Under three days left to apply to pitch at SANBio bioscience innovation conference

Want to pitch your biotech startup, research idea, concept or prototype to regional and international stakeholders in the bio-sciences sector? Then you might want to register to pitch at the SANBio annual event. Registrations close this Thursday (1 February).

The event is organised by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development’s Southern Africa Network for Biosciences (SANBio) and serves as a platform to discuss issues in biosciences in the region.

This year’s event, which takes place between 27 and 28 February in Pretoria, will see innovators, researchers, investors, academics and policy makers gather to discuss the commercialisation of research technologies in bio-sciences.

SANBio’s annual event will feature two pitching tracks aimed at researchers and startups

Confirmed speakers include head of marketing at Finnish equity-crowdfunding platform Invesdor Mikko Savolainen, Lucid Ventures’ Jordin Boer, Courage Ventures partner Will Cardwell, and African Innovation Foundation managing director Koelbl Pauline among others.

Two pitching competitions

During the conference SANBio will hold two pitching competitions. SANBio BioFisa II programme officer Markku-Eemeli Pekonen said the competitions are organised along two different pitching tracks which innovators can register to pitch for.

To be eligible applicants have to be from SANBio member states, namely Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Malawi, Namibia, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, Seychelles, Madagascar and Zambia.

The first track, BrainNovation, is aimed at post-doctoral researchers with a proof of concept or prototype in human health, nutrition, health-related agriculture issues, and health as well as the environment.

The top five applicants to this track will get the travel and accommodation expenses to the SANBio event covered.

The BrainNovation winner will be provided with fellowship grants of up to R100 000, while runners-up stand to get mobility grants of between R30 000 and R40 000.

The second track, WinNovation, is aimed at startups and other small businesses operating in medical devices, pharma, nutrition and health.

Although participants in this track will not get any prizes, Pekonen said they will get the opportunity to pitch to a panel composed of VC investors.

He said SANBio was still in the process of finalising the judging panel for the competitions. However, he advised those with innovative and high-impact ideas to register to pitch at the event. Said Pekonen: “Impact and innovation, that’s what we are all about”.

Learn more about the event and register here.

Daniel Mpala


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