AN ECOSYSTEM TO CULTIVATE STARTUPS
In order to ensure that Startup Sri Lanka and it’s many sub initiatives successfully support startups, we have an additional aim to cultivate an entire self-sustaining ecosystem within which startups can thrive nationally and internationally. We will do this by harnessing our collective strengths.
HOW WILL THIS ECOSYSTEM OPERATE?
The rich startup ecosystem we are creating will comprise a layered series of parties that will help shape a fully functional and self sufficient industry. Many of these parties have worked on an ad-hoc basis thus far, without a focused national effort. SLASSCOM’s aim is to ensure that all parties are now synched together, working under an independent Advisory Council who will drive the collective effort.
The ecosystem will comprise a series of partners who will come together to help drive the industry to newer heights.
These partners are…
These various partners will work together within the following framework.
Let’s delve into these partners in more detail based on how each will contribute to fostering an ecosystem that is ripe and ready for big markets and global recognition.
THE ADVISORY COUNCIL
The Advisory Council will comprise members of SLACCOM’S Entrepreneurship & Innovation Forum. The Council will meet quarterly to discuss challenges to realizing our vision and provide necessary direction to an Executive Working Committee who will in turn execute and demonstrate measurable outcomes.
The Advisory Council will have a mandate to focus increasing the capabilities of Sri Lankan product companies to develop and market world-class products, attract funding, create network and pitching opportunities for our young startups, advocate conducive policies, and facilitate more Sri Lankan companies to build products and platforms.
ENTREPRENEURSHIP & INNOVATION (E&I) FORUM
The E&I forum is led by a board member of SLASSCOM and is appointed annually by current office bearers. The forum will consist of a Forum Head and Forum Alternative Head from SLASSCOM member companies. These officials will provide the vision and direction to the forum, leading the execution of activities that will achieve defined goals and KPIs. As the idea for Startup Sri Lanka came from within the forum, it will be central to the success of the initiative.
The appointed Working Committee will be a temporary setup that achieves short term goals and specific outcomes. Ideally, these goals or objectives will not be ongoing ones, which allow outcomes that are achievable in a shorter time frame. This committee will be useful when driving the goals and objectives of E&I Forum such as organizing a Startup event.
The extensive list of Mentors we have enlisted were chosen from within the industry based on careful consideration of their specific experiences, expertise and career journeys to help startups and enterprises. The mentorship will focus on a one-to-one process and last between 3 to 12 months depending on the scope and requirement. The E&I Forum will assess the mentoring requirements and define a simple yet an executable plan outline so the programme can be executed keeping those objectives in mind.
A panel of members have chosen the mentors carefully, from voluntary to paid mentors in order to ensure a level of independence, consistency and quality is maintained within the programme. The panel consists of the following mandatory and optional members:
A. Mandatory Panel Members
B. Optional Panel Members
The mentors will provide different kinds of expertise based on the industry needs we have identified thus far.
We have identified key disruptors, innovators or thought leaders who have been successful in building a product for international markets. These mentors will be able to create momentum and a positive impact in our entrepreneur/startup community.
2. FUNCTIONAL MENTORS
These mentors will have various functional specialties along with being proven industry leaders with a previous mentoring background. The functional specialities will include one or some of the following aspects: Technology, Sales & Marketing, Productization, Human Resources, Legal, Finance.
3. PROCESS DRIVEN MENTORS
The mentors selected for process-related support have extensive process experience and are proven industry leaders with strong process backgrounds. The process specialities they will mentor on include Agile, SAFe, Lean and other expert areas
We also have a mentor recognition programme in place that will \encourage the model and showcase their contribution to our industry. While we will recognize mentors of all types, specific attention will be paid to the voluntary (non paid) contributions of mentors as follows.
- A mentor announcement will be printed and published on social media
- On completion of each mentorship, mentors will be recognized for their work on social media
- We will also feature successful startups when they secure finances or new clients along with their respective mentor
- Mentors will have special fee level access to SLASSCOM programmes of their interest and free access to our events or functions
Partners comprise Sri Lankan government agencies as well as other partners who are both local and offshore. The core set of partners identifies are as follows.
Government AND semi government agencies whose work related to Knowledge and Innovation in the IT-BPM industry in Sri Lanka. These include the Export Development Board, ICTA and others.
Facilitator organizations and communities have been identified to provide facilities from incubator spaces to training venues, innovation labs and others who can support the startup community free of charge or at a nominal cost.
There are multiple parties in the community partner group who will be either providing a product/service or acts as the connecting organization for those who wish to take Startup Sri Lanka accelerator service. Donors, Technology credit providers,legal organizations and tax agents are some examples of the first category mentioned above while universities, higher educational institutes and entrepreneurship focused organisations are some examples of the second category mentioned above.
We have identified a selection of professional trainers and educational organizations who will provide course materials, educational content and training programmes on complimentary basis or for a nominal fee to SLASSCOM/Startup Sri Lanka members on various areas of professional development.
Investors are recognized as private/individuals funders and registered funding organizations who will provide funding support to startups and their ideas.
All SLASSCOM registered startup companies become members of this community.
A team of individuals assigned by the SLASSCOM corporate office will operationalize the Startup Sri Lanka Accelerator. This group will report to the Forum and Corporate Office.
All SLASSCOM forums and centres of excellence will work closely with Entrepreneurship and Innovation Forum. They will either use the Startup Sri Lanka Accelerator or support with their expertise. For example the Women Technopreneurs (WTech) forum will use the Sri Lanka Startup Accelerator to specifically mentor women led startups. Let us also elaborate on another example. The Product and Platform Council (PPC) will help startups to productize and register IP right requirements as follows:
PROTECTING IP & CONFIDENTIALITY
Startup Sri Lanka has taken a number of steps to protect unique ideas and provide necessary support to build IP rights. This is an area that many Startups tend to overlook which is why we have built it into our process.
- Mentor will sign a NDA and appointment letter which outlines their scope and restrictions for a 12-month period
- Mentees/Startups will sign a NDA and a letter of understanding of the scope and expectations of our programme
- Partner organizations will sign a NDA and a MoU of the services they will provide along with co-branding guidelines
- Each forum member of E&I forum will sign an NDA at the time they join the forum