Another day, another competition. Or was it? We were at the Taj Samudra attending a competition. But the funny thing was, it wasn’t exactly your everyday competition, or a competition for that matter. This was MIT Global Startup Labs. This programme, initiated by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a global incubator that teaches university students from developing countries leading-edge web and mobile technology and entrepreneurship. Over the past 7 weeks, each team that got selected for the programme would have started their own business.
Today was the day that they would present what they have done so far to a panel of judges and the audience. We were once again reminded that this was not a competition, but rather, a gathering for the teams to present their business ideas and to get feedback from the judges. In addition, members of the audience interested in the ideas presented here could talk to the teams later on and act as angel investors.
As with any event, this one started with a welcome speech. Pallavi Mishra, Head of Programme, MIT Global Startup Labs SL was on stage to talk about the programme. She spoke about the journey of an entrepreneur and the ventures that they take in order to reach their goals and to never give up on their dreams.
Next up was a familiar face; Dr. Sanjeeva Weerawarna, Founder and CEO of WSO2. He spoke briefly about startups, drawing real life experiences from his journey with WSO2. He encourages the participants to take the advice given from the panel of judges “with a pinch of salt” and that if you really believe in something, you can do it. He also draws an example of Starbucks coffee where at its proposal, it was initially rejected for its feasibility is now the largest coffee startup in the world.
With the speeches done, it was time to get down to business; the presentations. Each team is given a total of 15 minutes for their session of which 7 minutes is for their presentation and the remaining 8 minutes for Q&A. Failing to adhere to these timings would result in the session ending for the team, regardless of the presentation.
The first team spoke about their idea, A Unified Payment Gateway. They identified a scenario where a startup or business would have the potential to do great things but would lack the financial resources so setting up elements such as payment gateways would incur high initial costs for them. The solution? Taking either MasterCard or VISA, the team would provide the payment gateway for the end user. Think of it as a tri-party agreement between the vendor, bank and Unified Payment Gateway.
There would be no initial cost, rather the team would charge a total of 5% per transaction as payment for the maintenance of the service. The team also plan to have hackathons as a method for marketing and they would also handle social media. They also plan to take part in digital marketing.
In response to the project, the judges question the team on as to why a simple payment gateway would not suffice without all the bells and whistles. The team back up their answers with facts and figures and explain it to the judges. Well done indeed.
Team D Squared was up next to present their idea PrimeHR. An online CV Processing system that would take all credentials of a candidate and present them into a widely accepted CV layout so that comparison of candidates was made easier.
Team ARtron was up next on stage. Their idea; an interactive smartphone application that uses augmented reality. Called Magic Book, the application makes use of your smartphone’s camera. Using the camera, the app is able to map certain elements in a book (for example characters, animals and scenery in the book) and then convert that into a model that is manipulable. It can even display animations, games, activities to improve analytical skills and videos. They can also add Augmented Reality to existing books so no reprinting of books required.
Next up was a one man show. The product: Handpiq. The problem identified: we cannot make the best decisions quickly on our purchases using traditional search engines. The solution? To provide a search engine that is personalized, relevant and contextual, structured and direct. The business model would be a premium account, targeted advertising and services accessible via the URL www.handpiq.com. The final product would be a specialist location based discovery service for consumers to enable interactive real time chat based information on products and services from partner vendors.
TimeSpace Labs was the next team up, with their product “Viral”. A location based social network that you can use to track events and people. Think of it as a platform or a social network that joins all networks where you can add, comment and like event based posts. They plan to have 5 million users within 5 years and also plan to use digital marketing and to go global from San Francisco and Silicon Valley.
Siplo Micro Tuturing was the next product aimed at students who are waiting to sit for the A/L exam. The product would be a tutoring platform by students who have already passed the A/L exam and are awaiting university entrance. According to their business model, both student and tutor charges for the first year would be free with a point system added for 2nd year and 3rd year as a session based payment and charge system. Think of it as Uber for students.
