Startup Weekend Colombo

    Friday, October 7 - 9, 2016

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Coaches and Mentors
  4. Organizing Team
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Startup Weekend Colombo

Friday, October 7 - 9, 2016

Friday, October 7 - 9, 2016
Event starts at 5:00 pm

Trace Lane
Maradana Road
Colombo, Sri Lanka

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Startup Weekend Colombo

Learn, Network, Startup

In just 54 hours, you will experience the highs, lows, fun, and pressure that make up life at a startup. As you learn how to create a real company, you'll meet the very best mentorsinvestorscofounders, and sponsors who are ready to help you get started.

What is Startup Weekend

Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 1,800 events in 150 countries around the world. More than 190,000 people across the globe are SW alumni!

Startup Weekend is part of TechStars, the global ecosystem that helps entrepreneurs, and has raised over $2 billion and accelerated over 750 companies. 

Why should you register?

Build your network
Startup Weekend attracts the best makers and do-ers. By spending a weekend working to build scalable companies that solve real world problems, you will build long-lasting relationships and possibly walk away with a job or even an investor.

Actually launch a business
You as a participant of this event and the presenter of your idea can join this community to actually work upon your idea and build your business under guidance and support of global, national and local supporters and collaborators. Take your idea to prototype.

Get face time with thought leaders
Get one-on-one time with the experienced startup community leaders and mentors. Meet and get valuable feedback from a panel of judges and startup coaches.

Join a global community
Startup Weekend alumni span across all the continents and scores of cities.

Startup Weekends are all about learning through the art of creating. Build your own strategy and test it as you go

Participation Fees
Tickets are priced at USD 20 (Rs. 3,000) for Technical (Designers/Coders) and Non-Technical (Business) roles. This includes 2 breakfasts, 2 lunch and 3 dinners, with loads of coffee and snacks to keep you going all weekend long. There are discount codes. Use HALF to get in for half price (Rs. 1,500). If you don't have a credit card, you can pay at the door using the discount code ATDOOR. For those who cannot afford to pay Rs. 1,500 - we are prioritising paid participants ahead of the sponsored participants - so stay tuned. Or contact us for more details:

Get involved: A startup requires a team that has a multi-disciplinary skill-set. It takes people with financial/business/marketing skills, designers and  coders/engineers to create something that solves a real world problem. It's your chance to meet collaborators and team-mates to make your vision real. 

Do you have an existing team? You can still come to Startup Weekend and build your MVP. 

Prizes: Participants who complete the full weekend will be eligible to special offers from our sponsors. More details at the event. 

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Contact us via for more info, or make direct contact with one of the organisers.

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Friday October 7th

5:00 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

6:00 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

7:00 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

7:30 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

8:00 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas (if you have a team, refine your game plan)

8:30 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

9:30 pm
Begin Work
Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Saturday October 8th

8:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

8:30 am
Begin Work
Identify team skills and who does what. Understand the problem and startup validating it.

12:30 pm

1:00 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

2:00 pm
Mentors Meetings
Mentors or Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

7:00 pm

8:30 pm
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

9:30 pm
Transport available to take you to main drop-points in Colombo. Others can continue to work on...

Sunday October 9th

8:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

8:30 am
Final Day Begins
Get on with the work. Validate your solution. And start planning your pitch.

10:00 am
Mentors arrive. Final opportunity to ask questions

12:30 pm
Working lunch

12:30 pm
Mentor Meetings
Mentors available… ASK QUESTIONS

2:30 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

3:30 pm
Pitching Commences

5:30 pm
Judging & Awards

7:00 pm
Dinner, Networking and Drinks
Let's Celebrate

9:00 pm
Go Home!

Coaches and Mentors

Anjana Somathilake
Founder at Nuclei Technologies & CTO at

Anjana has over 15 years of experience in designing and developing software for multinational organizations
in the USA, Netherlands and UK and possesses a proven track record of working with large global teams to deliver scalable enterprise solutions. Previously, he was Vice President- Engineering at Sysco Labs,  Head of Engineering at CyberLMJ and Software Architect at Virtusa. Anjana has a BSc in Computing and Information Systems from the University of London, an MSc in IT from SLIIT, and also holds a PG Dip. in Business Psychology from Herriot Watt University.

Bhanuka Harischandra
Founder/CEO, Surge Global

Bhanuka is the Founder/CEO of Surge Global, a digital marketing agency that specializes in growth and customer acquisition. So many great products simply fail because of bad marketing. Figuring out how business can leverage the internet and local media to reach more customers effectively is at the core of Surge Global.

Chalinda Abeykoon
Startup Evangelist & CEO, Crowdisland

Chalinda is a seasoned start-up evangelist and a start-up incubator strategist who acted as the key executionist in launching Sri Lanka’s first government-funded incubator and the country’s first industry-focused accelerator in 2010 & 2014 respectively. Currently, Chalinda heads Crowdisland, Sri Lanka’s first equity crowd funding platform. Crowdisland hopes to provide an avenue for start-ups to secure seed funding to unleash their true potential.

