HI THERE

OUR PASSION

The SharkSafe Barrier™ is a company run by a handful of passionate people who want to change forever the way ocean users enter the water, by revolutionizing the concept of shark management worldwide.

We are striving for peaceful coexistence with sharks and other marine creatures, that will allow for the rightful inhabitants of the sea to survive and thrive, by eliminating shark culling technologies and for the sea-loving humans to enjoy their time in the water safely.

FOUNDER & SHARK BEHAVIOUR ADVISOR

MICHAEL RUTZEN

Michael Rutzen is a white shark behaviour specialist with more than 20 years of experience at sea. He is one of the four inventors of SharkSafe Barrier™ and the mind behind the utilization of a visual barrier resembling kelp to deter large predatory sharks. Mike is internationally renowned for his documentaries where he dives out of the cage with white sharks for conservation purposes. Besides the conservation effort Mike has been supervising the field work of numerous research projects in collaboration with the Department of Environmental Affairs of South Africa and the University of Stellenbosch.

FOUNDER | COO | DIRECTOR

SARA ANDREOTTI

Dr Sara Andreotti is a marine biologist who has been working in the white shark research field since 2007. She obtained a PhD in Zoology in 2015 at the University of Stellenbosch (South Africa), on white shark population dynamics and genetics. She is among the inventors of the SharkSafe Barrier™ and founder of the company. She mainly focuses on the PR and funds to bring the SSB technology to the global market, but you will often see her diving with the engineering team to test new designs, or in the factory to check the quality of the product.

FOUNDER | CTO | DIRECTOR

LAURIE BARWELL

Eng. Laurie Barwell is an experienced coastal engineer who has been assisting on finalizing the design of the SharkSafe Barrier™ for a rapid and effective deployment at different sea substrates. His main expertise are problem solving and the development of innovative engineering solutions. Laurie is leading the ongoing R&D on the product, the preparation of quotes and tenders and external funding applications.

FOUNDER | CEO | DIRECTOR

CONRAD MATTHEE

Prof. Conrad Matthee, with more than a decade of experience as Head of Department of Botany and Zoology of Stellenbosch University, ensures unity and good communication among the team members, but also actively assists in the raising of funds and interactions with clients.

DIRECTOR | IP PROTECTION

ANITA NEL

Anita Nel is the Chief Director: Innovation and Business Development at Stellenbosch University and also the CEO of US Enterprises (Pty) Ltd, the University’s commercial company. Anita is an experienced technology transfer professional with her roots in technology innovation and venture capital stretching as far back as 1998. She protects the patented IP of SharkSafe Barrier™, owned by Stellenbosch University. Through the US Enterprises team she also provides secretarial assistance and assists in sourcing funding for the research and development of the product.

NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR | OCEAN IMPACT SPECIALIST

LYNTON BURGER

Lynton Burger’s focus is primarily on Ocean Impact investment and strategy for taking SSB to the Australian market. As an impact investment specialist, with a particular passion for the ocean, Lynton draws on his thirty years’ corporate consulting, advisory and research experience to build entrepreneurial purpose-driven businesses and investment funds which are part of the exciting global ‘fourth wave’ – an era of connectedness and consciousness.

DIRECTOR | BUSINESS EXPERTISE

ANTHONY MEDERER

Anthony is an experienced CEO who advises on effective business practice, financial options, customer service and contributing to improve the company’s PR. Passionate about sharks and the ocean since a young age, he witnessed with his own eyes the detrimental effect of shark nets in KwaZulu-Natal. Sharing the same hope as the founders, that we are going to change the current deplorable situation for sharks, he joined the SharkSafe Barrier™ team in 2021 and has become a valuable member of the Board of Directors. He also produces the “Blind Conservation” Podcast to help transform people’s fear of African predators into fascination and respect.

LISTEN TO PODCAST

DIRECTOR | FINANCIAL EXPERTISE

ALBERT VAN DER MERWE

Albert is an investment manager with a background in investment banking and corporate finance advisory. With a keen interest in the intersection of business and conservation, he focusses on finding and assisting companies focused on providing solutions to sustainability and environmental challenges. Albert joined the SharkSafe BarrierTM team and Board of Directors in 2022 and provides guidance on financial aspects of the business. He is also a trustee of WWF South Africa.

 

CHAIR OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS & BUSINESS STRATEGIST

MARIUS UNGERER

Prof. Marius Ungerer is the Chairman of the Board and a business strategy expert from Stellenbosch University School of Business. He assists in keeping the focus on the business priorities.

ACHIEVEMENTS

AWARDS & ENDORSEMENTS

  • Internationally supported by SHARKPROJECT (Austria) and the Humane Society International of Australia.
  • Featured among the online panelists on the Wave of Change Event, France 2020
  • Recognized by the World Economic Forum’s digital platform UpLink as one of its top ocean innovators
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  • Labeled as a Solar Impulse Efficient Solution in 2020
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  • Included in the 1000 Ocean Start-ups Coalition
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  • Won the South African NSTF-Lewis Foundation Green Economy Award at the annual National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF/South32Awards)
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  • Listed among the French organization Tech4Island solutions
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  • Finalist in the Australian Ocean Impact Pitchfest 2020
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  • Featured in the Biomimic Expo (Paris, 2020)
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