Spin-out companies


AFRICAN SUN MeDIA is a specialist supplier of publishing, design and printing services for the Higher Education market and the private sector. SUN MeDIA specialises in scholarly and professional publications under the imprint SUNPReSS, but also publishes general and trade titles aimed at the commercial market under the imprint Rapid Access Publishers (RAP).

Justa Niemand, Justa Niemand, CEO of AFRICAN SUN MeDIA, approached Stellenbosch University (SU) at the end of 2002 with a proposal for the establishment of a University press, based on a unique publishing model for Higher Education. Her proposal was accepted and SUN MeDIA Stellenbosch was established in March 2003 as a development project of Stellenbosch University. AFRICAN SUN MeDIA's activities have since led to the formation of the following companies and expansions:

  SUN MeDIA Stellenbosch (Pty) Ltd was established in January 2007, with Stellenbosch University as a shareholder and Justa Niemand as the CEO and Managing Director. Under her management, the digital printing and binding units of SU's print plant were privatised and incorporated into the new company in August 2007.
  SUN MeDIA Bloemfontein (Pty) Ltd, based on the same model as that of SUN MeDIA Stellenbosch, was established in January 2009, in partnership with the University of the Free State. Justa Niemand is the CEO and Managing Director of SMB.
  SUN MeDIA MeTRO (Pty) Ltd was established in Gauteng in March 2010, providing the same value offering, services and products as SUN MeDIA Stellenbosch (SMS) and SUN MeDIA Bloemfontein (SMB), to clients in Gauteng and surrounding areas. Wilna Oosthuizen is the Manager and Justa Niemand is the CEO and Managing Director of SMM.
  SUN MeDIA STUDIO was established as a Division of SUN MeDIA Stellenbosch in April 2012, as a design studio and customer service point for the commercial market.

More about SUN MeDIA: Latest news | Facebook


Custos Technologies (Pty) Ltd

CUSTOS Technologies was founded by Prof Gert-Jan van Rooyen, Dr Herman Engelbrecht and Frederic Lutzfrom Stellenbosch University. CUSTOS allows media companies to dissuade consumers from illegally sharing media they've purchased. Their technology uses cryptocurrency, like bitcoin, a medium of exchange that relies on cryptography to secure financial transaction and control availability. The system embeds a unique code into each media file that unlocks a cryptocurrency deposit. If a media user illegally share files they've been granted access to, someone close can find the code and anonymously claim their deposit.


Diacoustic Medical Devices (Pty) Ltd

Diacoustic Medical Devices (Pty) Ltd was founded in 2007. One of their groundbreaking inventions is the Automated Paediatric Cardiac Auscultation (APCA) system, a robust, portable hand-held device that provides health care providers with clinical decision support to distinguish between pathological and physiological heart murmurs.

The APCA enables effective diagnostic screening support to minimise unnecessary and costly cardiologist referrals. The device can record, store, analyse and replay heart sound data through headphones, as well as display data on the LCD touch-screen monitor. Bluetooth capability further eases PC integration and downloading of data to external media.

Contact person: Thys Cronje


Click here to watch the SensiCardiac - heart murmur software video.

Click here for more information about Diacoustic Medical Devices (Pty) Ltd.

GeoSUN Africa (Pty) Ltd

GeoSUN Africa was launched in 2012 and is a spin-out company of the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES) at Stellenbosch University. GeoSUN Africa offers a variety of services relating to the solar energy industry, including supporting services to solar developers of large solar (PV, CPV and CSP) plants and rooftop or stand-alone PV installations.

While still part of CRSES, GeoSUN Africa has forged a close working relationship with GeoModel Solar (based in Slovakia), the proprietor of the SolarGIS satellite-derived solar database. The collaboration eventually led to GeoSUN Africa's current formal relationship with GeoModel Solar in the form of an exclusivity agreement.

A close working relationship is also maintained with CS Africa, the agent for Kipp&Zonen and Campbell Scientific products in various African countries. To ascertain and maintain accurate solar irradiation measurements, GeoSUN Africa works in partnership with the Solar Thermal Energy Research Group (STERG) at the Stellenbosch University, the Sustainable Energy Research Group (SERG) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) in Durban and the Centre for Energy Research (CER) at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) in Port Elizabeth.


GeoSUN Africa offers the following services and products:

  • Site Selection Studies
  • Supply of satellite derived data time series (SolarGIS)
  • Onsite solar measurements (These include the specification, procurement, installation, monitoring and maintenance of these stations as well as regular data download, quality checks and archiving)
  • Bankable solar resource reports
  • Bankable generation forecast reports
  • Bankable solar data for operating solar plants
  • Solar maps (these include GIS for Google Earth layers)

All satellite derived data-related services/products are provided in collaboration with GeoModel Solar.

Contact person: Riaan Meyer


LaunchLab (Pty) Ltd

LaunchLab is an initiative of Innovus and is situated in the center of Stellenbosch University. It offers budding entrepreneurs excellent infrastructure and network services, as well as guidance from academic staff and leaders in the business world to help them launch their business ideas. LaunchLab functions as a business accelerator and boost entrepreneurship on campus by providing networking opportunities, mentoring and affordable rental rates in an entrepreneur-friendly environment.


Sharksafe Barriers (Pty) Ltd

Sharsafe Barrier is an eco-friendly technology that combines magnetic and visual stimuli to deter Shark species considered dangerous to humans. The technology aims at keeping people safe from sharks while simultaneously protecting the sharks.



