(L-R) Tony Weerasinghe- Founder of Millenium IT and Chairman/CEO of Ustocktrade, Ruwindhu Peiris- Stax MD and SLASSCOM Vice Chairman, Mano Sekaram- 99X Technology CEO and SLASSCOM Chairman, and Hemachandra Wegapitiya- Chairman of Laugfs
Startup Sri Lanka, the recently launched initiative from the Sri Lanka Association Software and Services Company (SLASSCOM) recently held Disrupt 2.0, a startup bootcamp for potential and existing startups with the theme ‘Inspire, Ideate, Initiate and Disrupt’.
Held on the 9th of December at Trace Expert City the bootcamp session inspired, engaged and mentored many startups beginning with an introduction to Disrupt 2.0 and what it aims to achieve followed by a discussion session between start-ups, mentors and subject experts. Many startups, grouped into teams consisting of five members each, had the opportunity of getting their questions answered- from marketing, sales, funding, bootstrapping, risks, innovation and so on.
Mangala Karunaratne – CEO Calcey Technologies, said ‘‘Sometimes all you just need is a bit of morale boost through entrepreneur camaraderie to keep kicking to stay afloat as a startup. Sometimes it’s networking with friends, mentors, advisors and investors to level-up whatever the gaps you may have. Our goal of the bootcamp is to help build a strong startup eco-system to share knowledge and experience.’’
‘‘Then during the inspirational talks we managed to inspire entrepreneurs as well as convince some of the most ambitious young employees that the corporate ladder is getting obsolete.’’
The welcome speech was delivered by Mano Sekaram- SLASSCOM Chairman followed by H. Wegapitiya- Chairman of Laugfs, Wellington Perera - Country Head of Microsoft, and Tony Weerasinghe, Founder of Millennium IT and Chairman/CEO of Ustocktrade addressing the audience with Ruwindhu Peiris, SLASSCOM Vice Chairman moderating the Q & A session.
‘To become a successful entrepreneur you have to have the hunger and the drive to make it happen even when others don’t see it happening. Whatever adversity you face always stay focused and don't change your business,’ said Tony Weerasinghe.
H. Wegapitiya said ‘Trying to be a jack of all trades isn't a crime. As an entrepreneur you have to dream big and articulate your dream into reality. If you don’t work on your dream someone else will hire you to make theirs.’
Mentors of the bootcamp were Harsha Purasinghe –Founder/CEO Microimage, Suren Pinto – CEO at Wavenet and and Wifyer, Mangala Karunaratne – CEO Calcey Technologies, Chandika Jayasundera – CEO Cingergix, and Shahani Markus –CEO, Capaxus Ltd. Ruwindhu Pieris – Vice Chairman of SLASSCOM, said ‘Successful entrepreneurs are those that can effectively manage the paradox of optimizing the currently available resources to deliver efficiently while constantly looking ahead for opportunities to innovate and investing in them.’
The subject experts for the Disrupt 2.0 Bootcamp included Dr. Michael Nirmal De Silva Country Manager Regus, Jeevan Gnanam – CEO Orion City, Dr. Prasad Samarasinghe — M.D Lanka Bell, Sudath Perera –Senior Partner Sudath Perera Associates, Naresh Abeyesekera –CEO SECQUERO, Channa Manoharan –Advisory Leader/COO PwC, Dilendra Wimalasekere –VP Marketing WSO2, Dinesh Saparamadu –Founder and CEO hSenid Group, Nayana Samaranayake –Founder of Storylize, and Haridhu Abeygoonaratne –COO SimCentric Technologies.
SLASSCOM is the national chamber for the IT/BPM industry in Sri Lanka and acts as the catalyst of growth for the Sri Lankan IT and BPM industry by facilitating trade and business, propagation of education and employment, encouragement of research and innovation, and by supporting the creation of a progressive national policy framework. It has an ambitious 2022 Vision to become a $5 billion industry, creating 200,000 direct jobs and launching 1,000 start-ups.