South Africa’s Nemabio takes third place at SA Winetech Pitching Den behind French startups

Cape Town based biotech firm Nemabio has taken third place in the 2019 SA Winetech Pitching Den competition.

French company Vegetal Signals came out tops, while another French firm, UV Boosting was placed second.

As part of the prize, Nemabio will receive R50 000 for business development. In addition, the French Embassy and Vinitech will provide the startup with return flights to France to attend the 2020 Vinitech Global Trade Show.

Nemabio won R50 000 and return flights to France to attend the 2020 Vinitech Global Trade Show

Vegetal Signals will get R150 000 and UV Boosting R100 000, respectively for business development in South Africa as well as return flights to South Africa to further develop their product through an association with LaunchLab and the wine industry.

The finals of the competition, which is sponsored by Winetech and Distell, were held last Thursday (12 September) in Cape Town at the SA Innovation Summit. In all, 15 finalists pitched at the event.

Nemabio sells indigenous species of Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs). These are pathogens of insects that occur naturally in the soil.

In combination with their symbiotic bacteria, they can be used in an integrated control programme against many insect pests.

Such biological control agents have a wide host range and have the ability to actively search for their host, while remaining harmless to other organisms and the environment.

Featured image, left to right: Nemabio’s Sheila Storey, Vegetal Signals’ Fabian Le Bourdiec and UV Boosting’s Yves Matton 2019 SA Winetech Pitching Den competition winners (Twitter)

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