Biotech startup wins SA Pitch Tank competition


South African biotech startup Afrobodies has been named the winner of the Pitch Tank Pitching Competition hosted by The Startup Hatchery in collaboration with Entrepreneur Traction.

The Startup Hatchery and Entrepreneur Traction hosted the Pitch Tank Pitching Competition on February 24, with 11 entrepreneurs presenting their innovative business ideas to a panel of industry experts.

The competition will be a quarterly event, initially held in the Western Cape, and provides an opportunity for entrepreneurs to pitch their innovative business ideas and determine if they are able to capture and retain the attention of possible investors and initiate vital business relationships.

The winner of the Pitch Tank Pitching Competition 1.0 was Afrobodies, presented by co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Benedicta Mahlangu. Afrobodies is a startup biotech company that aims to be South Africa’s first large scale producer of recombinant alpaca antibodies for use by life sciences researchers in South Africa’s universities and research institutions. The antibodies can be widely used in scientific research, medicine and agriculture.

As winner, Afrobodies secures a seat in The Startup Hatchery virtual incubation programme. The Startup Hatchery is a virtual business incubator for entrepreneurs and provides a hands-on virtual learning experience through online entrepreneurship training, mentorship and business support. It also receives a branding package, two co-working spaces for 1 month at the Bandwidth Barn, a content package on radio, and a cash prize.

Kazitechsolutions grabbed the first runner-up position for its solution linking startups with student developer teams, taking home a cash prize and a spot in The Startup Hatchery’s programme.

The second runner-up at the event was Favours, a web-based platform where users can request and perform services for one another in return for extra cash. Founder Sanele Ngobese receives virtual business incubation from The Startup Hatchery and a cash prize.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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