Friday, 27 March 2015 00:00
From left: Blue Ocean Ventures Co-Founder Prajeeth Balasubramanium, Takas.lk CEO, Finalist Venture Engine 2012 Lahiru Pathmalal, Expolanka Holdings Head of Marketing, Corporate Communications and CSR Paddy Weerasekara, Blue Ocean Ventures Co-Founder Rajan Anandan, Orion City CEO Jeevan Gnanam, Dialog Enterprise Group Chief Officer Jeremy Huxtable and LAN Chairman Eric Wikramanayake – Pic by Shehan GunasekaraBy Chamodi Gunawardana
Blue Ocean Venture and the Indian Angel Network launched their entrepreneur funding program ‘Venture Engine 2015’ for the fourth consecutive year on Tuesday.
Venture Engine is a platform that gives entrepreneurs access to inventors and mentors who can share their vision and work with them to take it to the next level.
Venture Engine equips new entrepreneurs with all the tools they need to grow. Venture Engine organisers stated that this program would bridge the gap between where the entrepreneur is and where he or she wants to be.
The launch event was attended by representatives from the collaboration Co-Founder of Blue Ocean Ventures Prajeeth Balasubramaniam, Representative of Indian Angel Network and Co-Founder of Blue Ocean Ventures Rajan Anandan, Expolanka Holdings Head of Marketing, Corporate Communication and CSR Paddy Weerasekara, Orion City CEO Jeewan Gnanam, Dialog Enterprise Group Chief Officer Jeremy Huxtable, Lanka Angel Network Chairman Eric Wikramanayaka and Venture Engine 2012 Finalist Lahiru Padmalal.
Blue Ocean Ventures Co-Founder Prajeeth Balasubramaniam said that Venture Engine program was created to help entrepreneurs to start companies in Sri Lanka. He explained how the process benefits applicants to make the case for their business, while further their prospects.
“Venture Engine was started about four years ago to help entrepreneurs to start companies here in Sri Lanka. After created Venture Engine we have been raised over Rs. 500 million, with 15 companies like as Takas, Trekurious, Saraai, etc. So we are launching it for the 2015 consecutive year and closing dates for application will be on 12 May. There will be called for applicant around the country to send their business plans and the process will close on 12 May. There after we filter them and conduct workshops for them. On 24 June we will have the finale. Last year we founded 10 companies. This year we will be founding top fundable companies.”
“Four years ago when we launched Venture Engine it was very difficult to imagine being here today. It is absolutely fantastic. Furthermore, this is high risk capital, but we are taking the risk and funding entrepreneurs to build-up. The special point is that there is no interest,” said Indian Angel Network Representative and Blue Ocean Ventures Co-Founder Rajan Anandan.
Endorsing the event for the fourth consecutive year are Platinum Sponsors Expolanka and Orion City, with Dialog Axiata continuing as Silver Sponsor. Venture Engine is run, mentored and filtered by Strategic Partner the Lankan Angel Network. Wijeya Newspapers Ltd. is print media partner of the event.
In last year’s program, 56 applicants were selected to the first level from 100 submissions. After the filter program, 25 moved to the next step, after which the organisers conducted a workshop for them. In the last step. 14 of them moved to the finals.
Information on the program, previous years’ events and past participants is available on the project website www.ventureengine.lk. Applicant process information and resources are also available on the website with submissions being accepted via [email protected]