skip to content

Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

Forbes 30 Under 30

24 April 2023 - CISL’s Canopy and Accelerator alumni are showcased in this year’s prestigious Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe.

A Canopy member and four Accelerator alumni made this year's listing - all female entrepreneurs - celebrating them as pioneering in their fields. Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe recognises the top industry figures across Europe, and the list illustrates the power young entrepreneurs and leaders have to transform business and society.

Keep reading to hear more about these incredible innovators:

Advanced Infrastructure – Co-founders Lily Cairns Haylor and Suhas Dattatreya

Advanced Infrastructure streamlines the process of planning local energy transitions for private enterprises, local governments, and distribution network operators. Based in the U.K., this company specialises in modelling and forecasting the potential outcomes of diverse energy strategies, assisting power utilities, municipalities, and developers in constructing energy grids and devising efficient decarbonisation routes. Noteworthy clients encompass prominent electricity distribution network operators such as Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, UK Power Networks, and National Grid Electricity Distribution. With cumulative funding exceeding $3 million, Advanced Infrastructure is poised to continue facilitating sustainable energy development.

“CISL’s startup ecosystem Canopy'was our first physical office space and has been instrumental in our growth. As a startup, moving into office space like Canopy helped us scale by providing a great workspace to work with larger clients. As a cleantech company, being part of an office space and community that prioritises sustainability is critical. Beyond facilities, Canopy and CISL's vibrant community has opened doors to great networking opportunities, connecting us with industry leaders, academia, potential clients, and like-minded entrepreneurs. This ecosystem has expanded our professional network and facilitated mentorship and advice from experts. Canopy organises useful workshops on critical topics for its startups such as intellectual property (IP) and hiring strategies, further enhancing operational knowledge and capabilities. We love being part of the ecosystem which has accelerated our growth and helped inspire us through such a motivated and driven community.”

Karishma Gupta, Co-founder of Eslando Circular Fashion & Circular Disruptors Accelerator Alumni

Karishma Gupta embarked on her professional journey as a clothing production manager, yet her trajectory shifted dramatically upon witnessing the staggering scale of the Ghazipur Landfill in Delhi. Confronted with the immense and seemingly insurmountable waste plaguing the clothing industry, Gupta was spurred into action. Thus, Eslando was born, with a steadfast mission to revolutionise textile recycling. At the core of Eslando's vision lies the innovative "Digital Product Passport" concept, seamlessly connecting discarded clothing to recycling facilities. This passport equips textile recyclers with crucial composition and certification data, facilitating efficient and commercially viable textile recycling practices. Eslando's groundbreaking efforts have not gone unnoticed; the company was recently awarded a prestigious $190,000 grant by Innovate U.K. Furthermore, Eslando enjoys widespread support from numerous global textile recyclers, has forged collaborations with various small fashion brands, and has solidified a partnership with the U.K. Textile Recycling Association.

Beren Kayali, Co-founder of Deploy Tech & selected for UNICEF Innovation 30

Deploy introduces a groundbreaking solution with its revolutionary air-deployable water tanks, crafted from concrete-filled fabric, and engineered specifically for swift deployment during emergency relief operations. According to their assertions, these tanks offer a remarkable 85% reduction in carbon emissions compared to conventional methods. Their rapid assembly time of just 24 hours has facilitated crucial water, sanitation, and hygiene services for over 135,000 individuals daily in disaster-stricken regions, including those affected by the 2023 earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. Backed by nearly $2 million in funding and accolades from prominent U.K. institutions, Deploy sets its sights on impacting the lives of 1 billion people by 2030.

“If you would ask to summarise my life in one word, I would pick resilience. From my upbringing to the mental resilience entrepreneurship requires and from building resilient infrastructure in the midst of climate challenges to raising resilient daughters of my own, this is the theme of my life “

Valentina Dipietro, Co-founder of Mykor & Innovators for the Built Environment Accelerator alumni

Mykor is a pioneering biotechnology startup with a mission to drive decarbonisation within the construction sector. At the heart of Mykor's innovation lies the development of insulation panels crafted from industrial residues and mycelium, manufactured through advanced 3D printing techniques. This breakthrough not only promises cost savings for homeowners but also contributes to reduced energy consumption. Mykor asserts that the production process of MykoFoam consumes 90% less water and 40% less electricity compared to conventional polystyrene insulation materials. With an impressive total funding nearing $2 million, Mykor stands poised to revolutionise the construction industry's sustainability efforts.

"Since finishing Innovators for the Built Environment Accelerator we have raised £1.8M in funding and grown the team to 12 wonderful people - the relationships I formed have been pivotal to building my confidence within construction and to understanding the market on a deeper level, sharpening our value proposition. Forbes 30 Under 30 is the cherry on top and a brilliant recognition of our work. 2024 is going to be big for Mykor as we are looking forward to launching our MykoFoam to market after 5 years of development and to start scaling across Europe."

Chloe Donovan, Co-founder and Managing Director of Natural Building Systems & Innovators for the Built Environment Accelerator alumni

In her role as co-founder and managing director of Natural Building Systems, Chloe Donovan spearheads efforts aimed at decarbonising both the construction and agriculture sectors. Central to their approach is the promotion of bio-based insulation sourced from locally cultivated high-carbon capture crops. This strategic choice not only enhances the energy efficiency of buildings but also turns them into active agents for natural carbon sequestration, thereby fostering healthier living environments. Natural Building Systems provides comprehensive prefabricated construction solutions, encompassing breathable walls, roofing, cladding, and flooring. With total funding reaching nearly $2 million, including support from investors such as Carbon13, the company is poised to continue making significant strides in sustainable building practices.

CISL’s Innovation work catalyses entrepreneurial leadership to accelerate solutions to global challenges. This includes our Canopy community and workspace for sustainability startups. Find out more.






Zoe Kalus, Head of Media  

Email | +44 (0) 7845652839