Meet Our Team

Savant’s professionalism and knowledge in the area is excellent!

Trailblazer Tech

Savant has helped in getting things done and by having another team member through the EiR programme

Signal Bioscience

It feels great having someone have your interests in mind, as well as providing avenues of funding which we would not have known about otherwise.


Savant provides access to networks that have led to seed funding and introductions to people in our industry of operation, active engagement with entrepreneurs and highly competent and self-starting interns.


We choose Savant because Savant is professionally capable and we connected well

Agri Revolution

Thank-you. I already LOVE working with Savant! Efficient and to the point.

Karen Eksteen, TIA

Savant has created value by minimizing potential entrepreneurial pitfalls.

Beonics Feed Supplements


Fund Manager Principal

Nick is an engineer with an MBA and additional education in IP management, Venture Capital, Private Equity and Corporate Governance – and a passion for building businesses from first principles. After a few years with Cape Town based lifesciences incubator Acorn Technologies, Nick founded Savant in 2005 to broaden his incubation interests to science and engineering hardware technologies.

With 15 years' experience working with startup technology businesses, and taking technologies from concept to international markets, Nick has worked across a broad range of industries, from food tech to medical devices and renewable energy.


Centre Manager

Nivida has 12 years of experience in business administration with responsibilities spanning accounting, audit, financial reporting and office management. She has strong organisational, analytical and time management skills.

Her motivation and enthusiasm for entrepreneurship makes her the perfect fit for Savant. At Savant, Nivida looks after the Centre’s and the Incubatees books. She plays a lead role in the preparation of audited financial statements, VAT returns grant-related reports and schedules to support financial reports to the board. Most company secretarial duties are also undertaken by Nivida.


Operations Manager

Kate has a doctorate in Clinical Laboratory Medicine and a MBA. She is also well versed in IP management, Venture Capital, Private Equity and Corporate Governance. She has a natural aptitude for technology commercialisation. After spending 12 years as an investment banking analyst, focusing on Healthcare, Real Estate and Telecommunications, she has bolstered the Savant team.

Kate began her career as an entrepreneur with the founding of I2I. She then moved to Acorn Technologies – a life-sciences business incubator. She and Nick later established Savant to broaden their incubation focus. Kate believes that building technology businesses will have a real, positive impact on the South African economy by providing local IP, industrial jobs and Gross National Income.



Francois Malan is the Executive Director: Projects, and a core part of the management team. His focus is on managing and building out the project portfolio whilst ensuring Savant continues to deliver value to each of its client companies.

Francois comes from a manufacturing and project management background and holds a B.Eng and an MBA. His key skills include analysing and distilling problems or complex situations, strategic thinking and strategic planning. His good interpersonal skills to allow for strong working relationships with Savant's wide range of clients. Francois is outcomes-driven and is motivated to drive projects to commercial success.


Commercialisation Manager

Thaheer Mullins is a commercialisation manager. He takes a hands on approach to assisting inventors project manage their product development and piece together the building blocks for commercial success.

Thaheer is always user-focused as he comes from a digital marketing and projects background. He holds a BA Honours, PGDM in Marketing as well as an MBA and offers a diverse soft-skillset. Having worked with a variety of organisations, he is able to engage with stakeholders at multiple levels and remains nimble and adept to start-up environments.

Savant runs an Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) programme, whereby commercially qualified postgraduates can opt to assist its technically gifted inventors. While Savant’s core team may be the long-term drivers of the success of its partnered ventures, the EIRs play a crucial goal in lending strategic and resource capacity to support the inventors as their ventures progress.
Savant may have up to five EIRs ready to assist inventors – from compiling funding proposals and project management, to market research and strategy development. Inventors have an opportunity to work closely with EIRs through direct one-on-one interactions and open communication channels. Past inventors have benefited from the acceleration and improvement in quality of work done.

Find out more about our approach

Our Approach

Typical inventors that Savant partners with have a great deal of technical expertise, but lack the commercial expertise to turn their technology into commercially viable products. Savant assists greatly in bridging that gap. At the same time, Savant sources suitable mentors to give the inventors access to industry experts that have already made significant industry connections and may have already walked in their shoes. The personal development assistance and industry influence greatly enhances the venture’s trajectory from early stage to market entry.

Find out more about our approach

Our Approach

See our success stories

Find out more about the companies we’ve worked with