Official launch eventOn 14th March, we had officially launched the Venture Frontier Lanka initiative with support from the Government and private sponsorship from LOLC. Participation has exceeded expectations, with a large attendance of around 300 entrepreneurs, business leaders, and Government representatives. The program was introduced by the Patron of the Initiative, Hon. Dr. Harsha de Silva, State Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs in the Government of Sri Lanka.
Our panel consisted of a mix of speakers from diverse fields: Official Launch Event
Local entrepreneurs: Dr. Harsha Subasinghe, Founder of Codegen; Mr. Heminda
Jayaweera, Co-Founder of Venture Frontier Lanka
Government representative: Ms. Indira Malwatte, Chairperson of the Export
Business leaders: Mr. Manju Gunawardana, CEO Research & Innovation, LOLC
International entrepreneurs: Mr. Melvin Wong, founder of FanXT; Mr. Ovidiu Bujorean,
Founder & CEO of OviBees Ventures, Co-Founder of Venture Frontier Lanka
Startup Boot Camps (Colombo and Jaffna)Shortly after the Official Launch Event of the Venture Frontier Lanka initiative in Colombo, we had announced applications for our first edition of Startup Boot Camps.
It was a two-day event that had taken place in both Colombo at Trace Expert City (2-3 May) and Jaffna at YarlIT Hub (5-6 May) and provided extensive business development training, mentorship and pitching support to the best early-stage Sri Lankan startups.
We convened regional and international experts in entrepreneurship to go throughout Sri Lanka with the goal to inspire entrepreneurs to think differently about the ventures they will start.
Among the speakers delivering workshops and sessions at the Startup Boot Camp included:
Jim Bagnola, President of The Leadership Group;
Gibs Song, Venture Partner, Big Basin Capital;
Harsha Subasinghe, President and CEO, Codegen;
Rajat Arora, Policy Programs Manager, Facebook India & South Asia;
Jon Cayzer, Speechwriter and policy adviser/writer;
Senura Abeywardena, Attorney;
Revan Weerasinghe, Attorney;
Tilak Dissanayake, Founder, Ants Global;
Chris Doering, Project Coordinator StartUp Ecosystem Sri Lanka;
Ravi Bamunusinghe, Owner, Research Consultancy Bureau;
Nissanka Weerasekera, Managing Director, Abraaj Capital;
CEO Breakfast ForumTransforming Sri Lanka with private sector leadership and entrepreneurship
It was an exclusive breakfast series, which brought together over 30 leaders of the top companies in Sri Lanka from different industries for thought-provoking content and networking opportunities. It took place at Jetwing Colombo Seven and the agenda included a keynote speech delivered by Jim Bagnola, President - The Leadership Group International and a panel discussion with:
Jim, Bagnola, President - The Leadership Group International
Rajendra Theagarajah, CEO - Cargills Bank Limited
Heminda Jayaweera, Co-founder - Venture Frontier Lanka
Nisthar Cassim, Chief Editor - Daily FT
Ovidiu Bujorean, Co-founder Venture Frontier Lanka.
National Ideation BroadcastThe National Broadcast was an interactive online conference that brought great entrepreneurial minds together to inspire the next generation of innovators discussing startup ideation that had viewing sites in universities and hubs around the country with over 1 800 views. The first episode had as the main topic of discussion IDEATION. Ideation is the concept of taking an idea and formulating the optimum method to process it and put forward steps to turn that idea into a reality. In the context of product innovation, ideation sets the foundation for everything leading up to product launch.
The panel discussion was formed by: - Jim Bagnola, President - The Leadership Group International, - Harsha Subasinghe, President and CEO, Codegen - Ovidiu Bujorean, Co-founder Venture Frontier Lanka
Webinar Series1st episode - Social Media for Entrepreneurs by Indu Nanayakkara (Link)
2nd episode - Design Thinking for Entrepreneurs by Chris Doering (Link)
3rd episode - Storytelling for Entrepreneurs by Alex Glod (Link)
4th episode - Intellectual Property for Entrepreneurs by Joe Hadzima (Link)
5th episode- Personal Branding for Entrepreneurs by Indi Samarajiva (Link)
Founders in ActionThis is an event dedicated to learning through unique experiences. It brings together fellow entrepreneurs, mentors, speakers, Venture Frontier Lanka members and other important actors of the startup scene. Our goal is to create a collaborative culture meant to provide knowledge that can help you create future initiatives, but also a culture that enables an exchange of ideas and resources.
Entrepreneurship CaravanThe Entrepreneurship Caravan is an initiative designed as a great avenue to bring experts in entrepreneurship from around the country to cities throughout Sri Lanka. The main goal of these caravans is to train local entrepreneurs to think differently about the ventures they will start. A caravan stop consists of different sessions about creating unique ideas for startup ventures and strategies for developing and financing those ideas. The first series was launched in two cities, Galle at the University of Ruhuna (September 23rd) and Kandy at the University of Peradeniya (October 6th) and continued in Colombo at Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT) and at the University of Vocational Technology in December and January respectively.
National Startup Challenge & Pitch DayThis is a 2-day event that we hosted at the Dialog Axiata Auditorium, in Colombo, with the purpose to identify Sri Lanka's top 30 seed and early stage entrepreneurs and to funnel the top ventures to international connections to expand their reach. The National Startup Challenge involved workshops delivered by international and Sri Lankan speakers on how to grow and scale a business globally, and provided extensive business development training, mentorship and pitching support to the best early-stage Sri Lankan startups, as well as Pitch Day, which was a public event. The Pitch Day event consisted of a competition where 7 of the most compelling entrepreneurial teams got the chance to pitch their startups in front of tech entrepreneurs, angel investors as well as people interested in entrepreneurship. Judges looked for the potential to scale internationally, commercial potential, team characteristics and the dimension of impact. Industries of interest for this edition are agriculture, healthcare, education, tourism, logistics, ICT.
Among the speakers delivering workshops and sessions at the National Startup Challenge included:
Dr. Harsha De Silva, Minister of Economic Reform and Public Distribution
Avishag Bohbot, Founders Group
Jim Bagnola, President, The Leadership Group
Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya, Regional CEO of Axiata Group
Mano Sekaram, Founder and CEO, Startup X Foundry
Harinda Fonseka, Founder and CEO, gudppl.com
Rohan Jayaweera, Country General Manager, Palo Alto Networks
Bhanuka Harischandra, Founder and CEO, Surge Global
Tilak Dissanayake, Founder, Ants Global
Ajith Gunawardena, Former Deputy Chairman JKH, Former Chairman Odel, Current Chairman PickMe
Women in EntrepreneurshipWomen in Entrepreneurship is a series of events to celebrate Women Entrepreneurs and amplify their voices and impacts in entrepreneurship, business and innovation. This first edition took place on 13th of November at HomeTree Coworking and comprised on a panel discussion formed of female leaders from various fields and stages of career who shared their strategies, approaches, and tools for success.
Sajani Amarasiri - S&OP Manager at Microsoft, Founder of Colombo Cooperative
Yusra Aziz Eliyas - Founder/Owner at PODI JOBS
Dr. Sulochana Segera - Founder/ Chairperson Women in Management
Sulogini Segaram - Member of Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce
Sharon Dinasha Stephen - Communications Consultant