The Lankan Angel Network (LAN) will be officially launched on Thursday with the purpose of bringing together the Sri Lankan investor and mentor community and to scale the startup ecosystem.
LAN has identified key challenges that entrepreneurs face at each stage of their life cycle and aims to enable them to overcome those obstacles and accelerate their business to the next level via access to potential investors and mentors in various disciplines.
LAN was born out of Venture Engine 2012, a unique project that was aimed at creating real opportunity for Sri Lankan entrepreneurs. Conceptualised by Blue Ocean Ventures and the Indian Angel Network, the project created a platform for entrepreneurs to pitch directly to potential investors while also providing comprehensive mentoring for the selected businesses. LAN takes forward the pioneering effort of a venture engine to an ongoing platform.
LAN comprises of individual investors, venture capital funds and corporate sponsorship representatives. The active investors will be directly involved in the investment process with a common interest in entrepreneurship.
The processes and procedures set out in LAN will facilitate the investors to act together as a group, lowering risk and providing an easy exit as the company matures. The LAN will also set ethical practice, which governs investor behavior and protects the entrepreneur.
LAN members would usually receive a minority stake in the company, leaving the entrepreneur in control.
The members will bring business building experience, functionality experience, industry experience, contacts for partners, customers and follow-on financing.
The network is looking for clear path to profitability, solid management, realistic business plan, scalable business, competitive edge, market acceptance, realistic financial projections, realistic valuation and a well-articulated exit strategy for investors.
Prajeeth Balasubramaniam, Managing Director of Blue Ocean Ventures has taken the leadership to form LAN. Leading business figures such as Calamander Capital Director Mafaz Ishaq, Orion City CEO/Board Member of SLASSCOM Jeevan Gnanam, Argent Capital Managing Director Apurva Udeshi, Ridgecrest CEO/Board Member of SLASSCOM Sanath Fernando and Blue Ocean Ventures Chairman Rajan Anandan have formed the core team to take this initiative forward.
Sri Lanka was lacking an entrepreneurship ecosystem and capital sourcing and angel investing was especially hard to come by. LAN aims to solve that problem and take the Sri Lankan business environment to the next level.