The ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA), the nation’s apex ICT Institution under the Ministry of Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure, announces the launch of Disrupt Asia 2017, Sri Lanka’s Premier Startup Conference and Exhibition, at Trace Expert City on 12th July, at Hilton Colombo.
Building on the immensely successful ‘Disrupt Asia’ held last year, ICTA hopes to grow, refine, and propel Sri Lanka’s entrepreneurial ecosystem during this year’s conference. The conference will feature top speakers, mentors, and investors and showcase innovative startups.
The event will also serve as a platform to connect attendees with high impact entrepreneurs and thought leaders, network with the stakeholders of the ecosystem, acquire knowledge and make a positive impact on themselves and the ecosystem as a whole.
ICTA’s role in the conference is dedicated to building a startup ecosystem where entrepreneurs can connect with established companies, where knowledge is transferred and accessible especially among the younger generation.
“Startup entrepreneurship is crucial for economic growth – not only because of the innovations it brings in, but also because of the new job opportunities it creates and because of the competitive dynamics it brings into the business environment. But for this to happen we need a fairly decent, robust startup support ecosystem. Disrupt Asia provides an excellent platform – one single platform – which brings together tech entrepreneurs, investors, mentors, policy makers and the media – a complete fusion of elements that are needed to make things happen. ICTA is proud to be driving it.” said Chitranganie Mubarak, Chairperson ICTA.
While most high growth technology startups have historically emerged from Silicon Valley, there is now a global explosion of entrepreneurship and with it dynamic and competitive ecosystems.
As high growth technology startups look to be the primary growth engine of the new information economy, the recent development of startup ecosystems blooming all over the world including Asia has tremendous consequences for the future of the global economy.
In Sri Lanka too, while startups may be small companies they can play a significant role, contributing economic dynamism, spurring innovation and injecting competition – at times on a global scale.
As successful startups emerge as engines of growth and employment, Sri Lanka’s budding startup ecosystem has taken firm root. A recent successful ICTA initiative saw Sri Lanka being featured for the first time in ‘The Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2017’, with a positive outlook of the country’s ecosystem. Published by Startup Genome, the report is the largest worldwide research project on startups, providing a comprehensive look at how regions foster and sustain vibrant startup ecosystems.
Though the report heralds Sri Lanka’s inclusion as among the younger startup ecosystems in the world, ICTA has been carrying out several activities to fast track this ascendency.
ICTA ‘s Spiralation Tech Startup Support Programme, has been supporting startups since 2010 with seed funding, market access, mentoring, training and creating awareness amongst secondary and tertiary students on entrepreneurship.
Over 40 startups have been supported through the startup seed funding programme including success stories such as EimSky, eTenders.lk, HypeHash, SenzMate and PayMedia.
“The innovators of today are paving the way for the future creating and building innovative technological applications. It’s vital to provide a valuable platform to showcase those solutions to the right audience; thought leaders, investors and potential partners that can help make these solutions available on a global scale. As ICTA we help create the environment and the encouragement for our entrepreneurs and give them the necessary tools,” said Muhunthan Canagey, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer ICTA.
Disrupt Asia 2017 is supported by Edulink International Campus as the Supporting Partner, Hemas Slingshot as the Startup Battle Partner, Business Hubs as the Workspace Partner and CrowdIsland as the Investor Forum Partner.
About ICTA: ICTA is the apex ICT institution of the Government of Sri Lanka and has been mandated to take all necessary measures to implement the Government’s Policy and Action Plan in relation to ICT by the Information and Communication Technology Act No.27 of 2003. ICTA, is a wholly owned institution by the Government of Sri Lanka overseen by Ministry of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure.