Many contests of this nature have taken place across the globe bringing in ideators, start-ups and investors to one platform helping unique businesses emerge and grow. The concept as a whole may be new to Lankan audiences but nevertheless will benefit the country immensely in the years to come. Especially given the dire need for creativity and innovation to break barriers and norms, this opportunity provided by the Rotaract Club of Achievers Lanka Business School will not only benefit all those who participate but Sri Lankan Entrepreneurship in general.

JUMPSTART, a signature project of the Rotaract Club of Achievers Lanka Business School, is a platform which provides finance to start-ups through investments and exciting prizes through a competition. Not only does JUMPSTART provide finances and prizes but also provides a thorough knowledge to contestants through the much needed set of workshops.JUMPSTART was held sucessfully for the 3rd consecutive year with a new category that allows contestants to receive investments. The team behind ‘Jumpstart 2019’ worked hard tirelessly to bring entrepreneurs, judges, mentors, investors and even those who have absolutely zero idea on entrepreneurship under one roof.

JUMPSTART has three categories namely Idea wizards, early stage startups and growth stage startups. The Idea Wizards and the early stage startups faced a competition followed by a business case study to receive prizes worth LKR 200,000+ whereas the growth stage startups presented their ideas to investors in hopes of an investment.

This contest gave the participants a brand new experience. It helped the contestants develop their leadership and technical skills, network with giants in the corporate sector and let them think on their feet to tackle everyday business problems that are thrown at them. To help achieve this goal, we organised 6 workshops on aspects such as how to pitch, finance and book keeping, marketing, fundraising, supply chain and PR and branding. All workshops were held at Hometree Coworking, our Venue Partner.Following an intense first round, 5 finalists were selected by an esteemed panel of judges, all representing leaders in the corporate world. The Pitch it! Win it! round was conducted on the 12th of November at Collaborate Co-working which enabled Idea wizards and early stage start-ups to present their business ideas. Five talented teams/individuals were short listed from nearly 40 teams. As per the requests of the judges two more teams were given golden buzzers and were escalated to the Shark Tank round. A big thank you to our Knowledge partner, Venture Frontier for providing us with the experts in the business field to conduct workshops, judges and also investors.

The finale comprised of the finals of the Pitch it! Win it! round and the shark tank round and was held on 8th of December at Orion City Auditorium from 1 pm onwards. However, the finalists were challenged even more as they were given a realistic business case scenario to solve and present to the judges and the audience. Volunteer Nation emerged victorious and took home prizes worth LKR 200,000 while the first runner up, Cookoo Eats won prizes worth LKR 100,000 and the rest of  the finalists won prizes worth LKR 50,000.

The finals also comprised of the shark tank round where growth stage startups presented their business to investors who scrutinized them immensely and provided investments if they deemed the startup to be worthy. The finals also featured a session by an influential speaker, Mr. Niroshan Madampitige.Teaming up with Jumpstart and helping this event become a success were 15 partners. We are extremely grateful to all our partners. Namely, Venture Frontier – Knowledge Partner, Collaborative Coworking – Coworking Partner, Quire Lanka – Brand Strategy Partner, Avance, Urban.lk and Helanka Shoes – Gift Partners, ReadMe – Digital Media Partner, HomeTree Coworking and Orion City – Venue Partners, Impulse – Media Partner, StartupX foundry – Mentoring Partner, Chokolaate  – Magazine Partner, Dawn Developments – IT Partner, Filmdragonn Productions – Videography Partner and SefGlobal – Outreach Partner.

Last but not the least, an added word of gratitude to our Bronze sponsor ACCA and the management of Achievers Lanka Business School for the support.

Rtr. Suwithi Karunasekara

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