Disrupt Unlimited kicks off incubator with 3 challenge-busting start-ups

Thursday, 11 September 2014 01:52 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Three technology-driven innovations addressing key challenges in the apparel industry have become the first start-ups to make it to the incubator of Disrupt Unlimited, the Brandix-led start-up seed accelerator. The three start-ups were recently presented with pledges of financial support, mentoring, workspace and potential client matching at the launch of the next phase of their journey to commercialisation of their innovations. Of the three start-ups, ‘Generation Epsilon’ is redesigning the sample approval process in bra production to give customers a better fit and accelerate time to market. The second start-up, ‘Enhanzer Innovation’ is creating a platform to integrate with customer order systems and streamline the product development process. ‘DoInnov,’ the third start-up, is developing a virtual order reference system to maximise accuracy and efficiency in the manufacturing process. Addressing the start-up teams and their mentors at the kick-off of the Disrupt Unlimited incubator, Brandix Director Udena Wickremesooriya stressed on the importance of the passion to succeed. “We can provide you with technical knowledge, domain knowledge, mentoring and finance, but the drive to succeed must come from you,” he said. “Some of the challenges are big stuff that can make a substantial difference to the way things are done not only on a local scale but on the international scale as well.” The three start-ups will go through a four-month process with Disrupt Unlimited, encompassing the development of their conceptual ideas progressively into value propositions, prototypes, minimum viable products and commercially viable products, alongside the development of business models, marketing and financial plans, testing of the products and pitching the start-ups to venture capitalists. During this period, their progress will be monitored and supported with funding by Disrupt Unlimited as part of its role as a seed accelerator. The objective of Disrupt Unlimited is to run a seed accelerator that will inspire, mentor and fund start-ups with breakthrough solutions to disrupt products, practices, processes and business models in the Apparel, Textile and Accessories sectors. The company seeks to encourage innovators from across industries to develop technology-driven solutions that address challenges at every stage of the supply chains, leading to revolutionary changes in the way apparels, textiles and accessories are made, packaged, distributed and consumed. The form to apply for the next round of the incubator programme is now available online at www.disruptunltd.com. Among the company’s identified roles are collaboration with industry partners, securing the support of private partners, mentors, and advisors, development of idea/entrepreneur pipelines, building a network of investors in Sri Lanka and overseas, investing in start-ups, running seed accelerator programmes and supporting start-ups through commercialisation. Disrupt Unlimited plans to conduct four Disrupt-a-thon challenges per year and to draw on existing founder pipelines including universities, the Sri Lanka Inventors Commission, MIT Global Start-up Labs programme, and Sri Lankans living overseas.  Additionally, Disrupt Unlimited will help build this pipeline by running ‘founder dating’ events and collaborating with academic institutions to implement entrepreneurship programs. Selected entrepreneurs must have an idea for a disruptive, scalable innovation, as well as a team with the right skill-set to develop and commercialise it.