• About Us

  • About Us

We help start-ups, SMMEs, and end-user innovators with: technology development, Intellectual Property (IP) positioning, market strategies and business readiness.

iBESA is a 100% black owned start-up founded by senior professionals with expertise in science research, technology management, innovation management, human capital development, and business. Our focus is directed at the incubation and facilitation of knowledge-based ventures in South Africa and the surrounding region.

iBESA's Mission

To develop entrepreneurial capacity for technological innovation, by enabling the establishment of high-impact companies, with support from the National System of Innovation.

Our focus is directed at the incubation and facilitation of knowledge-based ventures in South Africa and the surrounding region.

Our Stakeholders

  • Government agencies
  • Research organisations
  • Higher education institutions (universities and universities of technology)
  • Industry (private companies)
  • Funding Institutions
  • iBESA's extended support network (e.g. MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives)
  • Entrepreneurial teams – Individuals who are active in technological innovation.

The Team

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Thembela Hillie

Founder & CEO

PhD (Physics), MBA (MIT cross registration with Harvard Business School, USA)

Thembela is an MIT Sloan fellow in Innovation and Global leadership with extensive experience in technology-based enterprises, commercializing science, IP-based strategies, early-stage capital ventures and private equity.

He has more than 25 years of research experience in science at nanoscale, including technology and innovation management. Some of these years were spent advising in nanotechnology policy, where he participated in national and international strategic initiatives and implementation programs.

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Pindiwe Sifunda


MSc (Chemistry), MBA (Stellenbosch)

 Pindiwe has an extensive knowledge of the NSI, its elements and the instruments that are required to giving effect to its intentions.

She has more than 20 years working through the innovation value chain from being a scientist, research and innovation policy administrator to her recent assignment in building high end human capital to capacitate the system.  

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 Lulama Wakaba


PhD (Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, UIUC, USA)

 Lulama brings a skill set that draws from his broad exposure to various sectors of industry, ranging from Investment Banking to Airports Management.
In addition to his experience with research and development in an industrial context, Lulama has served as a manager of research, development and innovation at a research organization in South Africa. He has also been a Fulbright scholar to the United States.

Support Network

Meet our partners who have helped propel iBESA portfolio companies: