Science Creates founder wins National Icon of the Year at Barclays Entrepreneurs Awards

Dr Harry Destecroix
Dr Harry Destecroix

Scientist, entrepreneur and founder of Bristol-based Science Creates, Dr Harry Destecroix, has been crowned a national winner at the Barclays Entrepreneur Awards.

Harry was named as Barclays Entrepreneur Icon of the Year, an award that recognises entrepreneurs who have successfully turned their vision into reality.

The award celebrates those individuals who have achieved their goals by building teams, forming key strategic alliances and overcoming the challenges in scaling their business to deliver significant growth.

In 2014 Harry set up his own company, Ziylo, which was purchased by a pharmaceutical giant in a deal worth up to $800 million.

Unit DX was then set up in collaboration with the University of Bristol in 2017 to help commercialise similar companies.

Following this, Harry saw an opportunity to expand his incubator into an ecosystem that invests in and supports other deep tech innovations.

Science Creates was officially launched in 2020, encompassing specialised incubator space, a £15million investment fund and a comprehensive network of strategic partners to nurture science and engineering start-ups and spin-outs.

Harry said: “Where a discovery is made has a huge bearing on whether it’s successfully commercialised.

“No matter the quality of the research and discovery, the right ecosystem is fundamental if we are going to challenge the global 90 percent failure rate of science start-ups, and create many more successful ventures.

“Winning this national award firmly puts Science Creates and Bristol on the map as the place to be for deep tech start-ups.”

The Barclays Entrepreneur Awards recognise the importance of the UK’s entrepreneurial spirit, and showcase founders and their businesses from across the country, who amid the pandemic have succeeded in bringing together their creativity, passion and innovation to run successful high growth businesses.

Katherine Morgan, head of high growth & entrepreneurs at Barclays, said: “The national awards are a celebration of the exceptional innovation and leadership entrepreneurs demonstrate, helping to create social change and boost our local economies.

“This is our opportunity to celebrate some of the UK’s most successful home-grown ventures, many of whom have skilfully utilised international markets, in turn generating new jobs and driving economic growth.

“These awards allow us to recognise and celebrate the founders behind these businesses, and we would like to congratulate Harry on his success.”

The national judging panel were made up of key industry leaders and influencers, who selected the overall national winners, drawn from over 1,000 applications, across the UK.

The Barclays Entrepreneur Awards consist of ten award categories, ranging from start-up through to international expansion. For the first time, a number of Barclays partners who provide services to help businesses thrive have taken the opportunity to sponsor a category.

Barclays Entrepreneur Awards categories included:

  • Start-Up Entrepreneur of the Year, sponsored by Barclays: entrepreneurs who have started new, fast-growing businesses. Winner – Hertility Health, London
  • Scale up Entrepreneur of the Year, sponsored by Propel: entrepreneurs whose businesses are growing on a rapid scale. Winner – Itch, North East
  • Social Entrepreneur of the Year, sponsored by Smart Pension: entrepreneurs whose companies have delivered transformative social or environmental change. Winner – Changes UK CIC, Midlands
  • International Expansion of the Year, sponsored by Nimbla: businesses that have established an impressive trading footprint and market growth in international markets over the last three years. Winner – ChickenGuard, East of England
  • Entrepreneur Icon of the Year, sponsored by MarketFinance: entrepreneurs who have successfully turned their vision into reality. Winner – Dr Harry Destecroix, CEO of Science Creates, South West and Wales
  • The Barclaycard Next Level Award: recognises the entrepreneurs/businesses that have overcome a significant challenge or grabbed their big business growth moment. Winner – T.H.Burroughs Family Butcher, South West and Wales
  • Eagle Labs Innovation Award: companies that have demonstrated impact through digital empowerment and innovative collaboration. Winner – Yoello, South West and Wales
  • Rise FinTech Company of the Year Award: companies from the Rise network and Barclays Accelerator Alumni who are creating scaling businesses that are transforming financial services. Winner – CreditEnable, Mumbai
  • Outstanding Contribution to Entrepreneurship Award recognises an individual who has had a profound impact on the entrepreneurial ecosystem, shaping and influencing the profile and importance of entrepreneurs for the UK and beyond. Winner – Brent Shawzin Hoberman CBE, a British entrepreneur who together with Martha Lane Fox founded Lastminute.com in 1998.
  • People’s Choice Award: for the individual or company who has received the most votes from the general public. Winner – BeoBia, Midlands