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SmartBlade co-founder Dr Caroline Corbett scoops Awief’s Tech Entrepreneur Award
Dr Caroline Corbett, the co-founder of Cape Town based medtech startup SmartBlade, has won the Tech Entrepreneur Award at the 2019 Awief Awards.
Dr Corbett (pictured above with Lamia Housni) was nominated for the award along with two Cameroonians — AppsTech founder and CEO Cameroonian Rebecca Enonchong and Engineering Consulting and Services Diane Temogne (see this story).
The annual awards, which aim to celebrate women leaders and entrepreneurs across the continent, are an initiative of the Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (Awief). This year’s edition was held last Wednesday (30 October) in Cape Town.
Dr Corbett co-founded SmartBlade in 2016 with her husband Nick Nevin
Corbett, who is a specialist anaesthesiologist, co-founded SmartBlade with her husband Nick Nevin in 2016.
The startup has developed a device, which consists of a smartphone app that is linked to a video laryngoscope, that enables single operators of varied skill levels to intubate difficult airways.
In June, the startup raised R9.5-million from hardware incubator Savant to acquire moulds to manufacture its device and to attain certification which includes US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) registration (see this story).
The startup has raised around R2-million in funding since launch. This includes self-funding, prize money, angel investment, government seed funding through the TIA and the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda).
Corbett yesterday said that the award is “an enormous privilege”.
“Especially to be included on a platform with such female giants of industry,each one proudly representing their various entrepreneurial spaces.
“The recognition of women and the unique contribution they can make when afforded the opportunity, is truly inspirational,” she said.
“It’s a challenge to continue the incredible momentum and the critical path paved by these women who have enabled this award.
“SmartBlade is truly honoured to share this journey of empowerment and to represent women in tech and South African women! Thank you AWIEF for this,” she added.
The accolade is not the first she’s received. In 2017 Dr Corbett won the WFSA-Fresenius Innovation Award, along with $25 000, for developing SmartBlade’s device (see this story).
Device to launch next year
Dr Corbett explained that SmartBlade is in its final stages of injection mould building for high volume production.
In addition, the startup is also currently working on the functionality of its software offering.
“We are also busy with the further development of our data storage platforms,” she added.
Dr Corbett said the startup will officially launch its device next year as well as continue to develop paediatric devices.
Read more: SmartBlade co-founder among 22 finalists shortlisted for 2019 Awief Awards
Read more: Here are five SA hardware startups making waves in 2019
Read more: Eight SA tech startups with women founders that have recently had VC, angel deals [Updated]
Featured image, left to right: SmartBlade co-founder Dr Caroline Corbett and Mohammed VI Polytechnic University head of innovation lab Lamia Housni (Supplied)