Billy Hanes is Founder and CEO of Somnial Inc., developing a noninvasive nerve stimulator to treat obstructive sleep apnea and other indications. As an inventor and patent attorney, he holds several patents and has served as an advisor and executive in early-stage companies and to numerous innovators. His passion is for developing disruptive technologies to improve patient health and change the way medicine is practiced. Dr. Hanes received his Ph.D. from Stony Brook University for work done in the laboratory of Kevin Tracey, a leader in bioelectronic medicine, a JD from Cardozo School of Law, and a BA from Miami University.