FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | November 22, 2021

Chemical & Engineering News announces 2021 list of 10 chemistry start-ups to watch

WASHINGTON, Nov. 22, 2021 — Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society (ACS), unveiled its annual list of 10 chemistry start-ups to watch. The companies were chosen from among hundreds of firms suggested by readers and identified by C&EN reporters who scoured the chemical, biotech and materials world for young companies with great promise. The magazine’s writers and editors narrowed the list down to the final 10, and this week’s C&EN cover story profiles these companies and their potentially world-changing innovations.  

Below is the full 10 Start-Ups to Watch list for 2021, along with a brief explainer of what each is being recognized for:

BioPhero: Making bio-based pheromones on the cheap

Bota Bio: Optimizing biomanufacturing, inspired by nature

C-Zero: Producing hydrogen without leaving a carbon footprint

Eikon Therapeutics: Analyzing protein movement to improve drug discovery

Factorial Energy: Making a high-performing, safe, solid-state battery

Kojin Therapeutics: Harnessing cancer cell states

Mobilion Systems: Improving separations of biological molecules

Natural Fiber Welding: Making plant-based, plastic-free leather

Rome Therapeutics: Exploring repeating DNA stretches

Sudoc: Outperforming toxic chemicals

“Innovation in science is essential to build greener and more inclusive societies. The companies in C&EN’s 10 Start-Ups to Watch are working to create a more sustainable world using the power of chemistry,” says Bibiana Campos Seijo, editor-in-chief of C&EN. “The firms in the 2021 list have devised processes to turn methane into cheap hydrogen and solid carbon without also producing carbon dioxide, have found new imaging tools that screen for molecules that change protein movement in the search for leads on tough-to-drug proteins, and have designed alternatives to pesticides using insect sex pheromones. It is possible to imagine a better future with C&EN’s 10 Start-Ups to Watch.”

The American Chemical Society (ACS) is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. ACS’ mission is to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and all its people. The Society is a global leader in promoting excellence in science education and providing access to chemistry-related information and research through its multiple research solutions, peer-reviewed journals, scientific conferences, eBooks and weekly news periodical Chemical & Engineering News. ACS journals are among the most cited, most trusted and most read within the scientific literature; however, ACS itself does not conduct chemical research. As a leader in scientific information solutions, its CAS division partners with global innovators to accelerate breakthroughs by curating, connecting and analyzing the world’s scientific knowledge. ACS’ main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

To automatically receive press releases from the American Chemical Society, contact


Note: ACS does not conduct research, but publishes and publicizes peer-reviewed scientific studies.

Media Contact

ACS Newsroom