It wasn’t that long ago that we saw the first Startup Weekend in Sri Lanka. Over the course of a single weekend, we saw people from all walks of life in Jaffna come together. As the sun rose on Monday morning, they had taken the first steps in building their own startup. Only four months later, Sri Lanka is now hosting its second such event. Yesterday, Startup Weekend Colombo kicked off.
By now you probably know what Startup Weekend is. But in case you’re still lost, here’s the short introduction. Startup Weekend is a global initiative that aims to promote entrepreneurship. It gathers its participants at a single location for a weekend. It then empowers them with everything they need to build their very own startups. From mentors to free WiFi to coffee, Startup Weekend has everything you need to build a company over the weekend.
The event kicked off, with a few short speeches. The first was by Sachindra Samararatne – Program Manager from ICTA. Sachindra began his speech by sharing some of the achievements of the Sri Lankan IT industry in 2016. The Sri Lankan delegation visiting 4YFN. Team Shark’s journey to Formula Student. Kaawo winning big at the Global Mobile Innovators Tournament. And the list goes on. Looking at these achievements Sachindra stated that by 2020, the IT industry (including its startups) will be Sri Lanka’s biggest exporter.
Following, Sachindra’s speech we saw the chairman of DIMO take the stage. He spoke briefly about how DIMO was born and what they are today. Afterward, we saw Shahani Markus – founder of Emojot take the stage. She opened by congratulating the participants for attending the event. Shahani went on to share a few quotes from Steve Jobs before talking about her experiences as an entrepreneur. She started her first business in 2006 and it failed. However, she doesn’t consider it a failure. This is because of the lessons it taught her and the people she met.
Following Shahani’s speech, we saw Andrew Hyde – founder of Startup Weekend take the stage. Sri Lanka is the 79th country he’s visited. Startup Weekend Colombo is the 99th Startup Weekend he’s attended. After sharing these facts, he asks everyone in the audience to stand up. He tells them to wave their hands in the air. Then suddenly, he tells everyone to point at a single person. The person with most fingers pointed at them from each table just became a leader. This is how Andrew’s game known as half-baked began.
The leaders were then called onto the stage. They were asked to write a bunch of random words. Once they were done, Andrew asked them to pick two words. Having picked their words, the leaders were now tasked with thinking of a business idea that revolved around these two words. After a little bit of thinking, all the leaders gave a 30-second pitch of their business idea.
One person pitched an idea about a company using a drone to deliver goods to people in mountains. Another person pitched an idea about an app to get sushi after a movie. We also saw people pitch an idea for a DIY plan. But the most memorable one was the most feline one. This idea was about an AI cat. It’s a normal cat. Considering how cats are evil, we’re pretty sure this how Skynet is born.
“The possibilities are endless in this room. We can create great things if we want to” – Andrew Hyde
We played a game of half-baked on the first day of Startup Weekend Jaffna as well. As Andrew describes, “if you’re ever bored in office, play a game of half-baked with your friends.” He then shared with the audience what else they can expect from Startup Weekend Colombo. That, however, is up to the participants themselves. They could find co-founders, friends, ideas, funding, maybe all four and more. The possibilities are endless.
After Andrew shared his message, he invited the mentors on stage. The mentors shared with everyone the expertise they were bringing to the table. Together, they made up a salad of learning the participants could feast on.
Once the game of half-baked ended, it was time for the initial Startup Weekend pitches. Each of these pitches would be one minute long. The purpose of these pitches was not to impress judges. Rather, it was to share a startup idea the participants wanted to work on. The stage was open to everyone.
However, that didn’t mean everyone took the stage to pitch an idea. Nonetheless, we saw a line form of people that wanted to pitch ideas for startups they wanted to build over the weekend. Even towards the end, as Andrew attempted to close the session, one more brave soul would take the stage to pitch an idea. When the session finally ended, thirty people had taken the stage and pitched their ideas to the audience at Startup Weekend Colombo.
After the pitching session ended, it was time for voting. While thirty ideas were presented, the participants will only be working on a handful of these ideas. And it was up to the participants to select these ideas. Those who had pitched had written their ideas on a piece of paper. Everyone was given a pair of sticky notes. The participants voted with their sticky notes. The people that pitched their ideas had to speak to the other participants and get as many sticky notes on their sheet of paper as possible.
Once voting began, orderly chaos ensued. The thirty people that pitched their ideas spoke with every single person they saw. The moment they finished pitching to the people at one table, they immediately jumped to the next free table. We don’t know how long the voting session lasted. All we know is that the hall was filled the sound of people pitching and that we had enough time to get some coffee.
