South African University Spins out 5 New tech Startups

Stellenbosch University’s tech transfer department Innovus has spun out five new companies so far this year’s and has also raised a ZAR26 million (US$1.7 million) for university projects and spinout companies currently operating virtually.

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Innovus said all five of the new spinouts were launched during the COVID-19 lockdown, and that their launch demonstrated the social impact of a research-intensive university such as Stellebosch.

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The five new companies are BioCODE, a two-in-one nanosensor to early detect disease risk in patients; Phagoflux, which has developed tech to monitor health and wellness by measuring the self-cleaning activity of bodily cells; Susento, producer of a high-quality protein powder; Biotikum, which develops and produces microbial additives for the agricultural industry; and Immobazyme, developer of a novel device that uses a microporous cellulose matrix that immobilises enzymes in vitro.

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Anita Nel, chief director of innovation and business development at the university, said the university had also helped raise a total of ZAR26 million (US$1.7 million) for its spinout companies and projects this year. Four Innovus projects having secured backing from the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) Seed Fund, while another four projects have also successfully obtained UTF Pre-Seed funding from Innovus.

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