Jumpstart 2017, a business start-up by Rotaract

Leading the youth of Sri Lanka to imagine, innovate and dream, the Rotaract Club of Achievers Lanka Business School introduces a novel concept for the Rotaract movement, Jumpstart 2017, a platform to present and discuss all your business ideas.

We’ve seen contests of this nature take place across the globe bringing in ideators and investors to one platform, helping unique businesses emerge and grow. The concept as a whole may be new to Lankan audiences; 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, the opportunity provided by the Rotaractors of Achievers Lanka Business school will not only benefit all those who participate but Sri Lankan Entrepreneurship in general.

We spoke to the team behind ‘Jumpstart 2017’ to understand what made them initiate the contest and what they hope to achieve at the end of the day.

Speaking to us Rtr Aruna Kulathilaka, project co-chairperson said, 

"We've had something called Enterprise Awards at Achievers to recognise upcoming entrepreneurs. After a lapse of a few years, we wanted re-introduce it with a twist and JumpStart came into being. The contest is planned to give the participants a brand new experience. It will let you develop your leadership and technical skills, network with giants in the corporate sector and let you think on your feet to tackle everyday business problems that are thrown at you."

Following an intense first round, finalists have been selected by an esteemed panel of judges, all representing leaders in the corporate world. And the process has been nothing short of a challenge. The semi-finals conducted on  19 November had two sections, one for participants representing the Achievers Lanka Business School and the other open for all interested parties. 

The three shortlisted teams from Achievers were given a topic two weeks prior to the semis which required them to come up with creative solutions in order to earn a place in the finals. 

The chosen finalists Spartans, Nemesis and Falcons will have to face an even more challenging round at the grand finale as the teams are given a realistic case scenario to solve and present to the judges and the audience.

It was interesting to see the originality of the three finalists of the open category presenting very unique business ideas, varying from delivering health tips for expecting mothers to exclusive fashion accessories for men. Quite a spectrum, we felt. 

Team ‘HelloMom’ has already teamed with Dialog to provide an SMS service to pregnant mothers sending them tips and reminders for vaccinations. It also gives them an option to reach out during emergencies via SMS: a definite first for Sri Lanka that may take maternal health to new dimensions.  

Team Imperium with their product ‘Talkblocks' features social media bots to aid online queries through a self-learning mechanism. 

The last of the finalists ‘4 in hand' has plans to revolutionise the local men's fashion industry. 

Teaming up with Jumpstart, the organisers have managed to approach veterans in the field to guide the contestants, inspire them and most importantly give them a taste of realism which was very vividly seen at the semi-finals.

Following a successful workshop with professionals, investors and corporate heads, the teams are geared to battle it out at the grand finale scheduled to be held on 9 December from 3 pm onwards at the at the Institute for Policy Studies. With exciting prizes that include Rs.100,000 in cash, a state of the art workspace to be used for 6 months by Business Hub at discounted rates, a free website and a mobile app by Revolution, Portfolio and marketing expertise by Soft Logic and networking opportunities with investors by ‘Youth Business hubs’ and the list goes on!

Speaking to us the Co-Chairperson Sathma Jayasinghe, added that Jumpstart will help all those involved grow a multitude of skills giving them exposure to assist them in all their future endeavours. She also added a word of gratitude to the Principal sponsor CIMA and Mr. Fariz Ismail for all the support and continued assistance given.

The finals will also feature a guest speaker, Micheal Moonesinghe, CEO of Glover Daniels International solutions and an exciting line-up that will trigger innovative business concepts in you. 

Tickets priced at Rs.700 are available at Achievers Lanka Business School and at the venue on 9 December. Contact Rtr. Sathma Jayasighe on 077 3903337 for more details.  

Follow them on facebook-  facebook.com/events/1690443604360770/















Kalani Kulathilaka

Med student, major travel enthusiast, constantly fighting the urge to harmonise every rhyme, song and phrase. Also intends to never let the muggles take her down. 


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