Stellenbosch resident Sheila Storey, from Nemabio, took third place at the SA Innovation Summit Winetech Pitching Den, and won
R50 000 for business development.
Nemabio was the only South African entrant to place in the top three. The company sells indigenous species of Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs). These are pathogens of insects that occur naturally in the soil and, in combination with their symbiotic bacteria, they can be used in an integrated control programme against many insect pests.
Such biological control agents have a wide host range and have the ability to actively search for their host, while remaining harmless to other organisms and the environment.
The SA Innovation Summit Winetech Pitching Den attracted entrepreneurs from Africa, America and Europe.
The competition presented an exciting level of agritech innovation holding potential for application to the South African wine industry.
The SA Innovation Summit partnered with wine industry body Winetech in search for innovators and disruptors – providing unique solutions and products which can be commercialised, to wine producers and the agri-tech industries.
The competition focuses on the following areas: climate change; water reclamation and resourcing; genetics; machine learning, AI and big data; and any other areas which increase efficiency, profitability and environmental sustainability.
Winners were provided with investment opportunities in the form of venture capital or other funding and will be provided with linkages to market – allowing them to transfer their innovation to the over 650 producers of wine in the country.
They were provided with business and entrepreneurial incubation and acceleration to fast-track them and their products’ growth.