Are you from Southern Africa? If yes, do you have a biotech startup, research idea, concept or prototype and you want to pitch to regional and international stakeholders in the bio-sciences sector? Then you might want to register to pitch at the SANBio annual event.

The event is organized by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development’s Southern Africa Network for Biosciences (SANBio) and serves as a platform to discuss issues in biosciences in the region.

The NEPAD Southern Africa Network for Biosciences (SANBio) provides a shared research, development and innovation platform for collaborative research in health and nutrition. Each year, NEPAD SANBio with the support of the BioFISA II Programme hosts a networking event for regional and international stakeholders to discuss pertinent issues in the region and this year, commercialisation of research technologies is the central theme with dialogue on new ways of innovating for the future in the biosciences, cultural changes in the research environment toward entrepreneurship, the role of data and technology in health and nutrition, infrastructure for innovation and future trends and funding models.

This year’s event, which takes place between 27 and 28 February in Pretoria, will see innovators, researchers, investors, academics and policy makers gather to discuss the commercialization of research technologies in bio-sciences.

Speakers schedule to grace the event include head of marketing at Finnish equity-crowdfunding platform Invesdor Mikko Savolainen, Lucid Ventures’ Jordin Boer, Courage Ventures partner Will Cardwell, and African Innovation Foundation managing director Koelbl Pauline among others.

Also, there will be two pitching competitions organised by SANBio during the conference.

SANBio BioFisa II programme officer Markku-Eemeli Pekonen said the competitions are organized along two different pitching tracks which innovators can register to pitch for.

To be eligible applicants have to be from SANBio member states, namely Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Malawi, Namibia, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, Seychelles, Madagascar and Zambia.

The first track, BrainNovation, is aimed at post-doctoral researchers with a proof of concept or prototype in human health, nutrition, health-related agriculture issues, and health as well as the environment.

The top five applicants to this track will get the travel and accommodation expenses to the SANBio event covered.

The winner of  BrainNovation will be provided with fellowship grants of up to R100 000, while runners-up stand to get mobility grants of between R30 000 and R40 000.

The second track, WinNovation, is aimed at startups and other small businesses operating in medical devices, pharma, nutrition and health.

Although participants in this track will not get any prizes, Pekonen said they will get the opportunity to pitch to a panel composed of VC investors.

He said SANBio was still in the process of finalizing the judging panel for the competitions. However, he advised those with innovative and high-impact ideas to register to pitch at the event.

Pekonen said,  “Impact and innovation, that’s what we are all about”.

Registrations close this Thursday (1 February).

You can learn more about the event and register here.