May 30, 2017

Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2017 - Sri Lanka

Startup Genome, in partnership with the Global Entrepreneurship Network, earlier this month released The Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2017 (GSER), a comprehensive look at how regions foster and sustain vibrant startup ecosystems. It reveals how successful tech innovation is being led by young entrepreneurs all over the world.  All 55 cities participating in this year’s research were rigorously analyzed based on their performance and eight factors driving startup success: funding, market reach, global connectedness, technical talent, startup experience, resource attraction, corporate involvement, founder ambition and strategy.

This report, which is Startup Genome’s third and most comprehensive effort to date, draws upon the voice of entrepreneurs — with more than 10,000 startup leaders participating — gathered through the efforts of 300 partner organizations. At a time when many regions feel left behind by a startup and innovation economy that has concentrated in super-regions globally, GSER’s data and analysis is intended as a guidepost for helping founders, employers, policymakers and regional leaders to accelerate the growth of their local startup ecosystems.

The ICT Agency of Sri Lanka, which is the apex ICT institution of the Government of Sri Lanka under the Ministry of Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure spearheaded the initiative to have Sri Lanka included in this global report by assisting Startup Genome in the data collection and other activities related to the report in Sri Lanka.

The report also ranks the top 20 ecosystems around the world based on various factors. The tech startup hub of the world, Silicon Valley maintains its position as the No.1 ecosystem in the world while Singapore has been ranked No.1 in terms of the talent available for startups to use.

Commenting on Sri Lanka, JF Gauthier, co author of the Global Startup Ecosystem Report and CEO of Startup Genome says in the report “I spent my time visiting with two dozen startups about their products and experiences. Many of them displayed impressive levels of innovation”. JF Gauthier was also a keynote speaker at Disrupt Asia 2016 ( ), Sri Lanka’s First Ever Startup Conference and Showcase which was also organized by the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka.

Although, Sri Lanka does not rank among the Top 20 ecosystems in the world, the report brings out many positive facts about the ecosystem. In the analysis about the Sri Lankan ecosystem, the report says that “Sri Lanka does not rank among the top ecosystems in this year’s Index. Due to its infancy, it doesn’t have many output oriented metrics to showcase its progress, but its Early-Stage Funding is growing at one of the fastest rates in the world. And its decent Global Connectedness scores, combined with low cost engineering talent is a bright spot to build around.”

The report further says that the “Sri Lankan startups have the 2nd fastest Time to Hire an Engineer, with a median of 20 days. The Asia-Pacific median is 35 days. Sri Lanka [also] has the 3rd highest percentage of founders with an undergraduate degree at 60%.”

“The startup ecosystem in Sri Lanka has seen a significant growth since 2015, igniting the wave for digital innovation. The Government and the industry have jointly taken the initiative of driving the development of the ecosystem. It is self evolving and matures on a daily basis fostering the culture that is required for the Digital Economy.” said Muhunthan Canagey, CEO and Managing Director of the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka giving his comments to the report.

The report is now available for download at for free.

Startup Genome’s mission is to empower cities all over the world to capture their fair share of the new economy by accelerating the economic growth of startup ecosystems through benchmarking, networking, and exposure.  Fueled by primary research with 10,000+ startups annually–the voice of entrepreneurs–Startup Genome supports local ecosystem leaders with building consensus for action on key challenges.

The ICT Agency of Sri Lanka has been at the forefront of building the technology startup ecosystem of the country by carrying out various activities benefitting the startup ecosystem of the country. Being one of the first to start an accelerator for startups in the country with the Spiralation ( Seed Funding Initiative, the program now expanded to include various other support mechanisms for startups, entrepreneurs, students etc.