Startup Weekend is a global phenomenon – 54 hours of fast and furious prototype development through to exploring potential markets and pitching. It’s an unparalleled opportunity to build lasting relationships with co-founders; mentors, and investors.The real value comes from taking an idea from concept through to execution using Lean tactics and working under high pressure with the best startups.
Our goal in the event was to create an environment where passionate people can come together to get things done; to learn, network, bridge the gap between trades, expose potential and see actual results. We Organized the 15th Startup Weekend in Srilanka in Jaffna. It was the 3rd Startup weekend in Jaffna itself.
This Startup Weekend was the 15th in Sri Lanka and 3rd in Jaffna itself. As the previous 2 events were organized in the Town areas of Jaffna, this time we decided to take it to a rural area, 36 kilometers away from Jaffna Town amidst a calm and serene Greenness. Located in the Far North Part of Sri Lanka Point Pedro is the Top Most Point you can Touch in the Sri Lankan Map. Being Affected by Tsunami in 2004 Point Pedro is a residence to 31000 civilians within an area of twelve square kilometers. The main reason for us to take the event to Point Pedro despite of other suggestions was Youth from Point Pedro and surrounding areas were showing considerable interest and improvements in the Entrepreneurial Sector in the recent past, thus we believed a Startup Weekend in Point Pedro will do Proper Justice to them. And for the Record there were Brilliant Startup Ideas from the s from the Youth around Point Pedro at the event.
The Organizing Team Consisted of 7 Individuals from various business backgrounds. Miss Bavitha Sivaganeshamoorthy, Mr Raguparan Karthigesan, Mr Janasteen Alosious, Mr Kiruthihan Kuhendran, Mr Luxan Mahalingam, Mr Ivan Balendra and Mr Jeyakopy Jeyarathnem.
Our Participant Count was Expected to be 100, but there were around 70 participants which made it possible for the mentors to give extra and focused guidance to the teams.
Day 1 : Friday 25th of January 2019
Around 5:30 PM the event was set to begun. The Facilitator Mr Sharanyan Sharma, a leading and award winning Sri Lankan Entrepreneur and a Tech Startup guy actively involving in to the Sri Lankan startup eco system took over the event.
With a short introduction about himself he explained the participants about what is a startup weekend what are the perk of participating in one and about what they are going to be doing for the next 54 Hours. With that said the participants were quickly proposing their ideas with a small quick introduction about themselves their skills and expertise. We Had Mr Vithushan Vijayaratnam, Director of the UKI Coding School with us as the speaker for the evening. It would definitely be an understatement to say that Mr Vithushan had all the participants tied up to their seats without letting them blink for a second with his extremely well prepared presentation and his very motivational speech also sharing his own personal experiences.
Following that was the Voting Session or the Ideas Proposed earlier. After the Voting, 10 ideas were chosen from the proposed ideas and respective teams were formed as per their needs. Then the Dinner was Served.
Day 2 :Saturday 26th of January 2019
Day 2 Started Very Early. Yes at 5:30 AM the participants were supposed to be assembled at the venue for a Morning walk and a small Exercise Session. Although we expected only half of the participants to be present in the morning to everyone’s utmost surprise every single participant was there. The day started with a swift Jog to the Nearby Beach. At the beach we had a quick warm up and stretching coordinated by Mr. Anu Ragavan one of our Mentor for the event. Followed by Mr Saruban and Mr Ivan sharing their story towards their success and who they are now. And After a quick Photo Shoot at the beach the participants went back to the venue to continue with their progress. We had 10 Mentors from various fields and various backgrounds there to guide and mentor the teams. Time Slots were assigned for the teams to interact with mentors for getting support and guidance. The Participants were given their Team Times for them to interact with their teams and prepare for the next days Final Pitching.
Again the mentors checked in with the participants at 1 PM right before lunch and then the lunch was served. After the Lunch the participants were supposed to continue their work. The day ended up with dinner.
Day 3 : Sunday 27th of January 2019
The third and final day started with an Early Morning Football Session
After the Football session with a very quick breakfast the teams were back in form preparing for the mock pitches. The mock pitches started after lunch and went on for around 40 minutes. The mentors suggested improvements and corrected the mistakes the teams made and prepared them for their Final Pitching. The Final Pitchings Started at 5 PM. The Judges were Mr. Ahamed Nishad (Project Manager, ICTA), Mr. Kanishka Weeramunda(Founder- Paymedia), Mr. Lasantha Wickramasinghe(Founder-Builtapps), Mr. Mohammed Fawaz(CEO Studyla) and Dr. EY Charles(Lecturer-University of Jaffna).
After all the Final Pitches were made whilst the Judges were making the decisions we had an amazing speaker for the evening, Mr. Yathavan Somasundaram( Managing Director- Hari Engineering). Mr Yathavan shared his personal story on how hard he suffered to come to this position in the society now and advised the participants on how he overcame them. After his speech the Judges Announced the Winners and the Winning Ideas were Awarded Certificates. After a quick Photo Session Startup Weekend Jaffna v3.0 came to a close.