Niftron Co-Founders: (From left) Co-Founder/COO Jajeththanan Sabapathipillai, Co-Founder/CEO Sharmilan Somasundaram and Co-Founder/CTO Azeem Ashraf
Magicbit Co-Founders/Directors (from left): Anuruddha Tennakoon and Sudath Amarasinghe and (bottom row from left) Akalanka De Silva and Migara Amithodhana
Sri Lanka’s Niftron and Magicbit have won the ‘Early Stage’ and ‘Growth Stage’ National winner status respectively, at the Sri Lankan National finals for Entrepreneurship World Cup (EWC) 2021.
Both start-ups now advance to the next round of the EWC global finals where they will compete against other national winners from 200 countries in November 2021.
Lankan Angel Network (LAN), the country’s largest network of angel investors, is the EWC’s Official National Organiser for Sri Lanka. The EWC will offer Sri Lanka’s national champions the chance to pitch on a global stage for a share of US $ 1 million in cash prizes, plus additional investment opportunities, and another US $ 750,000 in in-kind support.
Niftron is a Sri Lanka-based blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) platform that aims to make blockchain simpler and more affordable for businesses at all levels and industries.
Magicbit is an easy-to-use STEM Education platform that allows users the opportunity to learn and practice new technologies like IoT, robotics, programming, electronics and AI and caters to users across every level.
In preparation for the EWC Global Finals, Niftron and Magicbit are also taking part in an acceleration programme featuring virtual training and one-to-one mentoring targeted to their company’s current stage and growth trajectory. Niftron and Magicbit emerged victorious from a pool of 24 contestants who applied – each receiving access to free virtual training services and up to US $ 25,000 in perks to help them take their venture to the next level.
The other start-ups that made it to the ‘Growth Stage’ category of the Sri Lankan Finals at EWC included: InsureMe, an InsureTech company focusing on both B2C and B2B segments; SenzAgro, a state-of-the-art precision agriculture ecosystem for 500 million smallholder farmers globally; MillionSpaces, an on-demand platform for flexible workspaces; and Helios, a platform promoting sustainable and inclusive digital finance.
Additionally, the other top-ranked start-ups in the ‘Early Stage’ category were: OGO Pay which unlocks the full economic potential of the sharing economy through inclusive financial services; Tracified, a blockchain-based traceability solution for complex global supply-chains; Help.lk, an on-demand 24/7 tutoring platform that allows students to connect with subject experts and Smart Coop (Nanosoft Global), a fintech start-up that aims to transform and digitise the co-operative banks in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan leg of the competition was judged by LAN members and industry veterans based out of Australia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, the UK and USA. The preliminary rounds were judged by Samath Fernando, Devaka Randeniya, Faris Fausz, Mohamed Zuhry and Chatura De Silva. The National Finals were judged by Manjiv Dodanwela, Nilanka Pieris, Shea Wickramasingha, Kumi Thiruchelvam and Bernard Sinniah.
More than 150,000 contestants from 200 countries entered the Entrepreneurship World Cup. The initiative combines a broad-reaching pitch competition, aimed at ventures ranging from idea stage to growth stage, with a virtual accelerator programme to help all participants launch, strengthen and scale their enterprises. Global Finalists will face off against one another at the Misk Global Forum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in October.
EWC is an initiative led by the Misk Global Forum, Global Entrepreneurship Network and the Global Education and Leadership Foundation with support from a collection of national and global partners, including the GSVlabs and Entrepreneurs’ Organisation.