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Anita Nel

Anita started her association with young technology companies some 20 years ago. First joining Thawte Consulting after which she moved to HBD Venture Capital for a 6 year period before she became involved with technology transfer at Stellenbosch University (SU) in 2006.

Here she has established a remarkably successful university-based technology transfer office and have subsequently grown her portfolio of responsibilities to include all commercialisation activities at the University. She currently holds the position of Senior Director: Innovation and Business Development of Stellenbosch University and is the CEO of Innovus , the wholly-owned technology transfer company of Stellenbosch University.

Over the past years, Anita has served on the boards of numerous startups, assisting them in raising funding and gaining access to market.

So far, under Anita’s management of Innovus, more than R100m has been invested in very early stage spinout companies of the University. The group of 25 companies now employs more than 265 people.

She has also been instrumental in bringing a culture of innovation to SU, which produced more PCT patents over the last decade than any other public or private entity in South Africa.

In addition to that, she has established the LaunchLab, a business incubator on the SU campus that is open for any entrepreneur and makes valuable connections between large corporates and young startup companies. Since 2014, the LaunchLab has supported 148 companies. During this period 121 jobs were created in these companies. There are currently 61 startups with 207 employees involved with the LaunchLab.

Anita is a regular speaker at both local and international conferences and is a Registered Technology Transfer Professional (RTTP). She is also on the adjudication panel of the international Association of Technology Transfer Professionals for global applications for RTTP status.