Innovation Nation (IN) is an initiative supported by IEEE Entrepreneurship to promote entrepreneurship in low-GDP countries. Having its roots in Bosnia & Herzegovina, IEEE IN thrives to establish a network of startups, investors, industry, and academia to support the growth and enhance the visibility of startups in low-GDP countries. Currently, the event is taking place in Bosnia & Herzegovina and Sri Lanka with plans to expand to other parts of the world in the coming years.
Being a developing country, Sri Lanka has many challenges such as lack of investment, a small local market, competition from other global startups, and lack of training in critical areas. Startups in Sri Lanka face many difficulties when putting their ideas/products in place to build a successful company. Innovation Nation Sri Lanka (INSL) is the Sri Lankan leg of IEEE Innovation Nation that aims to solve preceding challenges by providing training, mentoring and financial support to budding entrepreneurs. Among the many applications received, about 10 teams are selected and provided with comprehensive training to equip them with the required tools to run a successful company.
INSL 2019 marks its second year in Sri Lanka and as of October, several sessions were held as a part of the training program leading towards the finale in December:
- Three public meetups titled, ‘The Hustle Story’. This was a series of talks focused on the success stories of homegrown startups. These stories were not only an inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs but also an opportunity for early-stage startups to shape their ideas better.
- A pitching session to shortlist the applicants.
- Training workshop #1 on the topic “What to build and why?”
- Training workshop #2 on the topic “Product-Market Fit”
- Training workshop #3 on the topic “Business Models”
‘The Hustle Story’
Training workshop #2 on the topic “Product-Market Fit”
Training workshop #3 on the topic “Business Models”
This year, INSL Pre-accelerator has planned some new aspects; participants will undergo rigorous private mentoring sessions that are thoroughly focused on each of their startup ideas that will help them to reshape their ideas and to work through their business model. Weekly training workshops are intended to improve communication, the value proposition of their ideas/products, and focus on even the simplest mechanics of a startup.
The ultimate goal of INSL is to create a strong and comfortable platform to foster innovative ideas of Sri Lankan entrepreneurs. We are on a mission to help founders become entrepreneurs and build global tech companies.
At the end of the training workshops and mentoring sessions, three teams will be recognized and awarded at the INSL 2019 Grand Finale in December, which is held in unison with the IEEE Sri Lanka Section Student/Young Professionals/Women in Engineering Congress 2019!
Stay tuned for more updates as we progress along the journey of Innovation Nation!