What happened this far at CIMA Launch Pad 2015: Quick Recap


Throughout the month, we have brought to you the happenings and insights from CIMA Launch Pad 2015. The Grand Finale, which will be happening tomorrow, Sunday 1st of November is the final destination of this journey. Here’s a quick roundup about what has happened on the journey so far and what will happen next.

Pace Pitch

Photo Courtesy: Siyath Ranathunge

The pace pitch was a 3 minute pitch for the shortlisted teams competing under both the categories; Business and Social. Out of the ideas that were presented, 10 ideas from each category were selected to go for the next phase.

The teams were next advised to submit a detailed proposal of their idea, which must ideally include information about the concept, research details (facts and figures) and importantly the business model.

Mentorship Program

Photo Courtesy: Malshan Gunawardane
Photo Courtesy: Malshan Gunawardane

After the proposal submission, the teams were sent through a mentorship session which took two phases; the general workshop and individual mentoring. The key segment was the individual mentoring session where each team was given the opportunity to have a one to one discussions of the business idea with the mentors.

Press Conference

cima press con
From Left: Mr. Abdul Baasit, Mr. Thulci Aluwihare, Ms. Amrah Akbar, Ms. Hasanji Ellawala, Mr. Vipula Gunatilleka & Mr. Jeevan Gnanam
Photo Courtesy: Malshan Gunawardane

The CIMA Student’s Society hosted a press conference with an intention to spread the word of the good stuff happening. Representatives at the head table were Ms. Amrah Akbar the CFO, MAS Innovations Mr. Jeevan Gnanam – Director/CEO at Orion City, Mr. Thulci Aluwihare, Head of Mergers & Acquisitions at PwC, Mr. Vipula Gunatilleka the Chairman of the CIMA Sri Lanka Board, Ms. Hasanji Ellawala the President of the CIMA Students’ Society and Mr. Abdul Baasit the Project Chairman, CIMA Launch Pad 2015.

Top Four Teams: Business Category   

The finalists of CIMA Launch Pad 2015 under the business category (only) was revealed at the press conference. They were selected by the committee based on the reviews provided by SLASSCOM by assessing their project proposal. Congratulations to Team Alpha, Body Sculpt, Homefoods.lk and TrekThru. Mind you, the positions are yet to be decided and that will happen on the Grand Finale.

However, the top 4 teams from the social category weren’t announced on this day and that’s because they had another round to get through unlike the contestants of the business category.

Finals: Social Category

As we said, another round just for the social phase. It was a 5 minute pitch followed by a 15 minute Q&A session. We had Ms. Sharmini Ratwatte, Non-Executive Director at MAS Investments and John Keells PLC, Dr. Rizvan Jaldeen, CEO – Business Development Centre & Services LLC, Mr. Ravindu Denawaka the Managing Director at Olanka Travels, Mr. Abdul Careem, CEO / Business Consultant – Inotrend International and Mr. Charitha Ratwatte, Jr., Head – Group Sustainability at Dialog Axiata PLC as the panel of judges.

cima judges
The Judges: Ms. Sharmini Ratwatte, Mr. Charitha Ratwatte, Dr. Rizvan Jaldeen, Mr. Ravindu Denawaka and Mr. Abdul Careem
Photo Courtesy: Dinitha Bandara

Although 10 teams got the chance to compete from the pace pitch, it dropped down to 7 teams on the proposal submission and the mentorship program. Unfortunately, it was 6 teams who could make the presentations. Teams Illuminate, the Millennials, Poseidon Army, Team Tripper, Innovation Labs and KnOW presented their ideas.

Out of the 6 teams, 4 teams; as same as in the business category was chosen by the panel. The Millennials, Team Tripper, KnOW and Innovation Labs qualified for the grand finale.

Photo Courtesy: Dinitha Bandara
Social Category Finalists: The Millennials, Team Tripper, KnOW and Innovation Labs
Photo Courtesy: Dinitha Bandara

It would not be incorrect if we say that it was some intense time. The judges didn’t pet any team at all. True, if you happen to be a contestant and you are hearing all those criticisms on your idea which you believe so much in, you might have got hurt.
But the point is, probably this would be the bitter truth that your mind didn’t want you to accept because you are too blinded with the love towards your brain child. Which is natural. In other words, these points might be the real pitfalls in the concept.
At the same time remember, your idea isn’t bad, no one can say it is either. It might need a few modifications and refinements. Or that small feature in your big idea might be itself the business that you were searching all this time. As a future entrepreneur, listening is something you have to do more than the talking. Listen.

What’s Next?

The Grand Finale, here the 8 teams representing both the categories will present their idea for the one last time. Why? Because you got investors in the house. This is the most appropriate time for the teams to show that their idea is worthy to be the winner of CIMA Launch Pad 2015. Even if they don’t win it, they have gotten this far which proves they are all winners with great ideas.

The event will be kicking off tomorrow at JAIC Hilton Colombo, from 2.30pm onwards. Catch you there and follow the hashtag #CIMALaunchPad2015 on Twitter, @ReadMeLive for the latest updates.


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