The Global Institute for Advancing Innovation is a joint venture between Raluca Pauna and the Caban Group of Companies. The Institute brings together substantial expertise in driving innovation in South Africa and abroad and has offices in Cape Town, Johannesburg and London.

THE TEAM

RALUCA PAUNA
CEO

MSc Computer Engineering (BUCH), CI (UP), Researcher in Management of Innovation (WBS)

Raluca is a senior technical and entrepreneurial executive with more than 23 years of experience in managing technical departments, managing research and innovation projects at design and implementation levels. She is a results-oriented achiever involved in identifying technological innovation that will accelerate economic growth.

Her strengths include assessing and auditing technical innovation projects in ICT, alternative and saving energy, bioscience, social and community based innovation and skill set includes Java development, web and database design, cloud service and computer architecture, PC boards design, mobile platforms and cloud services, big data analysis.

Raluca started her career Romania where she worked as a System Engineer at Government Ministerial Departments. She then moved on to the role of Chief of Computer Department at the Research Institute of Fine Mechanics and Instruments in Bucharest.

Raluca then launched into her international career as a member of the EU Leadership Thinking Tank in Brussels and then onto TECHNONET AFRICA, a network for supporting Africa entrepreneurs working as a link coordinator for entrepreneurs , at UNDP. Raluca is also an IBM International mentor for IBM Global Entrepreneurship Program from 2013.

She is also a trustee of SA Institute of Inventors and Innovators from 2011. She adds her contribution for enhancing and nurturing the culture of innovation in SA by giving guidance to SA emerging innovators.

She is currently based in South Africa as an external technical innovation consultant working part time for Support Program for Industrial Innovation (SPII) at IDC from 2000 and this year she was engaged by Resilient Africa Network – South African Innovation Laboratory – to coordinate their innovation department at UP. Under this position she developed and facilitated courses in Design Thinking and Theory of Change after she got trained by ChangeLabs/Stanford University/USA.

She was recently invited to be a judge in the panel of judges for Innovation Summit Garage at Cape Town Competition 2014.

Achievements include:

  • Producing due diligence and audit reports for around 300 applicants involved in industrial innovation projects (mainly electric/electronic and IT).
  • Mentoring and coaching the SPII applicants (~300) for developing and implementing their innovation projects from idea to diffusion.
  • Mentoring more than 200 innovators, members and applicants enrolled at The Institute of Innovators and Inventors for developing their ideas to the market.
  • These innovators were guided with patience and care during the full cycle of innovation.
  • Finalist in innovation competitions in 2012 and 2013 and mentor and judge at IBM Smart Camp in San Francisco.

She is proficient in English, French and Romanian.

Raluca’s motto is, “Where the sun shines, there too is shadow. Be illumined by the light of knowledge no less than by its shadow”. (Patton, 2002, p. 429)

To view Raluca’s full profile please click here.

DAVE ROMERO
DIRECTOR

B.Compt, Professional Accountant (SA)

Dave qualified as a Professional Accountant (SA) in 1987. He Joined a Corporate Finance Company after qualifying where he got the first taste of Venture Capital. Dave became the Financial Director and later, the Managing Director of Equivest, a Venture Capital Group.

During 1991, Dave established his own Venture Capital Company which was listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange on the 25th of November 1997. REF Finance and Investment Corporation Ltd focussed on the ICT industry. Highlights of this company include being ranked 21st in a Business Times Top 100 Companies survey during 1998, ranked the 40th fastest growing company in South Africa, with investors receiving a 1,800% return over a five year period

The company became a casualty of the October 1998 crash, where the shares tumbled in line with global markets, however Dave listed two more companies during 1999.

After resigning as Executive Chairman from REF Finance and Investment Corporation Ltd Dave went on to pursue a career in consulting and business mentoring.

During 2005, Dave bought into Isibane Holdings (Pty) Ltd, formed a Private Equity company called Isibane Capital Ltd and was elected as the Joint CEO. 2009 saw the merger of the company with Pulse Private Equity.

Dave founded TBL Capital utilising his 24 years’ experience in Corporate Finance to assist Entrepreneurs.

During 2012, Dave decided that he wanted to enter the Private Equity arena again. In particular, wanted to use his experience to help entrepreneurs and make them successful. To that end, he founded Caban Investments Limited of which he is the Group CEO. He also founded the following holding companies:

  • Caban Capital PLC – The group’s holding company based United Kingdom;
  • Caban Investments UK Limited – Caban’s United Kingdom operation;
  • TBL Capital UK Limited – United Kingdom financial services company;
  • UREG Investments Limited – The Group’s renewable energy and sustainable holding company.

Dave also serves on the board of the following organisations:

  • South African Small and Medium Enterprise Federation (SASMEF);
  • Salesian Life Choices

JARED PILLAI
DIRECTOR

Jared is a serial entrepreneur, an eccentric, fast-paced marketing professional, advisor to emerging companies, a speaker on entrepreneurship, marketing, social media and product development, founder of Million Baby, inventor of TodPod and is passionate about Innovation, web technology and startups.

A runner up in season 2 of the Big Break Legacy reality TV show and a national finalist in the 2013 step-up technology innovation awards, He is also the founder of @PreneursUnite movement which is about creating a global entrepreneur society bringing entrepreneurs together in promoting entrepreneurship via networking events locally and soon globally.

Jared was featured in Dragons Den in 2014 for TodPod and successfully received an investment of R1Million from three dragons. The three dragons were Vinny Lingham (CEO of Gyft / Tech Entrepreneur), Gil Oved (CEO of The Creative Counsel) and Polo Leteka (CEO of IDF Managers).

His specialties include: Marketing, Online Marketing, SEO, SEM, CRM, Public Relations, Social Media Marketing, Online Brand Management, Product Innovation, Product Design, Rapid Prototyping, Entrepreneurship, Web Technology and Tech Innovation.

ALAN EDWARDS
FINANCIAL MANAGER

Alan has over 25 years’ experience and razor-sharp expertise in the accounting and tax areas. After completing five years of Articles, Alan moved on to Accountant and Administration Management positions in various companies.

Alan spent 8 years as Associate Partner in an Accounting and Taxation firm, honing his specialist skills in the tax environment. In 2012 Alan became a partner in TBL Accounting Services (a division of TBL Capital) and offers expert financial assistance to business.

ROBIN BOTHA
SECRETARY

Robin has qualifications in project management, business administration and customer relations and is passionate about customer relations.

When Robin is not keeping the office running smoothly, she teaches bible studies and is an active member of the EAON Dance Academy.

ABOUT CABAN

CabanWhiteCaban (pronounced kah-baan) is a company born from authentic passion to enable entrepreneurs to succeed in business.

A core focus is to invest in high-growth opportunities to maximise returns for shareholders, at the same time also providing a comprehensive service offering to cover all your business needs. From small start-ups to larger companies, we offer the entire spectrum of service offerings, literally. Once the basics of business building are taken care of (finances, strategies, business plans etc), we then ensure your business is visible through all applicable channels. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach at Caban. Every business is unique and requires the right platform for the right audience.

Visit our website for more detail on what we can do to make your idea a reality, in turn generating income and working towards a successful and thriving business. Caban is a collaboration of like-minded entrepreneurs, each with substantial experience, expertise and know-how to focus on those areas where your business needs focus. We thrive on building people, we embrace the concept of social capitalism, and we are here to show you the win-win scenario in action.

For more information visit www.caban.co.za.