During Women’s Month, CiTi will be shining the spotlight on the Women of CiTi – from the top management structures to the young interns and entrepreneurs that are forging their own paths ahead.
Superwoman and inspirational female leader Aisha Pandor, Co-founder and CEO of SweepSouth, is also at the helm as the chairperson of the BioCiTi biotechnology lab and incubator. BioCiTi was launched as part of the Cape Innovation & Technology Initiative’s (CiTi) portfolio of bespoke incubators in 2019 to provide African entrepreneurs with a platform where science, business and investment can come together.
Having built and scaled her own tech business, together with her background in Microbiology, Biochemistry, Human Genetics and Business Management, Pandor also lends her knowledge, experience and insights to the board so that, together, they can help young scientists and entrepreneurs develop and scale their startups to become commercially viable and secure further funding.
Celebrating the impact of our female leaders in the organisation, CiTi CEO, Ian Merrington, says: “One of the biggest gaps between researchers and entrepreneurs is in thinking about how to create a product or process that is valuable to a particular market, and then the actual act of marketing that, whether to a customer, business, government or new investor. Aisha has experienced both of these worlds, albeit separately, and brings deep domain expertise across Microbiology, Biochemistry and Human Genetics to help BioCiTi become a success story on the continent in terms of catalysing the sector as a whole, helping to develop new talent and biotech, as well as being the incubator of choice for up and coming African biotech innovators.”
In her role as Chairperson of BioCiTi Labs, Pandor would also like to help crack the various challenges that have held progress back thus far and learn from the other members of the board and the incubator’s management team about this exciting and burgeoning field.
Her vision for BioCiti is to support and nurture biotech and the exciting field of engineered biology, which is still so nascent in Africa.“I’m a firm believer in the power of technology to change the world for good. Being part of BioCiTi means being able to help promote CiTi’s efforts to bring research to commercialisation, and to take advantage of the biodiversity in the country and continent to develop unique biotech, supporting and developing young scientists to become entrepreneurs in the process. Not only is this important for the biotech field, I also see the sorts of businesses BioCiti can help as potentially being able to build new industries that will assist in job and knowledge creation,” shares Pandor.
For more information, check out BioCiTi here.