Brandix and WSO2 launch 2015 MIT Global Startups Challenge in Sri Lanka

Monday, 8 June 2015 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The hunt has begun for Sri Lanka’s ‘big idea’ technology startups with the launch of the 2015 Global Startup Labs (GSL) Sri Lanka Challenge. This year, for the first time, Brandix will be joined by WSO2 to support this program run by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

This seven-week incubation program is designed to identify, develop and commercialise successful technology-based enterprises. Undergraduates, graduates, working professionals and others who have innovative ideas for technology startups can apply online at before Wednesday 10 June. The program is scheduled to take place from 22 June to 7 August.

It will consist of three phases – ‘Ideate’, ‘Plan & Create’, and ‘Refine & Launch’. Modelled on the MIT-GSL global entrepreneurship incubator, the program is run by MIT in collaboration with 15 international universities.

As the principal sponsor of the MIT-GSL Sri Lanka Challenge, top apparel manufacturer Brandix will assist in conducting it. This the second consecutive year that the Group has pledged to fund the MIT-GSL Sri Lanka program in collaboration with MIT and other sponsors.

“We believe that technology will disrupt the apparel industry, sooner rather than later. We aim to be a pioneer in leading this game-changing initiative by MIT, and in the process we also aim to help create an innovation eco system in our country,” Brandix Director Udena Wickremesooriya said.

This year’s co-sponsor WSO2, the open source technology company that is redefining enterprise middleware, will host the selected teams at the company’s office premises in Colombo and will provide guidance and valuable insights into successfully running a startup.   

“A critical factor of our success today has been our ability to continuously innovate and empower our employees. We are thrilled to be a part of this venture which is driven on similar core values that provide opportunities to young and upcoming technological startups,” said Udeshika Ratnavira, vice president of HR and administration at WSO2. 

The first MIT-GSL Sri Lanka program supported by Brandix last year resulted in eight possible startups pitching their ideas to a panel of investors in Colombo in the ‘Refine & Launch’ phase of the program.

Instructors from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will be in Sri Lanka for six weeks as part of the 2015 program, to take the selected startup teams from idea validation to prototype.

Representatives of Brandix and WSO2 will be responsible for managing and executing the program and providing training and mentors for the selected participants.