Sec­ond John Keells X Open In­no­va­tion Chal­lenge 2017 gets un­der­way

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - - NEWS -

Sri Lankan en­trepreneur­ship will hit the fast-track at the sec­ond an­nual John Keells X Open In­no­va­tion Chal­lenge 2017 as teams of as­pir­ing in­no­va­tors and in­ven­tors com­pete for a chance to win entry into a 6-month Ac­cel­er­a­tor Pro­gramme at John Keells Hold­ings (JKH).

The prize? Rs. 2 mil­lion in seed in­vest­ment, a cu­rated growth ori­ented cur­ricu­lum, of­fice space in Colombo, ac­cess to le­gal, fi­nance and sec­re­tar­ial ex­per­tise, ac­cess to men­tors in­volv­ing se­nior JKH lead­er­ship, ac­tive in­ter­ac­tion with JKH busi­nesses, as well as the prospects of fur­ther in­vest­ment dur­ing or after the six month Ac­cel­er­a­tor Pro­gramme, the com­pany said in a me­dia re­lease.The com­pany is of­fer­ing Rs 2 mil­lion each to seven suc­cess­ful en­tries in the com­pe­ti­tion.

John Keells X was first launched in 2016 with the goal of boost­ing cre­ative and in­tel­lec­tual tal­ent through a pub­lic com­pet­i­tive for­mat. This year’s chal­lenge has evolved into a fully-fledged ac­cel­er­a­tor pro­gramme that will holis­ti­cally ed­u­cate par­tic­i­pants on key fac­tors to hone busi­ness per­for­mance. This will also in­clude an en­trepreneur­ship cur­ricu­lum and growth hack­ing cur­ricu­lum de­liv­ered by lead­ing in­ter­na­tional train­ers with ex­ten­sive startup ex­pe­ri­ence. Ad­di­tion­ally, par­tic­i­pants will re­ceive in­valu­able men­tor­ship from some of the most re­spected en­trepreneurs and busi­ness mag­nates in the coun­try, the com­pany added.

The up­dated for­mat of the open in­no­va­tion chal­lenge held last year, John Keells X Open In­no­va­tion Chal­lenge 2017 will now in­clude ex­ten­sive sup­port to ac­cel­erate busi­ness ven­tures over a 6-month pe­riod, and this was prompted as a re­sult of the strong and en­thu­si­as­tic re­sponse from young en­tre­pre­neur­ial tal­ent at the in­au­gu­ral event last year.

From May 2 on­wards, com­pet­ing teams must work to ex­hibit dis­rup­tively in­no­va­tive ideas that hold the po­ten­tial to com­ple­ment the core sec­tors that JKH is cur­rently en­gaged in, such that growth of their early stage busi­ness can be ac­cel­er­ated through align­ing with any JKH busi­ness units.

Ap­pli­ca­tions for the com­pe­ti­tion close on June 25 and en­tries can be sub­mit­ted through the event web­site: www.john­keellsX.com. The panel of judges this year com­prises Ajit Gunewar­dene (Deputy Chair­man - JKH), Ron­nie Peiris (Group Fi­nance Di­rec­tor - JKH), Kr­is­han Bal­en­dra (Pres­i­dent, Leisure Sec­tor/Di­rec­tor - JKH), Gi­han Cooray (Pres­i­dent, Re­tail Sec­tor/ Di­rec­tor - JKH), Dr. Hans Wi­jaya­suriya (Re­gional CEO - Ax­i­ata Group South Asia/Non-Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor - JKH), Jonathan Alles (Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor/CEO - Hat­ton Na­tional Bank PLC), and Ramesh Shan­mu­ganathan (Ex­ec­u­tive Vice Pres­i­dent and Chief In­for­ma­tion Of­fi­cer - JKH)

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