A platform for local tech startups
to connect with the big league


by Sanath Nanayakkare

The launch of Disrupt Asia 2017-- the most interactive platform for tech-startups to be held on July 12 at Hilton Colombo. (L-R): Ahamed Nishadh, Project Manager, ICTA, Mrs. Chitranganie Mubarak, Chairperson, ICTA, Muhunthan Canagey, Managing Director / CEO, ICTA, Arunesh Peter — Director of Project (ICTA) and Indika de Soyza — Senior Consultant (ICTA). - Pic: Sujatha Jayaratne

The ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA), the nation's apex ICT Institution under the Ministry of Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure, has announced the launch of Disrupt Asia 2017, which will be held at Hilton Colombo on July 12.

Disrupt Asia is Sri Lanka's premier startup conference and exhibition where Sri Lankan tech startup entrepreneurs will have direct access to interact with established companies in their industry which could even lead to potential partnerships.

Last year 35 tech startups were showcased in the exhibition which are now actively engaged in doing business. This year more tech startups are expected to participate and benefit from this event.

ICTA 's Tech Startup Support Programme has been supporting startups since 2010 with seed funding, market access, mentoring, training and creating awareness amongst secondary and tertiary students on entrepreneurship.

Over 40 startups have been supported through the startup seed funding programme including success stories such as EimSky, eTenders.lk, HypeHash, SenzMate and PayMedia.

Building on the immensely successful 'Disrupt Asia' held last year, ICTA hopes to grow, refine, and propel Sri Lanka's entrepreneurial ecosystem during this year's conference. The conference will feature top speakers, mentors, and investors and showcase innovative startups.

The event will also serve as a platform to connect attendees with high impact entrepreneurs and thought leaders, network with the stakeholders of the ecosystem, acquire knowledge and make a positive impact on themselves and the ecosystem as a whole.

ICTA's role in the conference is dedicated to building a startup ecosystem where entrepreneurs can connect with established companies, where knowledge is transferred and accessible especially among the younger generation.

"Disrupt Asia provides an excellent platform which brings together tech entrepreneurs, investors, mentors, policy makers and the media — a complete fusion of elements that are needed to make things happen. ICTA is proud to be driving it." said Chitranganie Mubarak, chairperson ICTA.

While most high growth technology startups have historically emerged from Silicon Valley, there is now a global explosion of entrepreneurship and with it dynamic and competitive ecosystems. As high growth technology startups look to be the primary growth engine of the new information economy, the recent development of startup ecosystems blooming all over the world including Asia has tremendous consequences for the future of the global economy.

"As ICTA we help create the environment and the encouragement for our entrepreneurs and give them the necessary tools," said Muhunthan Canagey, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer ICTA.

Disrupt Asia 2017 is supported by Edulink International Campus as the Supporting Partner, Hemas Slingshot as the Startup Battle Partner, Business Hubs as the Workspace Partner and CrowdIsland as the Investor Forum Partner.

More details on Disrupt Asia can be found at www.disruptasia.today.

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