Mentorship of spin-out companies from our Western Cape Universities

The Western Cape universities are leading universities in South Africa and Africa. Looking specifically at research and innovation, and patent activity of South African universities from 2009 – 2015, the four WC universities accounted for 48.6%. Stellenbosch University and UCT filed 150 PCT patents resulting in multiple spin-out companies in the same time period. Even when adding private companies and other public institutions, Stellenbosch University and UCT are contributing significantly to South Africa’s innovation:
PCT PatentsThe spin-out companies have founders/inventors who are students or professors, and Accelerate Cape Town, together with the tech transfer officers at the universities, are exploring how our member companies and business professionals can support these spin-outs. This includes mentoring these start-ups or being on the board to provide strategic direction. If you have an interest in getting involved in the Business and University Innovation Programme, please contact Juliet Prowse.

Here is an idea of the spin-out companies from our four Western Cape Universities, though not all companies need mentoring:

Stellenbosch University


  • Unistel Medical Labs – DNA profiling – http://unistelmedical.co.za/
  • Diacoustic Medical Devices – Automated Paediatric Cardiac Auscultation (APCA) system is a portable hand-held device providing health care providers with clinical decision support to distinguish between pathological and physiological heart murmurs – http://www.saeec.org.za/
  • Surfactant Medical Technologies (SMT) – a synthetic surfactant formulation consisting of a combination of readily accessible phospholipids and synthetic peptides
  • Kathleho Biomedical – a platform for the R&D and commercialization of innovative biomedical engineering concepts.

Renewable Energy

  • SWET – license, design and manufacture various technologies related to the wind turbine industry – http://www.swet.co.za/
  • GeoSUN Africa – services relating to the solar energy industry, including supporting solar developers of large solar (PV, CPV and CSP) plants and rooftop or stand-alone PV installations – http://geosun.co.za/


  • Custos – preventing illegally media sharing through embedded unique code into each media file – http://custostech.com/
  • BridgIoT – an Internet of Things platform aimed at connecting household and other electronics to the cloud


  • Stellenbosch Nanofiber Company (SNC) – commercialisation and further development of various nanofiber technologies – http://www.sncfibers.com/
  • CubeSpace – Attitude Determination and Control System (ADCS) service to the international nano-satellite market – www.cubespace.co.za
  • Vulamanz – a patented Capillary Ultrafiltration Membranes Nanotechnology to produce high-quality drinking water
  • SUDEM Digital Elevation – a geographical database of elevation (height) information covering all of South Africa at a very high (5m) resolution
  • SUN Magnetics – InductEx is a three-dimensional magnetoquasistatic inductance calculator for multi-terminal superconductive integrated circuit layouts
  • Cargo Telematics – aims to decrease truck accidents caused by load slipping or improperly secured cargo issue – http://www.cargotelematics.co.za/
  • Sporatec – the commercial arm of a SU Microbiology lab providing air quality testing, specifically the identification and count of mould spores – www.sporatec.co.za
  • Sharksafe Barriers – an eco-friendly technology that combines magnetic and visual stimuli to deter Shark species considered dangerous to humans.


  • Aquastel – Intellectual Property from the Department Aquaculture at Stellenbosch University, sun.ac.za/aquastel
  • SUSPI (SU Sport Performance Institute) – commercialisation of sport assets and a wide range of services to the sport, fitness and wellness industries – http://www.suspi.co.za/
  • LaunchLab – a business accelerator and boost entrepreneurship on campus – http://www.launchlab.co.za/
  • USB Executive Education – Stellenbosch University’s Business School – http://www.usb-ed.com/
  • African Sun Media Group – specialist supplier of publishing, design and printing services for the Higher Education market and the private sector – http://www.africansunmedia.co.za
  • Cell-Life – e-Health technology development company
  • Hot Platinum – Induction furnace and casting equipment for jewellers and dentists
  • Nature Restore Innovate – design and implementation of restoration systems to restore globally important biodiversity through the rehabilitation of degraded lands
  • Cape Ray Medical – low dose x-ray coupled with ultrasound or breast cancer detection
  • Strait Access Technologies – heart valve and deployment device for heart valve repair
  • PST Sensors – Printed Silicon Electronics e.g. thermistor temperature sensors
  • Serapix CC – biosesors/diagnostic
  • Antrum Biotech – extra-pulmonary TB diagnostic test – rapid bedside testing
  • Tulunulu – one to many (users/viewers) live, continuous broadcast to mobile devices
  • Elemental Numerics – Computational Fluid Dynamics software for advanced simulation
  • AngioDesign – Angiotensin Converting Enzymes (ACE) inhibitor drug discovery
  • DroneSAR – Precision agriculture based on radar and the use of drones/unmanned aerial vehicles
  • HyPlat – Hydrogen Fuel Cells
  • Lumkani –  is a fire detector for use in informal settlements to provide an early warning to communities
  • Attri Orthopedics – design of orthopaedic implants exclusively for people who have suffered loss of bone tissue due to surgery.

Human & Animal Health

  • IDM – Institute for Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine – AIDS, Human papillomavirus (HPV), TB, HIV
  • H3-D Drug Discovery and Development Centre – first such centre in Africa, anti-malaria
  • Plant expression of proteins – vaccines, reagents, enzymes, etc.
  • UAV Systems – micro unmanned aerial vehicles fitted with cameras for surveillance
  • FLOW Visualisation Enterprise –
  • Satelite Enterprise – South Africa’s first Cube Satellite
  • Functional Food Enterprise – Omega Care-E capsules.
  •  Technology Stations (incubators): Clothing and Textile, Agri-Food and Advanced Manufacturing
  • Business Incubators: Design Garage and a proposed large incubator
  •  Hyrax Biosciences – clinical DNA analysis and drug resistance genotyping

 UWC Technologies for commercialization

  • Galenia africana (kraalbos) extract – cosmeceutical, agrochemical, antimalarial
  • Acid Mine Drainage treatment
  • Zeolite catalysts
  • Hydrogen Fuel Cell technologies incl. MEA, metal hydride materials & systems
  • Li-ion battery technologies.
Presentations from our Business and University Innovation Workshop

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