Seedstars World, the largest start-up competition for emerging markets and fast-growing start-up scenes, brought its Sri Lanka round to a successful close during Seedstars Colombo. The event took place on 25 October at Hatch, where 11 selected start-ups presented their companies in front of a jury panel of experts.
DirectPay won the Sri Lanka round of Seedstars World, organised by SLASSCOM. They will participate at the Seedstars Asia Summit 2018, to be held in Bangkok for the second time, and at Seedstars Global Summit in Switzerland, where they will have the chance to win up to $ 1 million in equity investments and other prizes.
The local winner, DirectPay, a mobile payment platform that allows digital payments convenient for the user by making a payment with only a ‘Click! Scan! and Pay!’ was named ‘Seedstars Best Start-up in Sri Lanka’ for its innovative sustainable solution.
In order to provide local entrepreneurs with this opportunity and aiming to deliver the best possible event, Seedstars worked meticulously throughout the year with the national partner Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA), the networking partner Amazon Web Services (AWS), the key partners Exetel and Hemas Slingshot, the local organiser Hatch Works Ltd., the ecosystem partner SLASSCOM, the local partner Start-up Sri Lanka, and the media partner ReadMe.
As a part of the prize, DirectPay will be participating at the Seedstars Summit, which will take place in Switzerland in April 2019. It is a week-long training program, with the opportunity to meet the 65+ winners from other fast-growing economies, as well as investors and mentors from around the world. The final day of the Summit is dedicated to pitching in front of an audience of more than 1,000 attendees.
Pikanite, a real-time, personalised, easy-to-use platform that will match unsold inventory with deal seekers, came second, and MillionSpaces Ltd., a single platform offering a wide range of venues and enabling comparison in terms of price, availability and other preferences, grabbed the last spot in the top three. The other start-ups invited to pitch were Cricrush Inc., Blue Icon Ltd., Broom Broom Technologies, Picture.lk, Fipbox Ltd., SmartClass.lk, Outpatient Professionals and Sixer Video.
The 11 start-ups selected gave a three-minute pitch in English, in front of a jury made up of local and international start-up heavyweights. The jury panel included Calcey Founder and CEO Mangala Karunaratne, Hatch Co-Founder Jeevan Gnanam, ICTA Program Manager Sachindra Samararatne, PODI Jobs Founder Yusra Aziz Eliyas, and Seedstars Associate for Asia Gabriela Fernandez Scala.
It’s Seedstars’ goal to place the spotlight on entrepreneurs from emerging markets, especially those targeting solutions that align with UN Sustainable Development Goals. With that in mind, Seedstars World is traveling to more than 65 countries to identify the most innovative seed-stage start-ups, awarding them the opportunity to win up to $ 1 million and network with investors as well as mentors from around the world at the global Seedstars Summit in Switzerland. Its previous participants have raised over $ 92 million collectively, providing employment to more than 2,100 individuals worldwide.