Thirty people took the stage and pitched their ideas. But only a handful of these ideas will be selected by the participants. It is these ideas that the participants will work on over the weekend. What were these ideas? Here’s the entire list:
After the ideas were announced, it was time for dinner. Following dinner, everyone returned to the main hall. Andrew had one more announcement to make. That announcement was the judging criteria. On Sunday, the teams with the selected ideas will have to make a pitch. These judges of these pitches will look at three points:
Once Andrew had explained the judging criteria, the day’s proceedings officially came to an end. Unofficially, Startup Weekend Day 01 would drag on into the night. The night was still young and people were joining teams. Once the teams were finalized, everyone started preparing planning their next move.
Today, they’ll be executing those plans. Today, the teams will be working with their mentors. Today is the day they take their first steps to building their startups. That involves figuring out the business plan, building MVP’s and speaking to people. By the end of the day, many of the teams will have new insight about their ideas. They may have to completely revamp their ideas or just slightly tweak it. Either way, the teams are fired up and determined to wake up on Monday as the winners of the first Startup Weekend Colombo.
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Workshop Agenda - The main purpose of the workshop is to give students the ability to analyze and present data by using Azure Machine Learning, and to provide an introduction to
Workshop Agenda –
The main purpose of the workshop is to give students the ability to analyze and present data by using Azure Machine Learning, and to provide an introduction to the use of machine learning and big data.
Module 1: Introduction to Machine Learning
This module introduces machine learning and discussed how algorithms and languages are used.
· What is machine learning?
· Introduction to machine learning algorithms
· Introduction to machine learning languages
Module 2: Introduction to Azure Machine Learning
Describe the purpose of Azure Machine Learning, and list the main features of Azure Machine Learning Studio.
· Azure machine learning overview
· Introduction to Azure machine learning studio
· Developing and hosting Azure machine learning applications
Module 3: Managing Datasets
At the end of this module, the student will be able to explore various types of data in Azure machine learning.
· Categorizing your data
· Importing data to Azure machine learning
· Exploring and transforming data into Azure machine learning
Module 4: Building Azure Machine Learning Models
This module describes how to use regression algorithms and neural networks with Azure machine learning.
· Azure machine learning workflows
· Using regression algorithms
· Using neural networks
Module 5: Using Azure Machine Learning Models
This module explores how to provide end users with Azure machine learning services, and how to share data generated from Azure machine learning models.
· Deploying and publishing models
· Consuming Experiments
Module 6: Using Cognitive Services
This module introduces the cognitive services APIs for text and image processing to create a recommendation application, and describes the use of neural networks with Azure machine learning.
· Cognitive services overview
· Processing language
· Processing images and video
· Recommending products
Register URL –
FB Event page-
(Tuesday) 12:00 am - 11:59 pm
Blue Chip Training0716092918
Discover new dimensions in connecting the Internet of Things with Narrowband IoT technology at the NB-IoT Forum and Hackathon, organized by Mobitel. Date - 23rd March 2018 at Trace Expert City
Discover new dimensions in connecting the Internet of Things with Narrowband IoT technology at the NB-IoT Forum and Hackathon, organized by Mobitel.
Date – 23rd March 2018 at Trace Expert City – Colombo 10.
Entrance – Free for a limited number of participants.
Register now – https://goo.gl/3cRdHJ
(Friday) 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Trace Expert City
Maradana Rd, Colombo
Tech Coders V1.0 will be an online 12-hour problem solving competition. During this 12-hour period your problem solving skills will be put to the test through a series of questions. Competition
Tech Coders V1.0 will be an online 12-hour problem solving competition. During this 12-hour period your problem solving skills will be put to the test through a series of questions.
Competition will be conducted on HackerRank.
*Please note that you will be given access to the contest on HackerRank only if you fill this form on or before 11.59 pm on 22nd March (Thursday).
Organized by : Tech Seekers – Sri Lankan Community
24 (Saturday) 8:00 pm - 25 (Sunday) 8:00 am
One on one talk , Q&A and networking session with Manju Nishshanka,Founder and CEO,KRMG Capital. Mr.Nishshanka is a serial entrepreneur with extensive experience in financial markets and disruptive technologies.He has founded
One on one talk , Q&A and networking session with Manju Nishshanka,Founder and CEO,KRMG Capital.
Mr.Nishshanka is a serial entrepreneur with extensive experience in financial markets and disruptive technologies.He has founded and invested in several successful startups in fintech,blockchain ,AI,AR & VR and social media sectors.
He is a keynote speaker at the Digital Asset Investment Forum (DAIF 2018) and also serves on the board of NYU stern Blockchain and digital asset forum.
KRMG capital is an investment and advisory firm focused on early and growth staged startups and digital assets.
University of Sri Jayawardenepura,Sri Lanka partnered with KRMG capital to establish the first ever blockchain laboratory in Sri Lanka.
This will be an eyeopener to the vast potential and opportunities in Blockchain,Digital assets and Cryptonomics.
All are welcome to join the event and the networking session.
(Wednesday) 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute
Horton Place, Colombo 00700
Chandimal alahakoon 077 22 44 905
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