Stellenbosch attracted $1.7m for spinouts and pre-spinout projects from March until September 2020, including multiple contributions from UTF.

Five South Africa-based spinouts have emerged from Stellenbosch University’s tech transfer office Innovus so far this year.

The spinouts were named as nanosensor technology spinout BioCode, autophagy monitoring device Phagoflux, insect protein powder supplier Susento, microbial additive producer Biotikum and enzyme assay developer Immobazyme.

During South Africa’s coronavirus lockdown from March until September 2020, Innovus attracted R26m ($1.7m) for spinouts and pre-spinout research.

The current portfolio includes 28 active companies, some of which have now received funding through University Technology Fund (UTF), the $13.9m government-sponsored unit that co-invests alongside Stellenbosch in academic research.

UTF invested $900,000 in one unnamed Stellenbosch spinout. It provided a further $190,000 across two seed-stage companies, and a third is currently undergoing due diligence.

The technology fund also invested $95,000 across four pre-seed Stellenbosch spinouts, while four research projects collectively received $159,000 from another government-run tech transfer investment unit: Technology Innovation Agency Seed Fund.

Innovus also announced it had rebranded its asset holding company to University of Stellenbosch (US) Enterprises in order to distinguish it from its internal tech transfer operation.