Colombo, Sept 14 (newsin.asia) – Startups are all about innovation, disrupting the existing system, creativity and solving problems. In a world turned upside down with the ongoing pandemic, the need for innovation is more than ever before to help the Sri Lankan economy recover.
Techstars Startup Weekend is the perfect catalyst for innovative thinkers and people that want to learn about entrepreneurship to gather together and create effective solutions.
What is Techstars Startup Weekend? How does it work? Why should you attend?
With this in mind, the Old Boys’ Association of Zahira College organized a Startup Weekend. This was a free online event that took place on Sep 10th-12th and was open to all members of the public.
Techstars Startup Weekend Zahira Colombo Online was a three-day programme where aspiring entrepreneurs can experience what it’s like to create a startup in 54 hours. The platinum sponsor of the event was Bristol Institute.
During the event, participants had the chance of meeting some of the very best mentors for early-stage entrepreneurs, investors, and startup co-founders.
Over the years, several Startup Weekends have taken place across various locations in Sri Lanka, such as Jaffna, Colombo, Trincomalee, Kandy, Galle, and more, with Zahira College being the latest organiser of such an event.
Fathhi Mohammed, a principal organizer of Startup Weekend Zahira stated, “Business landscape is changing in a rapid space due to digitalisation. Despite these changes, especially local businesses and entrepreneurs lack an understanding of the process of digitalisation.”
With the Startup Weekend, The Old Boys’ Association of Zahira College hopes to find solutions to bridge this gap and inspire young entrepreneurs to pursue their startup ventures. By providing them with the exposure that comes with such a programme, the hope is that these individuals and groups might support the nation’s economic growth.
To understand what happens at a Startup Weekend, it all begins on a Friday evening where participants meet fellow innovators, pitch ideas, and form teams.
On Saturday, with the support of mentors and facilitators, they work towards building a prototype product.
Finally, on Sunday, they pitch their prototype products to a panel of judges and a winner is decided.
Through the hard work of the organising committee, the event had been modified to accommodate a virtual format in light of the pandemic, while still offering the invaluable learnings of the entrepreneurial experience.
Over the course of 54 hours, participants of Startup Weekend Zahira had the opportunity to not only connect with like-minded individuals through the team-building process but also learn from some of Sri Lanka’s innovative thinkers who disrupted their respective industries, such as the main guest speaker for the event Bathiya Jayakody, who shared his wisdom and knowledge with the aspiring entrepreneurs.
Watch the opening speech here – Click here
“We are thankful to the OBA of Zahira College and Bristol Institute for their generous support that will enable future entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka to receive this excellent experiential learning opportunity from Techstars Startup Weekend,” added Ayami Wanasinghe, Community Leader, Techstars Startup Weekend and a principal organiser of Startup Weekend events in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Watch the final presentations here – Click here
Techstars Startup Weekend Winners:
1st – Clean Tech
2nd – Storm Breaker
3rd – Pleko
Social Cause – Mind Vidya
Honourable Mention – Serviz.lk
The winning team at Techstars Startup Weekend: Clean Tech
Clean Tech Mission Statement:
“Develop Smart Products & Services For Advanced Waste Management System”
Clean Tech Vision Statement:
We aim to have a business that is not only beneficial for our partners, employees and other stockholders but also will contribute to a sustainable environment and a better future.
Clean Tech Problem Statement & Solution:
Clean Tech aims to prevent overflowing of bins, provide a clean environment, reduce garbage truck routes which in return will also reduce fuel consumption, CO2 emission, noise and pollution.
The proposed solution and impact of their product innovation will include an automatic open and close lid system, remote monitoring, automatic email and WhatsApp messaging system and GPS tracking. This will result in paving a way forward to help build a smart city.
Startup Weekend is for innovative thinkers to come together, create new ideas, and use what they learnt to build world-class businesses. Some examples include Zapier (US), Carousell (Singapore) and Agenda Edu (Brazil).
Startup Weekend Zahira was held with similar ambitions, to find the young minds or experienced professionals who can drive the economy forward with their disruptive thinking.