Sri Lanka’s start-up environment improving
According to the founder member of the Lankan Angel Network (LAN), Prajeeth Balasubramaniam Sri Lanka possessed the skill to provide and compete for the growing South Asian demand for entrepreneurship and innovation, adding that to sustain the country’s start-up environment those in the sector’s influential sphere needed to help address the issues challenging design thinking and innovation.
Balasubramaniam said that most Sri Lankan businesspersons wanted to reach clear of what he termed the “art of the start.”
“My own venture BOV Capital (Blue Ocean Venture Capital) was incorporated in Singapore in 2009 because of the ease of doing business in Singapore and the infrastructure for start-ups is far greater in Singapore when compared to Colombo. Also there’s a strong legal framework for start-ups which is a great comfort zone for potential investors in these firms. But now things are changing.” he stated.
In 2015, LAN successfully pitched to host the Asian Business Angels Forum’ (ABAF) in Colombo in October, 2017 where 45 delegates from 25 countries are expected to attend, having trounced Malaysia and Singapore to secure the right to host what is deemed “Asia’s largest premier angel investor gathering and conference for emerging and growing business.”
The ABAF is a two day event comprising a variety of conferences, workshops, panel discussions and investment pitching sessions, which provides an exceptional occasion where renowned speakers, business leaders, angel investors, venture capitalists, policymakers, entrepreneurs from around the globe meet to swap best practices and insights on investment in innovation and technology industries.¹
LAN has financedstart-ups like Simplex; an e-commerce company handling logistics matters, Intelocut; a company that assists companies in the apparel sector reduce waste, Aqem; a data analytics company assisting the pharmaceutical sector and Zigzag which is a site thatprovides mass ladies products.
Balasubramaniam said that LAN managed to secure the hosting rights by showcasing its portfolio, adding that Sri Lankan businesspersons were passionate non-conformists who propelled their start-ups.
“But to scale the business, they need the complementary expertise, experience, connections, oversight, and new capital which is what LAN provides. The local start-ups with high stakes and even higher prospective for disruptive growth and success are slated to see some potential investors,” he added.
Given the potential of Sri Lanka’s start-up environment, investors stand to greatly benefit if they decided to explore possibilities in the sector.
|Article Code :||VBS/AT/26092017/Z_13|