Welcome to the Bio Centrifuge Africa, a competition bridging innovation and opportunity between South Africa’s expanding biotech sector and the esteemed BioHealth Capital Region (BHCR) in the USA. This groundbreaking event promises to propel visionary health-focused innovators as well as aspiring students onto the global stage.



The BioHealth Capital Region (Maryland/Virginia/Washington) is one of the leading U.S. BioPhama Clusters, ranking top 3 in 2024. The ranking is based on five key criteria: Patents, NIH funding, Lab Space, Jobs and VC funding.

BioHealth is hosting its 10th annual BioHealth Capital Region week from September 17 – 19, 2024 in Rockville, Maryland. The week consists of a regional forum, a Crab Trap competition and the 7th investment conference. The Crap Trap competition is designed to give a limited number of Biotech entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch their companies in front of investors and peers. The winner receives a year’s lab space in Washington and a small cash prize of $10,000.

There are however no losers, as the exposure and experience will shape decisions for many years to come.


This year South Africa, through the Western Cape’s biotech hub region supported by Wesgro, has partnered with BioHealth Capital Region, U.S. and has been invited to send a winning candidate from our region to compete as a finalist at The Crab Trap competition on the 18th of September 2024 in Rockville, Maryland.

The Bio Centrifuge Africa competition invites South African innovators in the health sector to showcase their transformative solutions. If your company has an early stage, world changing product that is technically feasible, then this is the competition for you.

Judging criteria for all companies making it to the final will be the following:

  • Demonstrated Proof of Concept
  • Have received Funding (dilutive/nondilutive)
  • Understanding Regulatory/Reimbursement Paths
  • Clear Path to Market & Scalable

In this inaugural edition of the Bio Centrifuge Africa competition, a call for applications from innovators is open until 14 June 2024, focusing on attracting companies with innovative products or solutions within the Medical Device, BioTech, Digital health or pharmaceutical sectors. Application criteria will be aligned with the BioHealth Capital Region’s consideration but with specific nuances for our region.

Shortlisted candidates will be announced at the beginning of June, and then embark on a preparation journey to workshop their pitches and business ideas. A final selection of ready candidates will do an in-person pitch in Cape Town on the 17th of July 2024 where our resident judges as well as the CEO and President of BioHealth Capital Region will select the winning candidate who will compete (all expenses covered) at the Rockville Crap Trap.


We are also excited to include our own unique category for students at this event, with the aim of empowering and inspiring future bio-entrepreneurs and innovators. The winner of this category will have the opportunity of attending the BioHealth Capital Region congress alongside the winner of the commercial category, thereby exposing them to the demands, requirements but more importantly the global opportunities for entrepreneurs.

The Bio Centrifuge Africa competition is open to all public and private higher education students nationwide at 3rd year and post-graduate levels. Finalists will pitch alongside the commercial entrants, and to the same judges, for their own all expenses paid place to Rockville in September 2024.

Judging criteria for all students making it to the final will be the following:

  • Solution meeting a need
  • Viability, sustainability and feasibility of the concept
  • Clarity of the message and desired outcome
  • African export opportunity (uniquely African in design and manufacturing)


TASK Applied Science is an international clinical research site network, focussed on bringing more innovative solutions to the communities in South Africa. This competition provides the perfect platform to showcase the level and quality of research in South Africa.

Eduvos, one of South Africa’s largest independent private higher education institutions (registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET). Eduvos, in its commitment to empowering, and enabling the next generation of scientists, bioentrepreneurs and innovators for the future is excited to be part of this journey.



The South Africa Bio Centrifuge Africa competition prize package for the winner in each category includes:

  • A 3-day trip to the BioHealth Crab Trap competition in Maryland, USA in September 2024 (the industry category winner to compete in the Crab Trap competition against international entrants; the student category winner to attend the event).
  • All travel expenses will be paid including return flights, visas and accommodation.
  • 3-6 months complimentary access to UVUBio labs
  • Inclusion into the UVUBio incubation program

The Crab Trap competition prize package for the winner in each category includes:

  • A cash prize of $10 000 courtesy of Greenberg Traurig
  • A one-year residency at JLABS @ Washington, D.C., for a company chosen by JLABS.
  • Access to $10 000 worth of Preclinical CRO services provided by Noble Life Sciences.


Click here to view the terms and conditions


Get ready to shape the future of biotech innovation. The call for applications closes at 17h00 SAST on the 14th of June 2024. The Bio Centrifuge Africa, a transformative journey for South Africa’s innovators to the BioHealth Crab Trap competition in Maryland!

For inquiries or partnership opportunities, please contact