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 Prof. Ashley Uys

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Qualifications: Mr Uys’ taste for business was sparked soon after completing his BSc in 2002 and, a year later, his BSc (Honours) in biotechnology, both at UWC. He had just wrapped up his honours studies when he enrolled in a two-year incubation internship run by Wits University, the University of Cape Town (UCT) and Acorn Technologies, a Cape Town-based incubator. As a follow-up to that programme he joined Vision Biotech as a research and development assistant in 2005. The following year, while still with Vision Biotech, Mr Uys started Real World Diagnostics.
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Biography

 Mr Ashley Uys started his first business at the age of 22 and has since garnered many accolades for  his entrepreneurial prowess.
 In 2008 –  aged just 24 – he won the South African Breweries (SAB) Kick Start National Business of the Year Award. In 2010, he was named the Western Cape Business Opportunity Forum (WECBOF) Young Entrepreneur of the Year. He made Forbes Magazine’s ‘30 Under 30: Africa’s Best Young Entrepreneurs’ list in 2012. He was selected as the Endeavour SA Entrepreneur for 2013 and was listed among Forbes ‘Africa’s most promising entrepreneurs’ in 2014.
 To date, Mr Uys has started three companies – Real World Diagnostics in 2006, Medical Diagnostech in 2010, and OculusID in 2013. Medical Diagnostech specialises in the development and manufacture of lateral flow rapid diagnostic kits used to test for drugs, HIV and pregnancy, among other applications (‘lateral flow’ refers to lateral flow immunoassays, the laboratory technique that is at the heart of the development of the test kits). Medical Diagnostech’s low-cost malaria test kit  earned Mr Uys the SAB Annual Social Innovation Award in 2012.
Mr Uys’ taste for business was sparked soon after completing his BSc in 2002 and, a year later, his BSc (Honours) in biotechnology, both at UWC. He had just wrapped up his honours studies when he enrolled in a two-year incubation internship run by Wits University, the University of Cape Town (UCT) and Acorn Technologies, a Cape Town-based incubator. As a follow-up to that programme he joined Vision Biotech as a research and development assistant in 2005. The following year, while still with Vision Biotech, Mr Uys started Real World Diagnostics.
Mr Uys’s business ventures have allowed him to achieve two objectives: to be his own boss and to work in science. It was his studies in biotechnology that first alerted him to the opportunities to develop his own products.
In addition to contributing to scientific innovation and healthcare, Mr Uys’s companies have also created much-needed jobs in Cape Town. Rather than automate production of his high-tech products, Mr Uys chose  to incorporate unskilled manual labour in his production process, in order to  create employment opportunities.

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