Nurturing regional entrepreneurship: SLASSCOM conducts Uva IT/BPM Week 2019


SLASSCOM recently concluded the fourth edition of its IT/BPM Week, held in the city of Badulla of the Uva Province for the year 2019.

The IT/BPM Week contributed immensely to SLASSCOM’s competent initiative to bring about inclusive technological growth in Sri Lanka, advocate the creation of and build human capacity in regional cities. SLASSCOM has successfully held its previous IT/BPM Weeks in Galle and Matara for the year 2018, Kandy in the year 2016 and Jaffna in the year 2014.

With the support of the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) and Information and Communications Technology Agency in Sri Lanka (ICTA), SLASSCOM organized the Uva IT/BPM Week, entitled ‘Nurturing Regional Entrepreneurship’.

The co-sponsors stood out as SimCentric Technologies, IFS, Exetel Sri Lanka, ISM APAC and VitalHub Innovations Lab with Daily FT as the official newspaper for the event. This forum, which was conducted for a span of three days, provided an opportunity to build awareness on the latest trends in the industry, its expectations and unveil the secrets of entrepreneurship through a number of professionals of the IT/BPM industry in Sri Lanka focused on inspiring and guiding students to think creatively to come up with new innovative ideas to meet demands of the future. 

SLASSCOM Board Director and SimCentric Technologies Managing Director Haridhu Abeygoonaratne commented, “It’s amazing to see the enthusiasm in students to learn new trends and how eager they are to join this vibrant industry which is on an exponential growth. Also over subscribing and having a full house for the entrepreneurship event showed the passion how Uva wants to contribute to the digital economy.”

The first day of the SLASSCOM Uva IT/BPM Week started out with a positive note at the Uva Wellassa University (UWU) with a remarkable attendance of nearly 300 students. The event commenced with a number of knowledge sharing sessions from the industry leaders who attended and educated the youthful and lively audience on several recently popular and upcoming trends in the field of IT, which included Blockchain, QA Automation, Source controlling techniques, and Artificial Intelligence.

Following the lunch break, the students were able to explore more practical topics such as the Role of a Software Developer, Effective Communication, The Art of Collaboration at Work and Job Opportunities in the IT/BPM industry. These sessions were majorly beneficial to these students as their career paths revolved around such sensitive and basic topics, and were therefore provided out-of-the-box and practical solutions to difficulties they might face in navigating through their career. The first day concluded with one-on-one discussion sessions between the students and the SLASSCOM team.

The second day commenced with a hands-on technical session at the state-of-the-art computer laboratory found in Block E at UWU. The students who attended were demonstrated with three technical streams focusing on Java/JavaScripts by Kelum Thenuwara, Associate Software Architect, VitalHub Innovations Lab, C# by Nayanajith Pilapitiya, Software Engineer, ISM APAC and Source Control by Waruna Tennakoon, Technical Lead, SimCentric Technologies.

Furthermore, sessions by officials of the Export Development Board and SLASSCOM were conducted on Entrepreneurship in Sri Lanka, Business outside Sri Lanka and an introduction to the Island of Ingenuity (IOI) branding, Government assistance for the ICT/BPM Entrepreneurs and the Start-Up Ecosystem of Sri Lanka, serving the students greatly and preparing them for the challenges and solutions in their future. The day ended with a panel discussion which comprised Sri Lanka Export Development Board Director Export Services Saman Maldeni, SimCentric Technologies Managing Director and SLASSCOM Board Director Haridhu Abeygoonaratne, VitalHub Innovations Lab Managing Director Dilan Rajapakse, Paymedia Founder Kanishka Weeramunda and ISM APAC Software Engineer Nayanajith Pilapitiya on the skills required to join the industry.

The third day saw a hands-on workshop facilitated by Weeramunda and the SquareHub team, which was attended by nearly 140 local entrepreneurs who had either functioning businesses or business ideas that needed shaping to move forward. The session commenced with an ice-breaker followed by a pitching session where each idea was to be pitched within a minute. This pitching session saw about 30 ideas being pitched, out of which the participants then had to vote for the ideas they thought were feasible. The ideas were then developed into concepts through skills analysis, competitors, market readiness, etc.

During the workshop, a motivational speech was given by Founder Nishshanka De Silva where he shared his life experience as an entrepreneur. Finally, business plans were presented and participants were given feedback on ways to further develop their businesses and establish them. The final session was closed with speeches by Saman Maldeni and Haridhu Abeygooneratne on their motivations and success of the year’s event.

SLASSCOM acts as the facilitator of growth for the Sri Lankan knowledge and innovation industry by empowering trade and business, circulating education and employment, encouraging research and innovation, and by supporting the creation of a progressive national policy framework for the knowledge solutions industry.

Source: FT


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