Here’s Why You Need To Take Part In The National Startup Challenge


Startup competitions are increasingly commonplace in Sri Lanka. They offer startups the ideal chance to spread awareness about the products and services they offer. In addition, these competitions provide ample opportunity to network with potential investors, clients, and partners as well. Venture Frontier Lanka is one such initiative. Their next step is the National Startup Challenge.

What is Venture Frontier Lanka?

In case you missed it, Venture Frontier Lanka is a 4-year nationwide entrepreneurship initiative aimed at identifying and nurturing Sri Lanka’s most promising entrepreneurs. We initially saw Venture Frontier Lanka carrying out a number of startup boot camps in Colombo and Jaffna. These were followed by a Demo day. From there, Venture Frontier Lanka (or VFL) went on to spread awareness to university students as well. This was done via a number of entrepreneurship caravans in Galle and Kandy

National Startup Challenge Venture Frontier Lanka
A panel discussion that took place at the Venture Frontier Lanka Startup Boot Camp

The National Startup Challenge is the culmination of all this. Hosted by Ovibees Ventures and Venture Frontier Lanka, the National Startup Challenge aims to identify for-profit early-stage startups in Sri Lanka. The two-day event is scheduled to be held on the 10th and 11th of November 2018 from 9 AM to 6 PM at the Dialog Auditorium.

Applying for the National Startup Challenge

If you think your startup has what it takes to take part and win this challenge, then you can go right ahead and apply here. But before that, you must first be eligible to take part. So, what are the criteria that you need to meet? Well, for starters, your startup needs to be founded by at least one citizen or resident of Sri Lanka. In case it’s not, then you should have at least one Sri Lankan citizen residing abroad.

National Startup Challenge Venture Frontier Lanka
If you’re a startup planning to take part in the National Startup Challenge, there are a few things you’ll need to know (Image Credits: Memoori)

A majority of the startup (51%) should be owned by a Sri Lankan citizen. In terms of the startup itself, as we mentioned above, the National Startup Challenge is open to for-profit ventures only. Socially motivated for-profit startups are also eligible. The startup should also be no more than 3 years old with it being either in an early stage, prototype, beta or post-revenue stage.

In addition to the challenge, 3 speakers from the US, Israel, and Indonesia will also be attending the National Startup Challenge. Jim Bagnola – President of the Leadership Group will return to share some advice to startups. He will be joined by Avishag Bohbot – Founder of the WeSurf Project and Andreas Senjaya -Co-founder and CEO of iGrow. The three speakers will share their experience on what it takes to build a startup, providing some vital points for those present.

National Startup Challenge Venture Frontier Lanka
From L-R: Avishag Bohbot, Jim Bagnola, and Andreas Senjaya

So, the applications were submitted. Now what?

Those startups deemed eligible for the National Startup Challenge will be selected on a number of criteria. For example, the startup should have the ability to scale both regionally and globally. It should also serve the market in one form or other. But none of this is possible without a strong team.

National Startup Challenge Venture Frontier Lanka
Submitting your application is only half the process (Image Credits;.paddleyourownkanoo)

Submitting your application is only half the process (Image Credits;.paddleyourownkanoo)

With that regard, the team members of the startup should also have shown off their skills, combining their strengths to build up a killer team. Furthermore, the startup would need to be able to create a positive impact on Sri Lanka, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

The clock is ticking

The deadline to submit applications for the National Startup Challenge is 11 PM on the 31st of October 2018. On an interesting note, participation is free of charge. So, if you’re a startup that meets all these criteria, then we encourage you to apply and take part in the National Startup Challenge.

As always, we at ReadMe will be there to check out which startups will be there as well. If you see us, put on your best smile, and come talk to us about why you think your startup should win the National Startup Challenge. You can learn more about the National Startup Challenge by checking out their Facebook page.


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