Academic shines bright at Oxford innovation boot camp

Prof Rose Hayeshi, associate professor at the North-West University’s (NWU’s) DSI/NWU Preclinical Drug Development Platform has just returned from the United Kingdom after a week-long innovation boot camp at the University of Oxford.

Prof Hayeshi was one of the 10 participants selected to deliver demo pitches, after which her presentation was chosen as one of the top five pitches.

“This was a very proud moment for me, especially since I was the only one pitching a new project in an existing business, while the other participants pitched start-up ideas and businesses,” Prof Hayeshi says. Her pitch was on humanised mice for predicting response to medicines in African populations.

Her trip follows her successful completion of a four-month virtual online training programme on innovation and entrepreneurship in health for Africa, offered by the Africa Oxford Initiative Health Innovation Platform (AfOx-HIP) at Oxford University.

It has equipped participants from several African countries with the knowledge and skills they need to take their entrepreneurial ideas from concept to reality.

“Overall, the AfOx-HIP training opened my eyes to my role an intrapreneur, that is, entrepreneurship within an existing organisation. I was privileged to meet and be inspired by all the other AfOx-HIP fellows who are paving the way with much needed health innovations for the African continent,” says a proud Prof Hayeshi.

In 2022, she was accepted into the second cohort of the AfOx Innovation and Entrepreneurship Programme. The training provided participants with a comprehensive overview of the entrepreneurial journey, from ideation to launch, as well as the process of developing and launching a successful venture. Topics covered included the key skills and talents that entrepreneurs need to succeed in ideation, lean methodology, business innovation and strategy, as well as marketing and pitching to investors.

Prof Hayeshi says she is grateful to the Africa Oxford Initiative for the excellent AfOx-HIP training, and for sponsoring her trip to the University of Oxford.

“The feedback I received will enable me to evaluate my project’s performance and to improve my technical and business strategy,” she adds.

Read more about her work here.

Prof Rose Hayeshi.

Submitted on Thu, 08/24/2023 - 14:24