The Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing recently launched the SLIM Startup Incubator 2020 to empower aspiring local entrepreneurs to get their business ideas off the ground. The Startup Incubator will provide valuable support and resources to make their startup story a success. Rather than trying to implement a business idea on their own, without proper focus and guidance, an incubator can provide a concrete framework for startups to overcome pitfalls and accelerate growth. The programme has been exclusively designed targeting students of the Institute who wish to establish their own ventures. Accordingly, both past and present students of the Institute can submit their business ideas to the Incubator. The SLIM Startup Incubator addresses the intangibles that lead to the success of startups — technical assistance, consultation and strategic guidance. The Institute believes that the Startup Incubator has the potential to spawn success stories in the future.
Startup incubators play a pivotal role in the startup ecosystem and have the ability to improve outcomes of startups. For budding entrepreneurs, startup incubators are a golden ticket with a promise to help their businesses hit the big time. As well as helping new businesses survive, incubators add value to the entire business ecosystem. If a country wants to see more innovative ventures down the road, there is a need to create a nourishing culture and a supportive ecosystem where entrepreneurship is pervasive.
With a supportive programme of this nature, SLIM aims to ensure that the most promising entrepreneurs in the country receive the support they need to take up the challenges in establishing their ventures. Through the Startup Incubator, resources such as experienced mentors, engagement with local entrepreneurs and legal, financial, product development facilities and marketing services will be made available for the selected entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is a definite catalyst to stimulate growth in the backdrop of economic downfall, falling growth rates, unemployment and environmental changes and now is the time to lift up the best aspiring entrepreneurs.
The 10 most innovative business ideas will be shortlisted and selected for the programme. The selection process will be carried out under the guidance of an eminent advisory committee. The selection criteria include several aspects; Level of Innovativeness, Level of Creativity, Commercial viability, Potential of the idea to solve a social or an environmental issue and Potential of creating employment opportunities.
Commenting on the SLIM Startup Incubator, Roshan Fernando, President, SLIM stated, “SLIM, the National Body for Marketing is committed to empower local entrepreneurs to propel the national economy. Most importantly, we strive to strengthen local entrepreneurs and give them wings to reach the pinnacle of success so that they can become an invaluable asset to the national economy. The whole idea behind this concept is to encourage the establishment of innovative startups, inspire entrepreneurs to expand their ventures and help create new employment opportunities in the country.”
Asanka Perera, Chairman, Corporate Communications and Sustainability, SLIM, said “The SLIM Start-Up Incubator is the ultimate incubation programme to breathe life into your dream start-up. SLIM students—both past and present—can apply for this programme if they have a viable business idea in mind. The SLIM Start-Up Incubator addresses the intangibles that lead to the success of your start-up — technical assistance, consultation and strategic guidance. The 10 most innovative business ideas will be shortlisted and selected by an eminent panel of business experts. This is a golden opportunity to unleash the entrepreneurial zest ignited within you.”
“I’m pleased to contribute to the SLIM Startup Incubator as a key stakeholder. A host of training programs will be conducted, covering numerous topics essential for start-up businesses to explore new boundaries. With the knowledge gained through the trainings, we expect students to convert their ideas into successful businesses. The SLIM Startup Incubator is sure to nurture many future businesses”, added Sanath Senanayake, Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director, SLIM.
SLIM is the National body for Marketing in Sri Lanka and has been promoting marketing excellence and elevating the status of marketing since 1970. The Institute is a member of the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCCSL), Organisation of Professional Associations of Sri Lanka (OPA), and Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL). SLIM also has received ISO 9001:2015 certification in recognition of its superior quality management system and ISO 2990:2010 for Learning Service Provider (LSP), providing non-formal education and training services.