Founders of two ventures with Cambridge Judge Business School connections – LifNano Therapeutics and Footprints Cafes – honoured at the annual Business Weekly Awards.
Both ventures, supported by Accelerate Cambridge, run by the Entrepreneurship Centre at Cambridge Judge Business School, and Cambridge Social Ventures, run by the CJBS Centre for Social Innovation, were honoured with top prizes on 22 March at the awards ceremony held at Queens’ College, Cambridge.
Dr Su Metcalfe, founder and Chief Scientific Officer of LifNano Therapeutics was named winner of the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year, which was sponsored by Cambridge Judge as part of the School’s Wo+Men’s Leadership Initiative.
LifNano Therapeutics was founded in 2013 at the University of Cambridge’s Clinical School, where Dr Metcalfe had discovered the value of a small protein called Leukaemia Inhibitory Factor (LIF) to treat multiple sclerosis (MS). She went on to invent a simple nano-engineered form of LIF (LIFNano) designed to target disease in MS patients. The venture was recently awarded £1 million funding through Innovate UK to support a move into clinical development, with the first clinical trial in humans planned in a few years.
Sucheta Nadkarni, Sinyi Professor of Chinese Management at Cambridge Judge, who announced the winner, explained that “the prize was for a woman entrepreneur who had demonstrated outstanding achievements in the last 12 months.”
Georgina Hemmingway, founder of Footprints Cafes, was awarded The Kate Gross Prize for Social Enterprise. Georgina, an alumna of Postgraduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship programme (2014), founded a chain of sustainable enterprise cafés in 2016 and has been given support by Cambridge entrepreneur Dr Darrin Disley.
Footprint Cafes pledges to re-invest 100 per cent of net profits into local communities. Georgina aims to appeal to ethically motivated tourists, giving them an authentic local experience combined with world-class standards.
Presenting the award David Gill of St John’s Innovation Centre said: “Georgina has founded the venture aiming to leverage Cambodia’s thriving travel and tourism trade and raise money to feed and educate the needy in the reviving population; to train future generations of home-grown entrepreneurs; and to transform Cambodian life and society through sustainable educational and enterprise projects.”