The Stellenbosch Nanofiber Company (SNC)

The Stellenbosch Nanofiber Company (SNC) was established in November 2011 and is focused on the commercialisation and further development of various nanofiber technologies developed at Stellenbosch University. These technologies include two processes for high-throughput electrospinning of polymeric nanofibers, and a process for making continuous nanofiber yarns.

The nanofiber materials produced using these processes can be applied in a broad range of areas, including high-performance filtration of liquids and gasses, biomedical materials, (including wound dressings, drug delivery materials, cell culture and tissue engineering scaffolds) energy, (including high-surface area electrodes for next-generation batteries and fuel cells, battery separator membranes and supercapacitors) and lightweight structural composites (e.g. for automotive and aerospace applications).

Contact person: Eugene Smit

Click to here to download a Silicon Cape talk


SUSPI (SU Sport Performance Institute)

SUSPI is a devision of Stellenbosch University. It deals with the commercialisation of sport assts of the university and offers a wide range of first rate services to the sport, fitness and wellness industries. SUSPI is situated at Coetzenburg, Stellenbosch Town.


Stellenbosch Wind Energy Technologies (Pty) Ltd

Stellenbosch Wind Energy Technologies (Pty) Ltd was founded in 2009 in order to license, design and manufacture various technologies related to the wind turbine industry and to develop and commercialise them.

In 2013 the company developed two prototype turbines based on the 15 kW Slip Synchronous - Permanent Magnet Generator (SS-PMG) invented and patented by members of Stellenbosch University Electrical Engineering Department. This technology enables turbines to connect directly to the grid without the need for sophisticated power electronics with the aim of being more reliable and requiring less maintenance than other turbine installations. The SS-PMG technology is more applicable in larger turbines (150 kW and larger) that are directly connected to utility grids and less viable for application in stand-alone mini-grids (generally remotely located diesel gensets, solar and/or hydro systems).

In 2014 the firm plans to design, patent and build two prototype 18kW Permanent Magnet Generator (PMG) turbines before building another two units in 2015 for certification purposes. These PMG units will include customised power electronics and will be more applicable in smaller turbines (150 kW and smaller) and more viable when part of stand-alone mini-grids.

Contact person: Pierre van Aswegen


SUDEM Digital Elevation (Pty) Ltd

SUDEM company is a geographical database of elevation (height) information, that was established by Prof A. van Niekerk, head of Stellenbosch University Digital Elevation Model. It covers all of South Africa at a very high (5m) resolution. The data is ideal for use in a geographical information system (GIS) for hydrological modelling (e.g. flood risk, flow accumulation, point sources pollution analysis), infrastructure planning, remote sensing (e.g. orthorectification), visual impact assessments and soil-landscape modelling.


Unistel Medical Laboratories (UML) (Pty) Ltd

Founded on 1 November 1999, Unistel Medical Laboratories (UML) (Pty) Ltd has 42 staff members in its employ. Today UML, co-owned by seven shareholders (Stellenbosch University being one of these), conducts between 10 000 and 15 000 genetic diagnostic tests per month. These tests entail DNA profiling for forensic and paternity testing among people and stud animals as well chromosome and DNA analyses for the diagnosis of single gene defects and chromosome abnormality. UML focuses on micro array technology which enables up to 9 600 genetic abnormalities on one slide. This will enable doctors to process large amounts of data in order to obtain a more accurate diagnosis.
Contact person: Munro Marx


Stellenbosch University Executive Development (Pty) Ltd (USB ED)

The Stellenbosch University's Business School is situated on the university's Bellville Park Campus in Bellville, Cape Town. It is one of the few management schools outside Europe that is accredited by the European Quality Improvement System (EQIS) of Europe Foundation for management development, based in Belgium. The school's MBA is credited by the Association of MBAs (AMBA) in the United Kingdom. The MBA programme received unconditional accreditation from quality committee of the SA Council of Higher Education. The school is a member of several international academic bodies including European Doctoral Programmes Association in Management and Business Administration (EDAMBA).


Vulamanz Water System (Pty) Ltd

Vulamanz Water System (Pty) Ltd was established in 2001 by Dr Ed Jacobs and Dr Pillay in partnership with UniStel Group Holdings (Pty) Ltd. The company uses a patented Capillary Ultrafiltration Membranes Nanotechnology to produce high-quality drinking water.

Click here for video.
Click here for more information.


InductEx is a three-dimensional magnetoquasistatic inductance calculator for multi-terminal superconductive integrated circuit layouts, available as a console application for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.

Version 5.02 with a more powerful 3D solver engine is now available in single and multicore versions for registered and/or paid-up academic and commercial users. The infographic below shows how much faster it is than earlier versions for extraction of full cells. It was released on 15 August 2015.

Version 4.30 with a modified FastHenry solver engine and some size constraints is available as a free download for evaluation purposes.


Cargo Telematics

Truck accidents caused by load slipping or improperly secured cargo are among the most common causes of truck accidents. Cargo Telematics aims to address this issue, save transport companies money and save lives. The company was founded by Leo McNally to commercialise a device developed as part of his final year project in Mechanical Engineering at Stellenbosch University.

The device continuously monitors the tension in the cargo securing strap, automatically adjusts the tension in the strap when there is any change in tension and alerts the driver, fleet manager and/or insurance company of the event.

For more information visit www.cargotelematics.co.za or contact Leo McNally at lmcnally@cargotelematics.co.za or +27 (0) 78 258 0996.