Innovus celebrates their CEO’s

Innovus celebrates their CEO’s

Innovus celebrates their CEO’s

Every year Innovus celebrates the outstanding work the Chief Executive Officers and staff of Stellenbosch University’s group of companies do. This year’s event was even more special as people could also celebrate in person, as people were allowed to attend functions after the COVID-pandemic period.

Directors, CEOs, professors, researchers, post-docs and entrepreneurs appreciated this unique function to network, pick up on old conversations and mingle with many newcomers to the Innovus group of companies circle at this event that is always extremely well-attended.

After Chief Director Anita Nel welcomed the guests, SU’s Chief Operating Officer, Prof Stan du Plessis, in his address reminded them about Tom Hockaday’s book “University Technology Transfer: What is s and how to do it” and the word SYZYGI – meaning “conjunction, or a pair of connected or correlated things”.

“Hockaday argued that launching a company from a University requires Syzygy, that is to say, alignment between many parties: the researchers, the tech transfer office, managers of the company and the investors. The interests of these parties are not automatically aligned and require much work and mutual trust to achieve Syzygy. A vibrant research culture, tech Transfer office, a business incubator, and a University Technology Fund can be crucial in achieving the required conjunction.”

Prof Stan said SU is incredibly fortunate to have such high-quality teams in our faculties, at Innovus, at USE, at the LaunchLab as well as our partners at the UTF. “You allow us to attain Syzygy.”

He referred to the pandemic times that tested big and small companies and is grateful that most of SU’s companies managed to survive the troubled times.

“As a university, we are delighted to see this growing group of companies. Each of these companies represents a massive social impact from SU, locally and internationally. When we succeed in the difficult task of creating a viable product, or service, or business process out of a research idea, we turbo charge the impact that a research-intensive University can have on society.”

Prof Stan also thanked the University Technology Fund for the confidence they have in the companies they have funded to date. He said that in addition to the UTF investments, the University’s Investment Committee has also started investing in later stage rounds to build the University’s own equity portfolio in USE companies.