Cape Town, South Africa – UVU Bio NPC, formerly known as BioCiTi, is pleased to announce a ground-breaking collaboration with Absa Bank. The bank has committed R3m in Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) grant funding to support biotech start-ups in South Africa and Africa.
UVU Bio stimulates the African Bioeconomy by providing entrepreneurs with entrepreneurship training, access to lab facilities, and investment funding and general business development support and mentorship. The first tranche of funding from Absa Bank was recently received and will be used to support the growth of biotech start-ups through workshops, mentorship, seed funding, networks, community, and connections.
“Our first-of-a-kind open access world-class laboratory allows entrepreneurs, working at the cutting edge of innovation, to refine concepts for the market,” said Dheepak Maharajh, Chief Executive of UVU Bio. “Our expansive technical and business networks enable us to link businesses to potential investors and markets and support not only new innovations but also developing intellectual property. We are delighted to collaborate with Absa Bank to continue our mission of supporting biotech innovators, entrepreneurs, and start-ups. Absa’s support of the emerging Biotechnology sector, demonstrates an important step for large corporates efforts to support the countries Bioeconomy growth goals”
“At Absa, we believe in the power of innovation and recognise the importance of entrepreneurship as a key driver of economic growth,” said Kgalaletso Tlhoaele, Head of Absa Enterprise Development. “In addition to the financial services that consider the unique needs of our customers, we provide value-added support through the Absa Enterprise Development programme. The programme provides access to skills training and networking opportunities, helping small businesses grow and succeed. Our partnership with UVU Bio in supporting biotech start-ups in South Africa and Africa is in line with our vision of empowering Africa’s tomorrow, together… one story at a time.”
UVU Bio offers a co-working space and shared lab facility, allowing biotech start-ups to refine their life sciences research and innovations and work on building their businesses. Additionally, the organisation provides affordable contract research and development services to start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMMEs), and big businesses as well as deliver bespoke training interventions to fuel the growth of the Bioeconomy and transition businesses through the business cycle.
The collaboration with Absa Bank will enable UVU Bio to continue supporting biotech start-ups and driving innovation in the African Bioeconomy. UVU Bio is a member of the UVU Africa Group, a non profit company who is catalysing an inclusive digital and innovation ecosystem across Africa.
Marietjie Engelbrecht – UVU Africa Group Head of Marketing & Ecosystem
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