It’s an annual event on the Sri Lankan tech calendar. The competition is synonymous with entrepreneurship and technology in the Northern Province. Some of its ideas have transformed into actual companies. Now in its 8th season, the Yarl Geek Challenge Senior, organized by the Yarl IT Hub is back.
So how will the competition work this year? The Yarl Geek Challenge is open to teams of 5. Each of these teams would submit their proposal for an idea they’d like to work on for the competition. These proposals would be reviewed by the organizers. Afterward, the teams would be shortlisted to participate in the competition.
Prior to the competition, the teams would attend a series of webinars. The first of these would brief the teams about the business model canvas to help them build sustainable solutions. Whereas the second webinar of the Yarl Geek Challenge would teach the teams the basics of building a strong pitch deck for their ideas.
Fast forward towards October 2019 and that’s when the Yarl Geek Challenge Senior officially kicks off. This will be a 3-day event taking place in Jaffna between the 4th and 6th of October. After traveling to Jaffna, the teams would work towards building prototypes for their ideas. Then on the final day, they would pitch their idea along with the prototype they built to a panel of judges. Of course, as we learned in previous years, there’s a lot that happens over the course of these 3 days.
On the final day, the judges would shortlist the best ideas of the competition. Afterward, these shortlisted teams would have 2 weeks to refine their prototypes. Then they would pitch once again to a panel of judges on the 20th of October at the Yarl Geek Challenge Senior Grand Finale, which is held in Colombo.
From its humble origins, we’ve seen the Yarl Geek Challenge give birth to a small yet budding tech ecosystem in the Northern Province. It has become a gateway to show how technology can be used to improve lives in one of the poorest areas of Sri Lanka. Additionally, the startups born out of this competition now collectively employ over 75 people. Thus, it’d be inaccurate to call the Yarl Geek Challenge your typical hackathon.
So if you can’t make it and you want to know what’s going on, you can always tune into our Twitter and Instagram feeds to stay updated. You can also learn more about the Yarl Geek Challenge and the Yarl IT Hub by checking out their website and Facebook page.