Joshua Romisher, CFA, is a serial entrepreneur with a diverse portfolio of ventures, including a boutique investment bank in New York, solar irrigation start-up in India, frozen yogurt franchise in San Francisco and solar home business across Sub-Saharan Africa.
His mission is to create impact at scale with a specific focus on climate. He is driven by the opportunity to provide hard working people across the globe with the platform to put their skills to work in affecting positive social change.
The Stellenbosch University LaunchLab team is a group of passionate, mission-driven individuals coming together for a greater purpose: to positively grow our country, continent and world.
We walk the 0 to 1 path with a select group of dedicated entrepreneurs, providing them a higher probability of success-- and more fun along the way.
Duval is an entrepreneurial advisor and investor. He has worked with founders across a variety of company stages and industries. Duval is currently leading the ClimateLab: a key pillar of Stellenbosch LaunchLab, focused on African companies that are reinventing global sustainability.
He previously worked in investment banking and growth-stage technology investing, as well as advising various early-stage companies in his personal capacity. Duval is a CA(SA) and CFA charterholder.
Nolan has over twelve years of experience as an entrepreneur and engineering leader. This experience includes co-founding a startup, performing consulting services to productize new technology, bootstrapping innovative product development, running a crowdfunding campaign, an exit to an S&P 500-listed company, and helping to scale a product to achieve 10x sales growth.
Nolan has first-hand experience of running a bare-bones startup and how tough (and exciting) it is to be an early-stage tech entrepreneur. He is passionate about building great businesses and helping exceptional founders realize their highest ambitions.
Early-stage Business Building Lead
Daniel Maloba is an Electrical and Electronic engineering graduate with a major in telecommunication from Stellenbosch University (SU). He is a data scientist, self-taught web developer and entrepreneur.
He believes that Africa needs an incubation machine that produces world-class entrepreneurs, for its development. That’s why he joined the SU LaunchLab.
Daniel joined the SU LaunchLab as Varsity Engagement Manager. He aims to foster entrepreneurism on campus and help bridge the gap between academia and industry.
Head of People Ops & Business Builder
Abby Stern, MBA, is a global food industry innovation, health and sustainability expert and founder of Kardamom Consulting, LLC. With over a decade of experience in retail, food service, FMCG, and agriculture and having lived and worked across North America, Europe, Eastern and Southern Africa, Abby now consults for F&B companies of all sizes and stages to help them grow in scale, revenue, impact and innovation.
She is currently leading AgriFoodtech incubation on behalf of SU LaunchLab, including building and managing the Makers Landing Food Incubator at the V&A Waterfront. Abby is also busy developing a People-first, Authentic and Driven culture at SU LaunchLab while optimizing performance of our purpose-driven team.
University StartupLab Director & Activation Lead
Leana studied business and law and practiced as a commercial and litigation attorney for 5 years. During her time as a legal practitioner she worked with both small business ventures and some of the continent’s most prominent financial services companies. In 2020 Leana pursued a full-time MBA through the University of Stellenbosch Business School and graduated cum laude and first in her class in March 2021.
Leana joined SU LaunchLab because she believes that entrepreneurship holds the key to unlocking Africa’s potential and creating a brighter future for all.
Operations & Finance Director
Sultan has 17 years of professional experience in startups, including her own, and multinational corporations such as Microsoft. She first set her foot in South Africa in 1996 to pursue her university studies. She obtained her BA degree from the University of Witwatersrand and her MA degree from the University of Sorbonne-Paris. Despite her travelling and living around the world for many years, she decided to return to South Africa as she felt the loyalty to the country which was already interwoven back in her memory to a lucky encounter with beloved Mandela at the University Witwatersrand where he spoke to a small number of foreign students and told them that they were South Africa’s treasures and that they should serve this country. It was then that she made a promise to come back one day.
She is a fervent believer in kindness, genuine love for the human being, mental well-being, mindful-heartful decision making.
She considers LaunchLab as the most unique platform to make a positive impact in Africa’s future, supported by world-class people at the centre of a globally recognised academic institution.
Natalie de Wet is the bright, smiling face welcoming you everyday at the LaunchLab Front desk. She is the anointed mother to the LaunchLab community. She’s always available and willing to assist. She’s also a loving mom to her own beautiful children.
Community & Office Manager
Nadine is an entrepreneur at heart. In addition to her role of fostering a warm, inviting and highly functioning community for our residents, she is also a small business owner, producing beautiful décor and accessories for weddings and functions.
Nadine served in the South African Police Service for 15 years and fulfilled many roles in different departments, one of them being a Hostage and Suicide Negotiator.
During her journey in SAPS and as a small business owner, she gained a variety of skills, including the ability to engage and communicate with people and build relationships. As a mother of four, Nadine is well equipped with planning, organising, and problem solving. She is happy to be part of the LL Team and to be able to meet so many diverse people, to be engaging with entrepreneurs and to be part of an amazing concept and team.
Office & Community Support
Jade Meyer is the Office and Community Support at SU LaunchLab. Besides helping to throw amazing community events and the like, her primary objective is to ensure that the LaunchLab is a friendly accommodating environment for the residents and guests.
Jade has always had a passion for business and people - leading her to open her own successful wedding cake business with her sister which ran in Pretoria for 6 years. At that time their business was featured on numerous TV shows and was a finalist in the Margaret Hirsch Women in Business Awards.
Jade joined SU LaunchLab to be closely involved with a world-class incubator that is making a difference to the entrepreneurs of South Africa and Africa in helping them shape their businesses.
Frans De Villiers
Business Development Director
Frans De Villiers is a seasoned commercial expert that has spent a large portion of his career in start-up and early growth phase companies. His expertise is business development, marketing, sales and public relations. He has extensive experience in the telecoms, technology and professional services industries.
His mission is to create meaningful partnerships between Launchlab and governments, corporates and development finance institutions.