Celebrate Innovation at the Innovation Festival with Disrupt Asia 2018


The 11th of August 2018 is turning out to be quite an interesting day. Why? Because of Disrupt Asia 2018. Organized by ICTA, Disrupt Asia is in its third consecutive year. Known as Sri Lanka’s Premier startup conference and innovation festival, Disrupt Asia 2018 will kick off from 3.30pm onwards at Trace Expert City in Maradana.

So what’s new with Disrupt Asia 2018?

Well, we already covered some of the basics that you can expect at this year’s iteration of Disrupt Asia 2018. In case you didn’t know, the Disrupt Asia 2018 Conference will consist of 4 main sections. These are the Main Stage, Stage Two, Investor Forum and Workshops.

For the Main Stage, individuals from USA, Netherlands, UK, Singapore, Bangladesh, Philippines and India will take the stage (literally) to share their knowledge on AI, digital marketing, social entrepreneurship and a host of other topics.

Kicking things off with the Keynote Speech

This would be delivered by Glenn Robinson – Managing Director of XLr8 Andhra Pradesh Technology Business Accelerator (University of Texas at Austin extension). In addition to delivering the opening keynote, Glenn will also be one of the panelists in a Panel discussion titled “Strategy and Policy: Will It Change Anything?” which would take place right after his Keynote speech.

Disrupt Asia 2018 Innovation Festival
Glenn Robinson – Managing Director of XLr8 Andhra Pradesh Technology Business Accelerator (University of Texas at Austin extension)

The panel discussion will aim to address a number of key points such Sri Lanka’s standing in the fields of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and also if strategies and policies are adequate to build the ecosystem for scaling economic growth.

Following this would be another panel discussion on disrupting creative industries. The topics here would range from how technology is reshaping the creative industry, to technology reinventing the value chain of creative content delivery and also how to pursue the right blend of AI and human creativity. The panel discussion would be moderated by Pradeepa Jeeva – CEO of Jeeva Productions Inc. and Head of Content Strategy at Snake Nation.

Pradeepa Jeeva. a Producer and Social Entrepreneur who is also the CEO of Jeeva Productions Inc and Head of Content Strategy at Snake Nation.
Pradeepa Jeeva – CEO of Jeeva Productions Inc and Head of Content Strategy at Snake Nation

You’ll also witness another panel discussion on the importance of failure and how it helps you succeed. It might sound oxymoronic to some. But that’s what this panel discussion by Nirjhor Rahman – Country Director at YGAP Bangladesh wants to shed some light on. And finally, you’ll witness a discussion on how startups can raise a million dollars. This discussion would feature Ray Newal – Managing Director of Techstars India and Keith Wallace – Chairman and Managing Partner at De Investeerders Club.

Disrupt Asia 2018 Innovation Festival
Ray Newal – Managing Director of Techstars India and Keith Wallace – Chairman and Managing Partner at De Investeerders Club

Finally, the Closing Keynote will be delivered by Nick Marino Junior – Director of Social Change at TangoTaba. In case you didn’t know, TangoTaba is a mobile app that is used to find restaurants. Sounds simple? Well, there’s more to it. Each time a user checks-in at a restaurant on the app, TangoTab feeds a person in need. To date, TangoTab is available to use in 100,000 restaurants and has fed over 2.5 million needy people.

Celebration Innovation with the public

While the main conference is open only to those who have purchased tickets, that doesn’t mean that the general public can’t get a taste of what Disrupt Asia 2018 has to offer either. This is where the Innovation Festival comes into play. This would take place alongside Disrupt Asia 2018 at Trace Expert City as well.

What can we expect at the Innovation Festival?

The Festival would be divided into a number of sections. One such section would be aimed at teaching children how to make use of day-to-day household items which can be used to create fun tech gadgets. Further, the Innovation Festival will also allow the general public to observe, interact and educate themselves on some of the latest technologies currently available.

Remember the Vega Electric supercar by Codegen? Well, that’s going to make an appearance. It will not be alone, though. You can also see a range of drones designed and developed by undergraduates of the University of Moratuwa. Are you a gamer? An artist? Perhaps both? Well, with the latest computer games, and a number of interactive art installations available, you’re sure to find something to suit your fancy.

Disrupt Asia 2018 Innovation Festival
We saw a sneak peek of the latest in the Vega Super Car at Ennoble 2017

As we said before, the Innovation festival is aimed at everyone. This includes those who are differently-abled as well. As such, another section of the festival would be dedicated to showcasing the role played by assistive technologies in improving the lives of differently-abled persons.

These technologies would range from websites designed to be read by software to help the blind and visually-impaired persons, robotic arms that help disabled persons, smartphones that can be used by deaf persons and a number of other innovative technologies as well.

Disrupt Asia 2018 Innovation Festival
An example of assistive technologies used to help those differently-abled (Image Credits: Craig Hospital

Further, a special stall will be set up by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Sri Lanka with the goal of educating the participants on the impact created by digital technology and the importance of Sustainable Development Goals.

If you want to take part in the Innovation Festival, all you need to do is to make your way to Trace Expert City on the 11th of August from 3.30pm onwards. Entrance for the Innovation Festival is completely free. If you are looking to participate in the Disrupt Asia 2018 conference, you can do so by purchasing your tickets from here. If you can’t make it for Disrupt Asia 2018, you can also stay tuned to our Twitter and Instagram feeds to catch up on anything you’ve missed out on.


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