Disrupt Asia to boost Sri Lankan tech startup ecosystem

Monday, 25 July 2016 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The global economy is seeing a disruptive force changing its landscape in a much bigger way than the blue chip and this change is being driven by the tech startups of the world. In a similar vein, over the past three years, Sri Lanka has seen an immense growth in its startup ecosystem. Now, more than ever, the Lankan startup ecosystem requires strong synergies between various private and public sector stakeholders.

Disrupt Asia aims to do precisely this, by creating a platform which will allow startups to connect with high-level investors and corporations, and to strengthen their networking capabilities by providing the necessary visibility that startups require. It will also prove to be an excellent opportunity for the startups to showcase their products and services to a highly influential audience. 

Disrupt Asia, supported and organised by the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka in partnership with Spiralation, StartUp Sri Lanka, Edulink International Campus, Angel Labs, Crowd Island, Lankan Angel Network, Seven Media, Readme, Takas.lk, Arimac, and Shoutout, will unfold at the Hilton Colombo on 28 July from 8 a.m. onwards, featuring a number of events, including a conference, investor workshop, tech showcase, startup battle and networking session.


A number of Silicon Valley experts and key Sri Lankan thought leaders will feature as speakers throughout the day. The morning keynote titled ‘the Rise of the Startups’ will be presented by Startup Compass COO JF Gauthir while the evening keynote will be delivered by mobile advertising network Kiip Co-Founder and CEO Brian Wong.  

The topics are lined up to cater to the mix of audience expected to participate. Inspire budding entrepreneurs, build early stage startups and accelerate growth of late stage startups. The local lineup of speakers includes ICTA CEO Muhunthan Canagey, Business Coach and Entrepreneur Fayaz Hudah, Cinergix CEO Chandika Jayasundara, Calcey Co-Founder and CEO Mangala Karunaratne, ICTA Director of Projects Arunesh Peter, Creately Co-Founder and CTO Hiraash Thawfeek, PayMedia Founder Kanishka Weeramunda, Surge Viral Founder Bhanuka Harishchandra, WSO2 Writer/Marketer Yudhanjaya Wijeratne and many more. 

Investor Forum

The ICT Agency of Sri Lanka in partnership with the US Embassy is bringing Silicon Valley investors along with AngelLabs for a full day workshop dedicated to high net worth individuals. The event is supported by Crowd Island and the Lankan Angel Network (LAN).

Sheel Tyle (investments in SnapDeal and Pinterest) from NEA will be addressing the audience on best practices in seed stage investments and how to become a limited partner in a fund.

Arteen Arabshahi (investments in Gyft acquired by First Data Corporation) of Karlin Asset Management will provide a comprehensive understanding of Venture Capital investing including how to develop an investment thesis, build a portfolio strategy and pick the winners. 

Tugce Ergul of Angel Labs will be talking on the mechanics of angel investing including building a proprietary deal flow, deal negotiation and how to add value as an angel investor.

The above three speakers will provide the audience an active learning methodology which emphasises real-world experiences and decision making. The workshop will help the participants fine‐tune and apply their investment strategy alongside interaction with other HNI’s also.

Tech Showcase

50 tech startups get the opportunity to exhibit their innovative solutions to 75 potential investors. This will be the biggest showcase of tech startups to date. They will also get to pitch at the startup battles. Voltage230 is powered by Readme, Slingshot is run by Hemas and John Keells X is powered by JKCS and SGIT. 

The team behind it all

Disrupt Asia, supported and organised by the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka in partnership with Spiralation, StartUp Sri Lanka, Edulink International Campus, Angel Labs, Crowd Island, Lankan Angel Network,Seven Media, Readme, Takas.lk, Arimac, and Shoutout, with the view of promoting a startup ecosystem in Sri Lanka. The key objectives are to bring about entrepreneurship in Sri Lanka, boldly developing products and services and to negate the shame of failure, bringing about creativity including digital art, and ensure innovative business models. For more information visit www.disruptasia.today.