Entrepreneurship is required to be one of the top priorities in any nation, and it needs to be encouraged in order to strengthen the autonomous assets of a country. The world is currently confronting massive challenges with the pandemic’s existence and as a developing country, the Sri Lankan government is compelled to support entrepreneurs in their efforts to resurrect the local economy.
Sri Lanka’s Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) has been active since 2010, nurturing Sri Lankan entrepreneurship. The ultimate purpose of this was to equip the Sri Lankan economy with a quality brigade of entrepreneurs to compete in the international arena. As the apex ICT institution of the government, ICTA initiated the Spiralation program, to support Sri Lankan tech startups in 2010 and is running its 9th cohort by 2021.
Reaching a major milestone, the ICTA has successfully concluded the inaugural Spiralation Demo Day on Monday 20th of December 2021 at ICTA, SPARX Lab. The Demo Day featured 10 Spiralation startups. These Spiralation startups have already passed their early stages and have gained traction in the market.
Starting off the proceedings, Mr. Sachindra Samararathne, Director, Startup Ecosystem Development, ICTA, stated, “This wonderful program (Spiralation) started off back in 2010. During our previous tenure, we witnessed the emergence of startups as we saw the growth of the startup ecosystem. Even though ICTA started off this program, it has now become the national incubator program as so many collaborators have joined hands”
The presence of potential clients and investors for these Spiralation startups at the Demo Day can be considered a significant fact. After the pitches, there was a business matchmaking session arranged by the ICTA. While there were also many dignitaries at the event from multiple industry verticals who were new to corporate innovations. This is a massive step that ICTA took to connect startups with corporates. Each startup was provided with five minutes to present their solutions, followed by an engaging five-minute question and answer session.
“Currently, we have a USD 1.5 billion IT industry in Sri Lanka, and we’re looking forward to making it USD 3 billion. We are not going to stop here. Hence, we’re planning to have our own technoparks. As the ICTA, we’re with you to ensure that we go along on this journey with you all, “said Mr. Oshadha Senanayake, Chairman, ICTA, while addressing the gathering.
Kicking things off, Keerthi Kodithuwakku, CEO and co-founder, Jendo Innovations, was the first to pitch his solution. Jendo is a preventative healthcare solution that is highly scalable and non-invasive that can identify abnormalities in the cardiovascular system and predict the risk of the disease. Migara Amithodhana, the head of Magicbit, was the next in line to pitch his solution, which is an all-in-one development platform built for innovation and designed to learn and practice internet-of-things, robotics, computer programming and so on.
Representing the 2021 Spiralation cohort, Urmila Chandrasekeram, co-founder of Mintpay, was the third in line to pitch his idea. MintPay is Sri Lanka’s first “buy now, pay later” platform where consumers are given the chance to pay for their goods in installments through online purchases. The next pitch in the line was conducted by Sanjeewa Pathirana, Founder and CEO of Nanosoft Smart Co-op, which is a fintech startup that is focused on empowering the Sri Lankan rural financial sector by creating a banking solution for cooperative banks in the island.