What happened at the Yarl IT Hub February Meetup


The non-profit organization with the vision of making Jaffna the next Silicon Valley, Yarl IT Hub (YIT), is no longer new to any of us. Yet, to those who are you’re scratching your heads, YIT is mainly renowned for the competition they hold every year: Yarl Geek Challenge. Now it makes sense, right? Well, to achieve its vision, the organization doesn’t stop with the competition, but it also conducts meetups every three months and workshops for IT and IT-based Business enthusiasts.

Photo credits: Yarl IT Hub
Photo credits: Yarl IT Hub

As a part of the ‘steps towards vision’, YIT has conducted its first meetup for the year on the 21st of February at the TCT hall, Jaffna. The news about the meetup had spread out a couple of weeks ago, and a large number of IT enthusiasts and individuals interested in entrepreneurship had registered themselves for the event. As expected a large crowd full of old faces and new ones turned up.

The event kicked off with an introduction to YIT by Miller Alexander, one of the event organizers. He spoke about the history and “what we do” to the audience, and that would have given an idea about YIT to the several new faces.

“Does IT distracts you from your studies?” asked Gnanakeethan Balasubramanium, who started his presentation following Miller. Being the district topper in GCE AL 2015, he spoke of how IT and YIT helped him do better in his exams. He advised the students presented there to use the social media in an effective way, rather than using it to chat (or, gossip) with friends. “There are several IT-based forums and groups available on social media, and one of those is YIT group. Make use of such forums, and enrich your knowledge in IT,” recommended Gnanakeethan.

Following Gnanakeethan’s presentation, two announcements were made. Mayooran Somasundaram, one of the Organizers, came up on stage to announce about Yarl Geek Challenge for juniors. He announced that the competition will be held during June, and the format of the competition will be the same as the last year. Since it is a competition for school students the circulars will be sent by the Northern Education Department to every school in the North, and competitions will be first held among the Zones of the North. As with previous years, competition will conclude the Grand Finale of Yarl Geek Challenge 5 Juniors. You can find more details about the competition at the official YIT website: www.yarlithub.org.

Another announcement was made about YIT’s Incubation center also known as YIC. This is a new project with the goal to support IT startups from Jaffna. “You may have the following for a startup: an idea, a team and customers. Yet, you will be in need of finance and business personals who will make your startup legal. YIC is a project that is willing to support you in your needs: finance, legal and marketing,” said Jay Krishna as he presented about the YIC project.

Pictured: Alagarasan Mahalingam (Photo credits: Yarl IT Hub)
Pictured: Alagarasan Mahalingam – Google Student Ambassador (Photo credits: Yarl IT Hub)

It was only when Miller remarked that the last speech will be by Alagarasan Mahalingam, a Google Student Ambassador. It was around this time that most of the audience realized that it was quarter to eleven, and nobody realized to check their watch (or their phones) before. Alagarasan made an inspiring speech to the youngsters whose want is to be successful. “Is any kid stamped ‘Special’ at birth? No, everyone is born equal. But, why do some people end up successful while most of us end up ordinary?” asked Alagarasan at the start of his speech.  His speech was titled “Future is what you create” in which he shared his ideas and inspirational thoughts to be successful in life. The pin-drop silence at the hall would tell how far people were listening to his speech and how ‘the energy radiated’ from him had an effect on the audience.

According to the agenda, the last program was an interactive session in which Miller asked the audience about the problems they face, and the computerized solutions for those issues. It went very well until the stomachs of the audience started to yell. Luckily for the hungry stomachs, the meetup came to an end at half past twelve, as planned.

Since the organizing team for this meetup was new, there was a fear, among them, about how successful this event will be. But once the meetup came to an end, they would have realized how successful it was, with the audience’s response.

The team has promised to hold another meetup after three months. If you have missed this meetup, don’t miss it next time. As always, we’ll be keeping an eye on what happens in the Jaffna techscape. So keep an eye on our posts to know about the next meetup in advance.


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