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Grasshoppers wins World Summit Awards; will represent Sri Lanka at global ceremony in Europe

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The ingenuity behind the Sri Lankan last-mile logistics provider – Grasshoppers – was recognised by the WSA grand jury among the 2018 winners of the prestigious WSA award system. Here, the Grasshoppers Technology Stack for E-Commerce Fulfilment was selected from the category of Business & Commerce. 

The WSA award turned the spotlight to this unusual Sri Lankan tech startup’s business and commercial models, while applauding its potential to impact Sri Lanka’s e-commerce and entrepreneurial landscapes. With this, Grasshoppers will join the WSA global ceremony in Portugal representing Sri Lanka as an outstanding example of digital innovation in e-commerce. 

Grasshoppers, is a Kapruka and Avishkaar Frontier Fund merger, co-founded by Dulith Herath (Sri Lankan tech innovator behind Kapruka.com) and Dr. Harsha Liyanage (creator of Sarvodaya Fusion promoting IT Education across Sri Lanka). The first nomination for the Grasshoppers at 2018 WSAs came through the ICTA as a national choice. Grasshoppers then went on to compete with over 100 international entries from around the world before it got selected as a 2018 winner. 

Grasshoppers is among a series of winners that include some of the most revolutionary contemporary digital innovation from every part of the globe – particularly those that impact socioeconomic development. Grasshoppers’ WSA 2018 award win highlights how the company ties in radical thinking with digital innovation and social impact in Sri Lanka, where people around the island will be given the opportunity to benefit from their powerful trade network.

It also recognises Grasshoppers’ creative use of digital innovation, fostering entrepreneurship and making platforms accessible at grassroot levels. The official ceremony for the winners will take place at the WSA Global Congress in Cascais, Portugal, during March 2019, where Grasshoppers will represent Sri Lanka. Here, the company representatives will receive the award, pitch their solution in front of an experts jury, gain new skills ins hands-on workshops and meet the WSA global network and other winners for new partnerships and social franchising. For Sri Lanka, this becomes a fantastic depiction of its inspiring entrepreneurial environment to breed tech based start-ups, upon an international platform.

The 2018 competition for the WSA Awards had 400 submissions from over a hundred UN member states that were nominated through local authorities and organisations of each nation. This made the 2018 selection process a highly competitive one. The jurors conducted in-depth research and engaged in extensive discussions to select the forty WSA winners of 2018, during the final round of evaluations in Accra, Ghana. The Grasshoppers’ nomination for the WSA qualified as a winner after being reviewed by this impressive international jury, and was approved by the Board of Directors of WSA. 

This placed Grasshoppers Technology Stack for E-Commerce Fulfilment within the cream of the crop of diverse and creative products, projects and applications at the. WSA’s – a group that accurately demonstrates the richness and diversity of digital content, tech-innovation globally and how ICTs can have a positive impact on society.

The World Summit Awards are an awards system linked to the UN World Summit Awards. It is a system dedicated to selecting and promoting digital innovation that catalyses socioeconomic development. It brings together an ongoing series of international events and activities, and has been in operation for fifteen years now. The award system was initiated as part of the framework of the UN World Summit on the Information Society (UN WSIS). It contributes to the UN sustainable development goals agenda, and are conducted by ICNM, an Austrian not-for-profit organisation based in Salzburg and Vienna, Austria.

With Grasshoppers’ WSA 2018 win, the company will be connected to multi-level knowledge exchange that will push it forward by allowing the company to draw from some of the business and tech brains from around the world. Through WSAs, Grasshoppers will also receive global visibility through national experts network, media partners and strategic cooperation allowing it to draw in new interest for partnerships and investments.

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