Under an ICTA-initiated grant scheme aimed at promoting new technologies startup companies with less than a two-year post-registration existence and less than 10 employees could aspire to have 75 per cent of their total project cost reimbursed.
This was revealed at a media conference organised by the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) and Intel at Hotel Taj Samudra for the launch of the Grant Scheme of ICTA Friday (30).
The programme targets new business enterprises or those in the very early stages of development and aims at encouraging entrepreneurs island-wide to launch new technology products and/or services. Thus the programme promotes the launch of these products and services which are transformations of their new business ideas while addressing market gaps and assisting new ICT related innovations. Under the scheme registered technology businesses in Sri Lanka less than two years in existence and with less than 10 employees can apply for a grant. This grant will cover 75% of the total project cost or a maximum of USD 5,000 whichever is lower. With the grant the new companies can subsidise infrastructure, capacity building, business development and any other third party costs. ICTA informs that up to 20 such companies may be supported under this programme in stages.
Explaining the term “Spiralation” a senior ICTA official said: “This initiative called Technology Startups ‘Spiralation’ launched in the presence of the programme’s partner ‘ecosystem’ aptly holds in its nomenclature the term ‘spiralation’ thus denoting the ‘spiral’ model concept that is specifically significant in this grant scheme. The ‘spiral’ model concept indicates an upward spiral model that grows with ‘Innovation’ and the term ‘Spiralation’ encompasses the spiral of innovation which is the true nature of the programme. The partner ‘ecosystem’ laid out by ICTA for the programme consists of more than 20 partner organisations including international technology providers, prestigious higher education institutions and industry organizations (both ICT and other). This will give high exposure to the selected applicants in various domains”.
The selected applicants will also be mentored through the programme’s impressive partner ecosystem in areas of expertise they should acquire in order to develop businesses into successful enterprises. This line up of partners includes the University of Moratuwa, the University of Colombo School of Computing, the Indian Institute of Technology’s Rural Technology Business Incubator, Boston University, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, the Sri Lanka Association of Software Service Companies (SLASSCOM), the Federation of IT Industry Sri Lanka (FITIS), British Computer Society (BCS), Project Management Institute (PMI), Chartered Institute of Management Accountants UK (CIMA), the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL), CCC Solutions Pvt. Ltd, the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM), Standard Chartered Bank, National Development Bank (NDB), CIO Forum and the Knowledge Factory. Others too are expected to join and ICTA has extended invitations to organisations who can contribute to join hands.
Welcoming all present on behalf of the ICTA Mr. Jayantha Fernando, Director/Legal Advisor said “the ICT Agency as part of its role of catalysing the growth of the ICT Industry is pleased to announce the launch of this programme for technology startups. It will be the foundation towards creating a new culture of entrepreneurship within the Industry which will help accomplish the objectives of the e- Sri Lanka programme”.
The ICT Agency invites organisations who are interested and capable of enriching the programme further to contact ICTA for discussions on partnering. The applications for the programme will be available for download from the first week of August 2010 via http://www.icta.lk/icbp and aspiring applicants with an eye for innovation and inkling towards entrepreneurship are encouraged to apply.