Disrupt Asia 2019 – Sri Lanka’s Premier Startup Conference and Innovation Festival organized by the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka since 2016 is a gathering of the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem to one amazing platform. Each year Disrupt Asia has a theme aligning to global trends. This year is about Augmented Living.
The conference has two keynotes by eminent startup personalities and five panel discussions with local and foreign experts and founders of successful startups. The conference will inspire aspiring entrepreneurs and guide early stage startups. The expertise shared on travel technologies and trends, immersive technologies and its real applications and innovation shaping cities will be an eye opener for startups as well as corporate innovation teams. Startups aspiring to go global will get the opportunity to listen to the Founders themselves of how their products disrupted Asia and experts discussing strategies to go global.
A pitching competition where shortlisted startups can pitch and win prizes. An eminent panel consisting of local and foreign experts are there as judges.
This comprises of the startup showcase, knowledge hub, partner offerings, art installations and digital activations. The startup showcase will provide the opportunity for selected startups to showcase their offering to the attendees of Disrupt Asia. Throughout the years many startups have chosen the Disrupt Asia Startup Showcase to launch the final product, conduct activations to popularize the product or simply create awareness among their target audience that they were their at Disrupt Asia.
This year at the festival a special Knowledge Hub catering to University students and early stage entrepreneurs will house representatives from a number of entrepreneur support initiatives in the country such as Technopreneurship by Hackadev Academy, Venture Frontier Caravan and Bootcamps, ICTA ImagineIF and Spiralation and many more.
I was lucky enough to attend the 2018 event and be part of a panel of local and international start-up professionals to discuss how startup entrepreneurs can maximize lessons from failure.
I was absolutely blown away by the hospitality and talent present in the Sri Lankan ecosystem, and ICTA lays an integral role in fostering that. This includes its flagship event, Disrupt Asia. The team at ICTA do an incredible job producing a world-class event, with the right mixture of seriousness and fun, and stunning presentation. Because of DA, I was able to create invaluable linkages with the start-up community in Sri Lanka, and am pursuing multiple avenues for collaboration between Lankan start-ups and entrepreneurs and Bangladesh.For anyone interested in Sri Lanka or working in start-ups regionally, Disrupt Asia is a can't miss event in their calendar.
Sri-Lanka has always had a community of people who support each other through decades of warm Hospitality. Due to this the Startup Eco-System is a very open & friendly one where founders & communities support each other in business. Disrupt Asia, which is the premier startup convention in Sri-Lanka and is with no-doubt the best platform for founders to collaborate and open up opportunities. With IgniterSpace, I was able to meet several people who helped us grow into international markets. In the year 2017 we met with a Tech Entrepreneur from the US who gave us access to the US Embassy in SL and we now manage all their education related grants in the American Center.
In the year 2018 we met Nirjhor who is the CEO of BD Angels in Bangladesh. Nirjhor helped IgniterSpace to do their first international expansion to his country. I believe Disrupt Asia will keep on unlocking great opportunities for IgniterSpace as well as all your Startups! I highly encourage you all to participate at this event as it will enable you to definitely DISRUPT ASIA!
Disrupt Asia not only shone a spotlight on unique startups in Sri Lanka but it also introduced Techstars to a talented and growing community of Sri Lankan investors, and corporate supporters; all indicators of the future prosperity of a startup ecosystem.
We were extremely fortunate to have connected with oDoc founder Heshan Fernando on a panel at Disrupt Asia, starting a relationship which resulted in a historic first. oDoc is the first Sri Lankan team to be accepted into a Techstars accelerator.
Participating in Disrupt Asia changed the course of our company. At the event, we connected with Ray Newal, the MD of Techstars India. It was this chance encounter that led us to be selected for the Techstars Bangalore Program.
The Techstars Program was a perfect gateway to India. It helped us formulate our strategy and provided us with the network required to start and grow our India operation.
As a startup who pitched for the first time at a startup event. Disrupt Asia was a great experience, we meet great people and well-wishers who helped us to find our path for success. We meet our first investor at the event which has helped us to fuel our growth. And the opportunity to pitch at Oslo Innovation Week was beyond our expectations as a startup. We encourage new startups to pitch and participate for Disrupt Asia 2019.