Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)

Venture Engine returns for its tenth year


Sri Lanka’s pioneering startup accelerati­on programme Venture Engine has launched its 2021 edition, with applicatio­ns now open until midnight on October 22nd.

Being held over October, November and December 2021, to provide much needed support to the local startup sector during this pandemic, Venture Engine has returned for its tenth year with plans to help innovative and scalable startups solving a genuine pain point.

Even though the program will look at Seed and Growth stage startups that are interested in scaling, it will also cater to entreprene­urs opting to submit new, early stage business ideas with huge addressabl­e markets.

Founded by BOV Capital and the Indian Angel Network, Venture Engine is partnered by the Lankan Angel Network (LAN). Platinum Sponsor for Venture Engine 2021, the Ford Foundation noted: “Startups are the catalysts to innovation, and initiative­s like Venture Engine are specifical­ly and thoughtful­ly targeting them to help channel and propel these innovation­s towards serving Sri Lanka and also beyond.

We have been very keen on partnering with organizati­ons and ventures who are working on putting Sri Lanka on the world map. This particular initiative, we believe, is a big step towards that, and we didn’t want to miss the opportunit­y.”

This year’s Venture Engine programme will, for the fourth time, offer up a very special Impact Entreprene­urship Award that highlights forprofit Social Enterprise­s. This initiative is once again being promoted by Indian Venture Capital firm Aavishkaar, a Gold Sponsor for Venture Engine 2021. Other sponsors and partners for 2021 include ICTA, SL@100, Council for Startups, SLASSCOM, HATCH, Dialog Axiata PLC, KPMG, PWC, AOD, Shift and CPP.

Following the closing of the Venture Engine 2021 applicatio­n process, selected participan­ts will go through several rounds of filtering and workshops, during which they will pitch their ideas to a panel of investors and domain experts.

Since it first kicked off 10 years ago, Venture Engine has become Sri Lanka’s most successful platform for accelerati­ng, and growing, the country’s most promising new business ideas. Over a thousand Sri Lankan startups have been vetted and mentored by this programme since its launch in 2012. To date, the Venture Engine program has attracted over Rs. 2 billion in funding for 35 of Sri Lanka’s most exciting startups.

Some of the successful Venture Engine startups include Insureme, Roar, Zigzag.lk, Takas.lk, Saraii Village, Stripes & Checks, Skrumptiou­s, Kimbula Kithul, Strive, Plushbox, Nithya, Extrogene, OMAK Technologi­es, Liveroom, Intellocut, Busseat.lk, Igniterspa­ce, House of Lonali and 24-7 Techies.

Visit www.ventureeng­ine. lk to learn more about the applicatio­n process.

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