Disrupt Asia 2018, the third edition of Sri Lanka’s premier Startup Conference and Innovation Festival, organized by ICTA, supported by Ministry of Telecommunication, Digital Infrastructure and Foreign Employment was held on 11th August,2018 along with International Partner – IKT Norge, Knowledge Partner – PWC, Supporting Partners – GIZ Sri Lanka, Payoneer, techStars and Trace-Expert City, Payments Partner – PayHere, Volunteer Partner – GudPpl, Eco System Partner – SLASSCOM, Makerspace Partner – Igniter Space, YouTube Partner – IdeaHell, Inclusion Partner – LIRNEasia, Social Innovation Partner – UNDP Sri Lanka, Creative Pavilion Partner – Gamer.LK and Hosting Partners – Calcey Technologies, Orange Electric, WSO2 and CodeGen at Trace City, Maradana.
This is the third edition of this event and was the most looked forward to event in the start-up ecosystem in the country. A notable difference this year was the addition of an “Innovation Festival” which showcased innovations from different fields and for different demographics to promote the innovation ecosystem which is a key pillar of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM).
This year’s Conference consisted of four main sections; Main Stage, Stage Two, Investor Forum and Workshops – that took place in parallel. The Main Stage kick-off with an Opening Keynote by Glenn Robinson – Managing Director of XLr8 Andhra Pradesh Technology Business Accelerator (University of Texas at Austin extension), followed by presentations by local and foreign experts on various topics. These were followed by Disrupt Asia 2018 Start-up Battle Grand Finale and the Closing Keynote by Nick Marino Jr. – Director of Social Change at TangoTab, a social start-up based out of Texas, USA. The investor forum was exclusively for professionals who wish to invest in technology startups. Participants of the forum were able to get an understanding of the ecosystem, legal procedures applicable to startup funding and an opportunity to engage with seasoned angel investors too.
The Innovation Festival at Disrupt Asia 2018 showcased many technology innovations from Sri Lanka including works of art and digital activations that the public experienced and interact with. In addition, the Disrupt Asia Start-up Expo was where technology start-ups showcased their products to the attendees of the conference and visitors of the Innovation Festival. The event saw 29 startups exhibiting, 750+ participants including 20 + oversees delegates / Speakers from 11 countries and most of the local industry giants.