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Sri Lankan start-ups can learn from the best on entrepreneurship, business and technology

24th July 2018: Colombo – Sri Lanka: Disrupt Asia 2018, Sri Lanka’s Premier Start-up Conference and Innovation Festival, was officially announced today. This year’s event is the 3rd edition of this ground-breaking event and is set to take place from 4pm to midnight on 11th August 2018 at the Trace – Expert City.

Organized by the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA), Disrupt Asia 2018 is supported by the Ministry of Telecommunication, Digital Infrastructure and Foreign Employment, International Partner – IKT Norge, Knowledge Partner – PWC, Supporting Partners – GIZ Sri Lanka and Trace-Expert City, Payments Partner – PayHere, Volunteer Partner – GudPpl, Eco System Partner – SLASSCOM, Makerspace Partner – Igniter Space, YouTube Partner – IdeaHell, Social Innovation Partner – UNDP Sri Lanka, Hosting Partners – Calcey Technologies, Orel Corporation, WSO2 and CodeGen and Creative Pavilion Partner – Gamer.LK.

Disrupt Asia 2018 is the progression of an increased effort by the ICTA to broaden the start-up landscape of the country and inspire the next wave of growth. Each and every aspect of Disrupt Asia 2018 has been carefully thought out to drive innovation and inspire the entrepreneurial mindset of all participants.

The conference will discuss the need for policy and strategy. Entrepreneurs sharing their successes and failures will provide inspiration to take the plunge. Experts from Sri Lanka, USA, Netherlands, UK and India will share their knowledge on AI, digital marketing, security and set the stage for disruptive thinking around STEAM education, creative industries and social entrepreneurship. Disrupt Asia will also address the need to build a second tier of angel investors through the unique Investor Forum.

Prof. Rohan Samarajiva – Chairman of ICTA opined, “As a result of the Academic Workshop on Entrepreneurship at Disrupt Asia last year, ICTA initiated the Educate to Innovate workshops for school teachers and ImagineIF startup boot camps for undergraduates to influence and inculcate entrepreneurial attitudes. This year, with the addition of the Innovation Festival, we are bringing in a whole new dimension to the event as we look to promote creativity in all its forms to ignite a different breed of entrepreneurs. We look forward to an exciting, informative event that will help all participants to re-imagine the possibilities of tomorrow.”

The Innovation Festival at Disrupt Asia 2018 is an entrance free opportunity which will showcase many technology innovations from Sri Lanka and also include works of art and digital activations that the public can experience and interact with. In addition, the Disrupt Asia Start-up Expo will be where technology start-ups will be presented with the opportunity to showcase their products to the attendees of the conference and visitors of the Innovation Festival.

The Investor Forum will be exclusively for professionals who wish to invest in technology start-ups. Participants will get valuable insights courtesy of an introduction to the start-up ecosystem in Sri Lanka, a knowledge sharing session conducted by experienced angel investors and a panel discussion on legal procedures applicable to start-up financing. Last year’s Investor Forum resulted in ICTA forming a special group – Disrupt Asia ecosystem builder’s forum – consisting of the major stakeholders. The knowledge forum acts as a decision maker towards building a stronger start-up ecosystem.

The Conference of Disrupt Asia 2018 will consist of 4 main sections – Main Stage, Stage Two, Investor Forum and Workshops – that will take place in parallel. The Disrupt Asia 2018 Start-up Battle, a competition where entrepreneurs will pitch their start-up and the top 3 selected in the preliminary rounds will pitch at the Grand Finale of the Disrupt Asia Start-up Battle on the Main Stage. The winners of the Disrupt Asia 2018 Start-up Battle will receive cash prizes and the chance to participate in the Oslo Innovation Week 2018 in September. Applications for the Startup Battle are now open at www.disruptasia.today/startupbattle while tickets for the Conference can be purchased online via https://disruptasia.today/buytickets/.