Nneile Nkholise, 2016 alumna of the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme from South Africa was recently announced as one of the winners of an international award in the African Entrepreneur Category.
Over the years, Nneile has had a very interesting and commendable entrepreneurship journey, and one can easily see that impact has been at the core of all her activities. She is a mechanical engineering graduate, who has pivoted to biotechnology and the design of innovative solutions for animal care.
In 2015, she served as the co-founder of iMed Tech, a medical prosthesis design and manufacturing company, that specializes in breast prosthesis using 3D design and additive manufacturing in the process chain.
Popularly known as the entrepreneur who uses technology for animal husbandry, this entrepreneurship adventure led her to the launch of her company, 3DIMO. What initially started as a company focused on sports tech and designed software to provide coaches with insight into players’ performance and allows them to predict risks of overload, has since grown to become a tech solution that automates the analysis of animal data and generates a universally traceable digital identification of each animal linked to a breeder following the effects of the pandemic on the sports industry.
Her excellent track record has led to her being recognised by various notable platforms since her participation in the 2016 Tony Elumelu Foundation Programme.
Nneile’s work in prosthesis fabrication using Additive Manufacturing has led her to being recognised as Africa’s top Female Innovator in 2016 and also South Africa youth of the year in 2017. Following her recent successes, she launched 3dimo, focused on the detection of sports injuries, prevention, and rehabilitation. She creates digital models for athletes that are analyzed and observes what happens when athletes train to predict injuries.
3DIMO’s product, Thola, provides a globally accessible animal biometric identification, linking an animal to a farmer. Thola is a system that uses animal nose prints to create a biometric identity for each animal. Thola is then used to detect any health risks in livestock in real-time by leveraging infrared imagery and artificial intelligence. By detecting anomalies in livestock within a farm and nearby regions this system is able to alert local farmers should there be a breakout of disease. In-app notifications help farmers to prevent losses by seeking timely treatment or vaccination for their herd.
She credits the foundation for helping her to develop a sustainable business that has now impacted thousands across South Africa.