Nicoli Koorbannally

Nicoli Koorbanally is an Intellectual Property and Technology Commercialisation professional with over 20 years’ experience in research, development and technology innovation in the public sector in South Africa.  She has held various posts, including as Group Manager for the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR) Licensing and Ventures Office, at the National Research Foundation, the Softstart Business Incubator Trust, and as a Research Chemist at the CSIR.
She has managed projects such as South African Finland Knowledge Partnership on ICT Programme (SAFIPA), the establishment of the Southern African Mobile Applications Lab (mLab) supported by the World Bank's InfoDev Programme, and was a founding member of the South African Innovation Network (SAINe).
Nicoli has served on various Boards and Committees, including as non-executive director of WITS Commercial Enterprise, advisory member of CapeBio Technologies, and the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition’s Support Programme for Industrial Innovation. Nicoli serves as an Advisor for the APEC Centre for Technology Transfer (China) and a Mentor at The Innovation Hub’s Biopark Incubator.

After a 13-year career at the CSIR, Nicoli established Chakana Consulting in 2019; a consulting firm that focuses on venture advisory services, including strategy development, business optimisation, intellectual property, technology commercialisation, and entrepreneurial mentoring and coaching.  Nicoli is passionate about people driving innovation and thus assisting firms in leveraging their intellectual assets to enable value creation.
Nicoli is currently the CEO of the mLab and works with an exceptional team, almost half of which are women, to empower South Africa’s youth and SMEs to drive our digital economy forward.

Nicoli has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry from the University of Kwazulu Natal and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Pretoria.