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Karen Eksteen

Karen has over 10 years innovation management experience focused on innovation investment, technology innovation, business incubation and tech nology transfer management. She holds a M-degree in Business Leadership from University of South Africa and a BSc Hons (Microbiology) from the University of Free State, SA.

As a founding member of Innocircle (Pty) Ltd – an innovation consultancy - Karen gets to live her passion for entrepreneurship, innovation management of new technologies, new venture creation, supporting and facilitating the technology innovation process.

Previously at the Technology Innovation Agency and Cape Biotech Trust as an Innovation Skills Development Manager, Karen lead and managed a number of skills interventions that were targeted at national and international skills transfer and partnering initiatives to improve the innovation capacity in South Africa.

She participated in the Innovation Systems Leadership Programme (ISLP) sponsored by the Department of Science & Technology and COFISA (Cooperation between Finland and South Africa). The aim of the programme was to identify individuals that could influence the National System of Innovation. Karen was a founding member of the Southern African Innovation Network (SAINe), which was launched as a result of the ISLP.

Some of her past experience includes senior positions at Cape Biotech Trust, Status Staffing Solutions and Swift Micro Laboratories.

Karen’s motto in life:

If you really believe in what you are doing, work hard, take nothing personally and if something blocks one route, find another. Never give up. ~ Laurie Notaro