A number of angel investors backing Sri Lanka’s entrepreneurs have said that startup business plans in the country are now improving, and have expanded across various sectors. This is according to their recent funding round.
Venture Engine, a platform created to empower Sri Lankan entrepreneurs, has concluded its “Call for Entries” program. The response that the program received was overwhelming, and the number of potential participants has continued to increase. In addition, the variety and quality of 2016 submissions have shown a definite increase in the intricacy level of proposed business plans.
The range of sectors that have been explored by 2016 participants have also widened considerably. Entries received included tourism, food and beverages, education, Tech/IT/ICT, education, logistics and retail, among others.
Prajeeth Balasubramanium, managing director and founding general manager of Blue Ocean Ventures, said, “Now in its fifth year, Venture Engine has naturally evolved in its scope, with a focus towards showcasing only the best and brightest ideas and talent today.” Prajeeth is among those who helped initiate the program.
Venture Engine completed the first filtering round on May 24 where proposed business plans were reviewed by local and regional angel investors. Shortlisted participants have already been invited for the next stage of the program.
The next stage is the “Elevator Pitch” where contenders are given 2 minutes to pitch their ideas to a panel of veteran angel investors.
The best business plans from the “Elevator Pitch” stage move on to the next stage of workshop and mentoring. The mentoring panel’s main goal is to identify contenders whose business ideas are the most innovative. The panel also uses this stage to guide contenders on how to tune their ideas for local and regional growth.
Candidates with unique business ideas, or those who demonstrate exceptional commitment and the skills to succeed, also get a chance to proceed with the program even if their plans are not yet complete.
Budding entrepreneurs whose business plans do not go through still benefit a lot from the advice given by the mentoring panel. They use the advice to reevaluate and streamline their proposals. They can also apply for funding opportunities via the Lankan Angel Network.
The concept of Venture Engine originated from Blue Ocean Ventures and Indian Angel Network. The program is run by Lankan Angel Network. Some of its sponsors include Orion City, Expolanka Holdings, Dialog and Aavishkaar.