When CIMA Launch Pad 2016 kicked off back in September, hope was for bigger and better opportunities for the business startup community in Sri Lanka. Over 25 teams pitched their ideas at the initial rounds, out of which only 10 proceeded. After sessions of workshops, mentoring and mock pitches, it was ultimately up to the final 4 teams to take stage at the grand finale. On the 26th of November we witnessed these teams make their final pitch at CIMA Launch Pad 2016.
CIMA Launch Pad 2016: The 4 Pitches
First up was team Novitas with their MagD organic fertiliser solution. They started off with, “Do you have a busy schedule?”, a question every one of us would probably answer with a resounding yes. Sometimes something as simple as getting a breath of fresh air would help. This is where Novitas’s MagD comes into play. The team essentially wants to help you grow fresh air, or more accurately, plants that can provide this fresh air. According to the team, the fertiliser has the ability to absorb water thrice as much as normal fertilisers can, thus eliminating the need to constantly water the plants and maintain them. Furthermore, Novitas also pitched their interior designing app that they plan on introducing as a value addition to the MagD solution.
Following up on Novitas’ pitch comes team Octave with their NextBus solution. As the name would suggest, NextBus revolves around the public transportation system, or more specifically the buses. The solution wants to tell you the exact location of your bus. Why? So that you won’t have to wait for a bus not knowing when it will arrive, thus eliminating the need for waiting around a bus halt for a considerable time. Having pitched this idea at the initial rounds, the final stage required the team to team to get into more details and essentially convince the judging panel. At the final pitch, the team talked about their plan with NextBus, which included introducing the NextBus system as an advertising platform. As novitas stated, NextBus will also include a demand analysis being carried out with help from the likes of WSO2.
Before you ask, no this is not a team of secret assassins. As you probably might have seen from the previous rounds, SAS Ninjas solution involves a wearable that will essentially help prevent drowsiness when driving. Making their final pitch for Launch Pad 2016, the team talked about their plan of action with regards to implementing the wearable, while also touching on quite a few value additions to the solution in the form of partners. “Now you can fight sleep. We’re here to wake you up for another day”, is what SAS Ninjas ultimately aims to do. But of course the judges had their fair share of questions for the team, particularly with regards to the power consumption and the long term plan as a company.
The final pitch for the evening was team Wildcards with their SpecBuddy idea. For those of you not sure about what this exactly is, SpecBuddy is a smart glass that can detect currency, text and facial expressions. At their final pitch, the team touched on the blind population in Sri Lanka, how they believe that technology has not reached visually impaired. This is where they want to bring SpecBuddy. Talking on their plan for market adoption, the team mentioned that they aim to sell 15,000 units by the end of 2018. But that’s not all. Wildcards also announced a new feature for their device. Not only will it capture currency,text, and faces, the wearable can now detect one’s environment as well. They even demonstrated to prove it.
Crowning the champion
So that ends the pitching session. Now it was up for the judges to decide on the winner. Murtaza Jafferjee from the judging panel took stage to make the announcement. Before crowning the champion, Mr. Jafferjee shared his thoughts on the final pitches. He emphasised on how the contestants should be able put across their idea within the first 2 minutes in the pitch itself. He followed up with a few general comments on the overall competition.
Finally, came what we’ve all been waiting for. So who emerged victorious at CIMA Launch Pad 2016? It was none other than Team Wildcards for their SpecBuddy solution. So that ends CIMA Launch Pad 2016. Till next time.