Wednesday, 18 June 2014 00:00
Top fundable companies gain the right training to face international judges
Having created a springboard for Sri Lankan entrepreneurs for the third consecutive year, Venture Engine, a collaboration between Blue Ocean Ventures and the Indian Angel Network, recently selected its top fundable companies. The selection followed the two minute pitch presentations made by 56 shortlisted businesses to a renowned panel of Sri Lankan judges. The pitch round, is to be followed by a series of workshop sessions on the essential financial and legal processes of managing a business.
“A key aspect of the Venture Engine program is the focus on empowering entrepreneurs with the right skills and expertise that will prepare them for the challenges to come and the workshops play a crucial role in this. The profile of the program has enabled us to attract industry leaders to come on board and run the workshops, ensuring that the quality of advice and guidance provided is of the highest calibre,” said Blue Ocean Ventures Co-Founder Prajeeth Balasubramaniam.
Initiating the series of workshops, Hussain Moosajee guided candidates through relevant elements of Finance and Accounting. Moosajee, a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Management Accountant (UK) with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, is also a certified trainer of ‘Expand Your Business’, a program founded and initiated by the International Labor Organisation.
The second session will be conducted by University of Edinburgh Business School Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship Research Dr. Geoff Gregson, who will present a high level overview covering all aspects of business management, including valuation methods and what investors look for in entrepreneurs and businesses. Gregson has managed research projects sponsored by the UK government, European Commission, British Academy, Advanced Institute of Management, Economic and Social Research Council and Scottish Science Advisory Committee, amongst others.
Nithya Partners Precedent Partner Dr. Arittha Wikramanayake will address the current candidates on the finer points of Legal and Management issues at a workshop on 19 June. An Attorney-at-Law, Wikramanayake holds postgraduate degrees in law from the Schools of Law at the Vrije Universitiet, Brussels, Belgium and the University of Georgia, Athens, USA. In addition to a Masters in Law and Diplomacy (MALD) from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, USA, he was also conferred a Doctorate from the University of Colombo in 2013.
“The Venture Engine workshops will provide a foundation for entrepreneurs to build strategically sound, financially stable and viable business plans as they move on through the competition. The process ensures that the finalists represent the very best of the talent pool and are better equipped to face the international panel of judges,” said Lankan Angel Network Chairman Eric Wikramanayake.
Based on the goal of providing long term stability through education and tangible benefits to the entrepreneur, Venture Engine offers valuable insight into business management, creating successful business plans to gain funding, access to a series of high profile potential investors, networking opportunities, mentoring by successful and experienced professionals, comprehensive feedback on business models and guidance for startups through the funding cycle.
Over its brief two year duration, the project provided the foundation for 12 businesses, providing Rs. 200 million in investment. Venture Engine also provides startups with access to a breadth of expertise in the form of workshops and mentoring sessions via Lankan Angel Network and the Indian Angel Network, and is supported by Platinum Sponsors Expolanka Holdings and Orion City as well as Gold Sponsor Dialog Telekom.