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On Wednesday the 2nd of March, some of the most innovative minds in biomedical engineering gathered to celebrate the conclusion of the first MerSETA Virovent Innovation Skills Challenge. This challenge saw participants from various institutions across the country collaborate toward one common goal: to develop skills for medical device innovation in South Africa.

The challenge ended with a MediVentors Lions’ Den Event. The competition was inspired by the television series “Shark Tank.” The event provided the platform for the MediVentors to engage with other role-players in the MedTech space by presenting innovative ideas. This served to convince the industry to support their industrialisation proposal and, among other things, make funding available for product realisation.

The jury constituted various stakeholders in the MedTech innovation value chain, with a total prize value of R110 000 being awarded across the board following the Lion’s Den pitching event. The Lions’ Den Event also included two pannellist  discussions namely: Innovation conversion: The skills and learner perspective and Industrialization: Putting the pieces of the chain together.


There were a total of nine finalists from across the four institutions (UKZN, CPUT, UCT and WITs)


MediVentors Lions’ Den 1st Prize – Gold Award (R50 000) – Kerstin Hall
MediVentors Lions’ Den 2nd Prize – Silver Award (R30 000) – Joel Philpott
MediVentors Lions’ Den 3rd Prize – Bronze Award (R20 000) – Uchenna Okwuosa
WCMDC Most Promising MedTech Award (R5000) – Lan Xu
MDMSA Most Promising MedTech Award (R5000) – Joel Philpott
Mediventors Best in Action Award (R1000) – Mikhail Solomons
People’s Choice MedTech Award (R1000) – Pragesh Govender