DR McLEAN SIBANDA (LLD, LLM Commercial Law, LLB, MSc (Eng.), BSc (Eng.)), author of Nuts & Bolts and Footprints, is an avid believer that entrepreneurship is about building the future, and his humble beginnings provided a sound foundation for his passion for entrepreneurship. In his pre-teen years, he sold vegetables that his grandparents grew and helped his enterprising mother with merchandising clothing. At high school, he ran sandwich and hair cutting businesses, whilst at university he established and ran a successful tennis coaching practice that paid him more than his first salary as an engineer. He did multi-level marketing and rented out property partly financed by banks, to young professionals, and has invested in and supported a number of start-ups.
McLean is an accomplished C-suite executive, patent attorney, engineer and internationally respected innovation promoter with a 25-year career in engineering, infrastructure, intellectual property, innovation, entrepreneurship, and related fields.
He is currently MD of Bigen Global Limited. Before joining Bigen in 2018, he was the CEO of The Innovation Hub (2011-2018), where he led its repositioning to focus on innovation. He has served on various boards in South Africa and Kenya. He was on the International Association of Science and Technology Parks (IASP) Executive Board as President of the Advisory Council and Africa Division President, and contributed to IASP’s global expertise and capacity development in Africa.
In 2007, McLean co-founded intellectual property firm Sibanda & Zantwijk Attorneys and Intangible Consulting/IdeaNav. He was the chief drafter of South Africa’s Intellectual Property Rights from Publicly Financed Research and Development Act; and consults to the World Intellectual Property Organization in addition to being a visiting lecturer at Africa University.