PayMedia – An All-In-One payment Kiosk. That pretty much summed up what the project was about. According to the team, they managed to port almost 90% of all branch operations carried out in a bank, to a machine resulting in a drop on cost of almost 70%. If you’re not clear as to what exactly it is, this is basically a machine to handle all tasks related to banking. This includes account management to cheques and cash deposit, cash withdrawals and everything in between. But that’s not all. They’ve also implemented this system at Sampath Bank, LOLC and even the CEB so you can even pay your electricity bills and manage all those details without standing in queue for hours. As for the setting up, there would be a one-time installation fee and 10% maintenance fee. They plan to advertise and grow online in terms of word of mouth.
With that the presentations come to a close.
Jeevan Gnanam, CEO of Orion CIty was on stage next to give the overall feedback of the teams that took part in the event. General comments were that he overall presentation skills were to be commended. Their styles and skills were good. They were good at identifying problems. But even though identified, some of the feedback was that they failed to identify an opportunity. They need to have a better understanding of the competition was needed too. They also need a very clear execution plan.
Entrepreneurship is a continuous project.
Joseph Yang, Country Manager, MIT GSL was on stage to deliver the vote of thanks. He thanks the sponsors (Brandix and WSO2), and the guest lecturers who had attended the 7 week training programmes of the teams to talk about topics such as IP, equity, digital marketing, and to share their own personal views on the topic as well.
A very emotional award ceremony followed with runny noses and rather wet tear ducts.
We too got a tad caught up in the emotions and shared in their joy and tears (and food too).
Like we always did, we packed up, and parted ways. Another day, another event indeed.
Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.
thank you for subscribing 🙂
awww something went wrong 🙁
We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously
Seedstars, a global organization based in Switzerland promotes, connects and invests up to $1 million USD in emerging market startups through their exclusive startup competition held in over 60 countries.
Seedstars, a global organization based in Switzerland promotes, connects and invests up to $1 million USD in emerging market startups through their exclusive startup competition held in over 60 countries. Last year, we saw Seedstars come to Sri Lanka for the first time. LayUp was selected as the winner of the first Seedstars Colombo, which was held last year. LayUp then went onto represent Sri Lanka as a finalist at Seedstars Global. Eight startups will be competing at SeedStars Colombo 2017.
The winning startup will receive an all-expenses paid trip to both the Seedstars Asia Regional Summit in Bangkok. They’ll also win a trip to Switzerland to compete at the Seedstars Global Summit for equity investments of up to USD 1 million, and to meet with international mentors and investors.
(Thursday) 5:00 pm - 8:30 pm
MAS Innovation Center
#50 Foster Lane, Colombo
Mobile Application Security Beyond Compliance Speaker Christopher Stewart is an IT Infrastructure and Security Practitioner with over 11 years of experience including cyber defense and Governance & Audit areas. Here's your chance to
Mobile Application Security
Christopher Stewart is an IT Infrastructure and Security Practitioner with over 11 years of experience including cyber defense and Governance & Audit areas. Here’s your chance to catch Christopher’s session on Mobile Application Security: Beyond Compliance.
Sign up via Email [email protected] | Call us on 011 4713290
*Priced at Rs. 500 (free for CSSl members)
(Monday) 5:45 pm - 7:45 pm
Prof Stanley Wijesundera Mawatha, Colombo 00700
Startup weekend-Trincomalee Beach Calling entrepreneurs, Growth Hackers, Dreamers, Rain Makers and Startup Catalysts to change the world in 54 hours! Bring your creativity and skills and Join Startup Weekend Trincomalee
Startup weekend-Trincomalee Beach
Calling entrepreneurs, Growth Hackers, Dreamers, Rain Makers and Startup Catalysts to change the world in 54 hours! Bring your creativity and skills and Join Startup Weekend Trincomalee ,Friday 27th to Sunday 29st Octon,2017 at Trinco beach hotel, Trinco
What’s Startup Weekend, Anyway?
