Spark iT is the newest brainchild of CCC (Ceylon Chamber of Commerce) which has been launched in partnership with VE (Venture Engine) to provide a veritable platform for upcoming Information and Communication technology (ICT) entrepreneurs.
The program has the goal of aiding these entrepreneurs to elevate their businesses to the next level by helping them to strengthen their business plans as well as providing them access to investors.
The venture also seeks to improve the involvement of Chamber Members as well as the levels of investment in ICT industry. It is hoped that Spark iT will help in the creation of several start-up businesses in the next 5 to 10 years in the industry.
Yasas V. Abeywickrama, renowned, entrepreneur, writer, speaker and trainer in Sri Lanka, writes about the Spark iT program of CCC.
The need for Spark iT in Sri Lanka
Funding and guidance are necessary prerequisites for any business to be successful. Even when there are great ideas, the lack of these elements can hamper the success of these ideas. Initiatives like Spark iT focuses on new businesses and ideas along with existing businesses having new ideas.
The venture provides a chance for these ideas to become fruitful imparting adequate guidance and meeting the capital requirements.
The Spark iT program is expected to widen the potential of Sri Lankan ICT industry through the following facets:
- Creating awareness and encouraging entrepreneurs to put into effect their business ideas.
- Improve and increase existing entrepreneurial and start-up support communities existing in the country.
- Partner and create incubators, mentor and angel network in order to support the budding business ventures.
Spark iT – The Process
More than 50 projects have already been submitted to Spark iT by the middle of February of which 15 of the top ones were invited for a workshop on February 27.
The entrepreneurs worked with investor panel in order to polish their business plans. One more round of fine tuning will be held on March 11 with the finale to be held in March 25. Top five to ten teams are expected to attain the funding with the winners getting Rs. 1 M.
The toppers will also be given a chance to attend Venture Engine program commencing on May 2013.
Venture Engine and other supporters
Venture Engine is the event partner of Spark iT, structuring the program through their immense experience in encouraging start-ups. Etisalat, the telecommunication service provider in Sri Lanka, is the platinum sponsor.
SLASSCOM is the strategic partner, Dialog, John Keels, Brandix and MAS Holdings are the award sponsors and Orion City, 99x Technology, IFS, hSenid, Informatics and Microsoft are other sponsors. The national partner of Spark iT is ICTA.
The ICT industry of Sri Lanka hopes to attain US $1 billion growth in exports by the year 2016 and Spark iT hopes to be a platform for the initiation of several business ventures to reach this goal. Most ICT professionals are technologists.
With the integration of a focus on business with their technological acumen, Spark iT aims to churn out great technological entrepreneurs.