The number of technology related start-ups in Sri Lanka have grown over the last several years. While a considerable number have succeeded, quite a number of start-ups have also failed due to several reasons. One of the major reasons for the failures of start-ups is not having the proper guidance/mentoring as well as financial issues.
With this in mind, Sri Lanka’s first ever startup conference and showcase called Disrupt Asia 2016 was organized by the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka on the 28th of July 2016 by bringing some of the best in the ecosystem as well as start-up veterans to share their experience with new start-up founders and address many burning questions budding entrepreneurs have. The event was attended by nearly 350 startups, entrepreneurs, corporates, students and media while 42 speakers including 5 from Silicon Valley.
Building on the success of 2016, Disrupt Asia returned in 2017 for a second year on the 12th of July 2017 again at the Hilton Colombo. Once again, the event was a resounding success with nearly 400 attendees participating including 45 investors, 40 academics, corporates, students, media, entrepreneurs and 28 startups showcasing their innovative products. In 2017, in addition to the existing features of the event which were the conference, networking, startup showcase, investor forum and startup battles, an academic forum, workshops for entrepreneurs and investor speed dating was also added.
After two years of being the organized, Disrupt Asia is now the most looked forward to event in the startup ecosystem. It is with this in mind that Disrupt Asia is being organized again on the 11th August 2018 for a 3rd consecutive year.
Disrupt Asia 2018 will stay true to its theme of entrepreneurship and innovation as it was in the past. The conference will have discussions and knowledge sharing on topics such as policy, security, investments, technology and business. The workshops for entrepreneurs will also be organized again to give entrepreneurs in-depth knowledge on the selected topics.
Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) is the next generation of learning promoting the convergence of the above subjects to create a generation that is ready for the future in an interdisciplinary and applied approach. A future ready workforce is important for the sustainability of the economy of the country as well as to ensure that the next generation is not left out of the fast-moving technology age.
It is with this in mind that an “Innovation Festival” component is added to Disrupt Asia which will showcase innovations from different fields and for different demographics so as to promote the innovation ecosystem which is a key pillar of STEAM education.