Innovators’ Day 2016 – Today’s Initiative for a better tomorrow

Today’s Initiative for a better tomorrow

Department of Entrepreneurship, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, the first ever university in Sri Lanka to offer degrees up to Masters’ level in Entrepreneurship has been established for the prime purpose of inculcating an entrepreneurial culture in Sri Lanka. Various steps have been taken and numerous initiatives have been introduced by the department in order to strengthen and encourage existing and potential entrepreneurs. “Innovators Day -2016”is the newest initiative of the department which has been launched with the aim of developing a unique platform for innovators to improve, commercialize and share their innovative solutions with others.

This Grand Event which was organized by the 2016/17 Master’s Batch was held on 14th February 2016 at the university premises with the participation of an exhibitors of over 45. Innovative products, services and business concepts were proffered for the exhibition. The exhibition was launched as the initial step of a long journey towards a national event which will provide room for the innovators scattered all over the country to cluster in a single unique stage.

The event was enlightened with the participation of university scholars, renowned practicing entrepreneurs, industry experts and organizations that facilitate innovators. The exhibition lent a hand for the existing and prospective innovators to solve their burning issues of financing, acquiring patents, commercializing the innovation by linking the industry and institutions with the entrepreneurs. The assistance provide by the Idea2Fund by offering a platform for prospective Sri Lankan entrepreneurs to present their venture ideas, be challenged and received constructive feedback, get linked with investors / funders and receive start-up consulting advisory services was highly acknowledged by the participants. Further Sri Lanka Inventors Commission and National Intellectual Property Office made participants aware of the services rendered by them.

The innovations exhibited were evaluated based on the main criteria of innovativeness, novelty, feasibility, environmental implications and overall impression by a panel of expert professionals representing the industry and the academia. The panelists were Professor HarindraDissabandara (Head, Department of Finance, USJP), Dr. NandadasaNarayana (Chairman-Flexport Pvt. Ltd), Dr. Hilary E. Silva (former Dean –FMSC), Mr. RukmalWeerasinghe (Head- Department of Entrepreneurship), Mr. ShyamanUdayanga (former Head –Department of Entrepreneurship), Dr. P.J Kumarasinghe (Coordinator- MBA/M.Sc Unit-USJP), Dr. P.Gamage (Chairman- BDC), Mr. Marlon Gunasekara (Head- Department of Business Administration-USJP) and Mrs. SriyaniRanasinghe (Lecturer- Department of Entrepreneurship). The evaluation came up with seven nominations out of which the winners were fixed upon.

Innovators’ Day 2016- Nominations

  1. DarshanaPriyantha- VMS Business Solutions
  2. ChathurangaKariyawasam- Roots Global (Pvt) Ltd.
  3. DilupaHeenatigala- SisaraPrintway (Pvt) Ltd.
  4. NirmalaWijerathna- Sunshine Creations
  5. Indika De Zoysa- SuperEn New Energy Technology
  6. Chandana Kumara- Water Care Technologies (Pvt) Ltd.
  7. DulshanChathuranga-Metshu Exports (Pvt) Ltd.

Out of the seven nominees Mr. Chathuranga- owner of Roots Pvt. Ltd. won the first place for producing a groundbreaking waffle corn and edible spoon. The second was secured by Mr. DarshanaPriyantha of VMS business solutions for presenting a total business solution package which will help the entrepreneurs to ensure the smooth functioning of business operations evenwithout their physical presence in the business.The third places (two third places) were awardedto Ms. DilupaHeenatigala –owner of SisaraPrintways for the innovative solution of banana leaf food wrapping to the rigorous issues of health hazards and environmental damage created by traditional lunch sheets, Mr. Indika De Zoyza-owner of SuperEn New Energy Technology for the solar powered water pump which save the cost and energy.

The massive event was mainly sponsored by Sri Lanka Insurance (Insurance Corporation of Sri Lanka) while Dialog Axiata PLC, Janashakthi Insurance, Nestle Lanka PLC and 4ever Skin Naturals (Pvt) Ltd.being the other sponsors.

It is expected to continue this program annually and scale up this to national level from next year onwards. This will undoubtedly be an immense opportunity for the leading organizations in Sri Lanka to join their hands with an unparalleled higher education center in Asia which will benefit both the organizations and the nation as a whole.

Innovation is all about being unreasonable. According to Charles Darwin “there are two types of people in this world – the reasonable and the unreasonable. The reasonable man changes himself to suit the ways of the world, but the unreasonable man changes the ways of the world to suit himself. Ultimately, the world always depends on the unreasonable man for progress”.

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