Startup Weekend is a global phenomenon – 54 hours of fast and furious prototype development through to exploring potential markets and pitching. It’s an unparalleled opportunity to build lasting relationships with co-founders; mentors, and investors.The real value comes from taking an idea from concept through to execution using Lean tactics and working under high pressure with the best startups.
Google for Entrepreneurs is the global partner for Techstars Startup Weekend Program, including Startup Weekend, Startup Next and Startup Digest. Google is a sponsor of Techstars Accelerator Programs. Techstars collaborates with the Google for Entrepreneurs campuses across the globe to support engagement with entrepreneurs everywhere.
What You Can Do?
In short, Startup Weekend shapes the lives of many people as a starting point as entrepreneurs and startup enthusiasts. Ultimately, it’s an amazing spring board to get started on something (a new business, career at a startup or great relationships).
Come pitch, join a team, iron out your business model, and build away! In just 54 hours teams will come together to create startups from scratch and learn about entrepreneurship in a hands-on and meaningful way. Developers, designers, business experts, and makers will come to build prototypes and launch startups that use hardware or software to interconnect us all and change the world.
WHO GOES TO STARTUP WEEKENDS?
Experienced business people or budding entrepreneurs, Creative designers, Coders, growth hackers who are looking for new ideas and wanting to challenge their skills – Startup Weekends are a fun and exciting way to to upskill and test yourself in the world of startups
WHAT DO YOU DO AT A STARTUP WEEKEND?
Starting from 6.30 PM on Friday registration will be done, Welcome speech, Dinner, Startup pitches ideas chosen and lasting teams formed. By late Friday night you’ll be on your way with goals set and roles assigned.
Saturday is all about validation – contacting potential customers and checking out if there is really a market for your idea – and reacting fast if you need to change. Meanwhile if you’re a developer or a designer you’ll be furiously building the product.
Sunday is about making it work and preparing for the final pitch to a panel of carefully chosen judges. Throughout the process mentors from all backgrounds will be on hand. (link to timetable)
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER
Celebrate! We’ll put in place a follow up event, and there will be other opportunities, including our Co-Starters program.
What is the benefit of attending Startup Weekend ?
Startup Weekends are all about learning through the act of creating. Don’t just listen to theory, build your own strategy and test it as you go. It’s like an MBA in a weekend.
2) Build your network:
This isn’t just a happy-hour. Startup Weekend attracts your community’s best makers and do-ers. By spending a weekend working to build scalable companies that solve real-world problems, you will build long-lasting relationships and possibly walk away with a job or a even an investor.
3) Co-Founder Dating:
We all know it’s not just about the idea – it’s about the team. Startup Weekend is hands down the best way to to find someone you can actually launch a startup with.
4) Learn a new skill:
Step outside of your comfort zone. With a whole weekend dedicated to letting your creative juices flow, Startup Weekends are prefect opportunities to work on a new platform, learn a new programming language, or just try something different.
5) Actually launch a business:
Over 36% of Startup Weekend startups are still going strong after 3 months. Roughly 80% of participants plan on continuing working with their team or startup after the weekend.
6) Get face time with thought leaders:
Local tech and startup leaders participate in Startup Weekends as mentors and judges. Get some one-on-one time with the movers and shakers in your community.
7) Save money & get stuff:
Startup Weekends cost $40 (less for students). Your ticket covers seven meals, snack, access to exclusive resources our global sponsors, and all the coffee you can drink.
8) Join a global community:
Join over 30,000 Startup Weekend alumni, all on a mission to change the world.
Facilities for the Attendees?
Mentors : Whether it’s growth, design, or prototype,you’ll find a mentor who can help
Free WIFI: You will Get Free WIFI Access from our Telecom Partner
Meals : Morning Refreshment Plus Lunch and Dinner
Community Perks and Discounts : Take advantage of perks and discounts offered to all Startup Weekend participants from the Global sponsors.
Much More: Whatever you are building, our sponsors and community have put together some fantastic resources to help you build your idea.
october 27 (Friday) - 29 (Sunday)
Trinco Beach Hotel
326,Dyke Street, Trincomalee