Seven Startups to be created through Summer Entrepreneurship Program for University of Moratuwa Students
This summer, 34 of the University of Moratuwa's top students have been selected to participate in a rigorous seven-week program, run by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in collaboration with the University of Moratuwa (UoM).
The Accelerating Information Technology Innovation program or AITI started on 18th June and will culminate in a showcase event on 3rd August. Through this program, seven new innovative companies will be introduced to Sri Lanka's fast-growing mobile and web application market. Summer 2012 marks AITI's second year in Sri Lanka.
By the end of the seven-week program, 34 students in AITI aspire to be running their own mobile and/or web-based application companies. The overarching objective of the program is to create innovative entrepreneurs in the area of information and communication technology (ICT) in emerging regions.
Sri Lanka’s richness in technical talent and rapidly expanding commercial market makes the AITI program here unique: AITI acts as a catalyst that will produce companies and increase entrepreneurial and investor confidence in the Sri Lankan market.
Through the AITI program, entrepreneurs achieve their end goals overcoming a series of weekly challenges aimed at preparing their companies for commercial launch. Most recently, each startup met with representatives from the country’s top three mobile operators, Dialog, Mobitel, and Etisalat to discuss potential contracts regarding their products. The previous week involved a tournament-style elevator pitch contest with entrepreneurs and experts in mobile technologies as judges.
An intensive learning environment is key to the AITI’s demanding goals. These startup teams undergo rigorous training in technical and business aspects of a company. They get hands-on experience in both fields by building their products and then meeting with judges, mentors, and industry leaders for feedback, critique, and support.
AITI is a mobile/web startup accelerator program and not a classroom project.
The teams are tasked with not just planning, but also executing every facet of creating a startup, from engineering to finance, to marketing and sales. With guidance from local mentors, they have been working tirelessly to perfect their companies, one of which may well become Sri Lanka's next big success story.
In a few weeks, after more intensive build days, mentorship, and recommendations from Sri Lanka's top entrepreneurs, startup teams will reveal their products at Launch Day - AITI’s final product showcase which is scheduled for Friday, 3rd of August. Until then, Sri Lanka's up and coming success stories will be busy perfecting their products.