Dulith Herath
Founder/CEO, Kapruka

Dulith Herath is a Sri Lankan entrepreneur. He is the founder and chairman of Sri Lanka's largest e-commerce organization,, and the co-founder of Grasshoppers Pvt. Ltd. which provides logistics to small enterprises in Sri Lanka. Herath received an Eisenhower Fellowship for his project Grasshopper.
After graduation, he worked with Microsoft. While working at Microsoft, Herath founded in February 2002. Kapruka was started with the idea of helping expats buy things in Sri Lanka. In 2016, Herath along with Harsha Liyanage started logistics provider Grasshoppers Pvt. Ltd. This project was seed funded by AFF ( and recognized by United Nations as an enabler for e-commerce in developing countries.

Ehantha Sirisena
CEO, OMAK Technologies

Ehantha Sirisena is the CEO/MD of OMAK Technologies (Pvt) Ltd.He was the Deputy Chairman at Rusirimal (Pve) Ltd which is a leading player in Sri Lanka’s highly active textile industry.He was the Co-Founder/Director at Cupidum Holdings and he worked at Virtusa and Nadastra,Inc.
He is an Electrical and Electronic Engineer by profession as he graduated from University College London with a BEng, Electrical & Electronic Engineering degree. He has followed an Entrepreneurship Development Program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Sloan School of Management and he completed his MBA at University of Leicester in 2012.

Fayaz Hudah
Business Coach/Entrepreneur

Fayaz Hudah is a business coach and entrepreneur involved with several startups and initiatives. Formerly, he headed the Private Sector Program at ICTA and founded Spiralation, the tech startup accelerator. Fayaz has an MBA in e-Governance from the University of Moratuwa and a BSc in Computing and Information Systems from the University of London.

Hiraash Thawfeek
Co-Founder and CTO at Creately

A passionate geek of the ever-changing world of technology. Hiraash has over 13 years of experience in leading technology teams and designing great products for global customers in the US, UK and APAC.

Joe Lenora
Director and Head of Design - We Are Designers

Joe has been involved with the Web and Digital Media Industry for over 17 years in Sri Lanka and overseas. Upon his return to Sri Lanka in 1999, Joe joined one of the two major web based solution providers in the island at that time. In 2001, he set up Kent Academy of Digital Science, the only Adobe Authorized Academy in Sri Lanka as part of the Kent Holdings group.  At the age of 27, Joe founded “We Are Designers” in 2005, and spearheaded the 35+ member team to achieve success over the past 12 years in providing cutting edge digital solutions for companies in Sri Lanka and overseas.

Kanishka Weeramunda
Founder, PayMedia

Kanishka started his first company at age 19, and second venture at age 24. Professional career includes being Head of IT at a subsidiary of Landmark Group, Dubai and CIO of Laugfs Holdings. Eventually he ventured into his own businesses. His recent startup "PayMedia" won the Gold award as the National Best Software Quality awards 2015 for running a company with 3 employers supporting 3 large local banks, 2 Finance Institutes and 180 telecommunication companies globally. He was the Most Valuable ICT entrepreneur of the year in 2015.

Sachira Fernando
Founder/CEO, ErbenLab & NicNac

Sachira is a specialist in native and cross-platform mobile development, and in creating real time mobile applications considering off and on-line modes. He is well known for his remarkable software engineering & entrepreneurial skills. Sachira is the Founder/CEO of Erbenlab and NicNac. Erbenlab is a mobile solutions provider that Sachira founded at the age of 19. NicNac is an on-demand delivery app that functions like a digital butler.

Sajini Jayawardena
Innovation Consultant & Google Business Group Manager

Sajini specializes in devising Marketing and Innovation Strategies for local and international businesses, coaching startups and consulting to a variety of SMEs and large organizations on diversification and digital strategies. Alongside her work as a consultant, startup coach and community manager, she is also a basketball player, sketch artist and pianist. Sajini has an MSc in Strategic Marketing from Imperial College London and a BSc from the London School of Economics.

Selyna Peiris
Attorney-at-Law, Director - Business Development, Selyn

Selyna is an Attorney-at-Law,  Entrepreneur and Change Agent. She currently holds the position of Director - Business Development at Selyn; Sri Lanka's only fair-trade guaranteed handloom company. She has previously worked at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization both in Vienna and in Sri Lanka. She also works as a freelance consultant for various government, non-governmental and international organizations in the area of social business development.

Sharanyan Sharma
Founder at

Sharanyan Sharma is an award winning entrepreneur as well as the Founder of Extreme SEO Internet Solutions, 7Arena Technologies and He is an award winning Sri Lankan Entrepreneur and Enterprise Asia awarded him as one of the Emerging Young Entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka. He is passionate about startups and building digital communities around the world. Sharanyan is the Local Community Leader for Startup Weekend Sri Lanka. Sharanyan is a Certified Digital marketing Trainer and Consultant by profession, Passionate about Web Analytics, Conversion rate optimization and advanced growth hacking strategies. He’s been cited by major publications like, and Not bad for a college dropout.

Sharini Kulasinghe
Vice President, York Street Partners

Sharini has more than 10 years of experience in investments, both in Sri Lanka and the US. She is currently a Vice President at York Street Partners, a boutique investment bank. In this capacity, she has advised numerous Sri Lankan companies, from startups to blue chips, on capital raising and strategy development. She previously worked with MicroVest, a US based impact investment firm, where she structured and negotiated debt and equity investments in financial institutions across Africa and the Caucuses, leading several of MicroVest’s largest transactions.

Shehara de Silva
Vice President - Marketing and Strategy for Asia Pacific, Emojot

A maverick communicator and international marketer, Shehara has been behind the success of several local and Fortune 500 multinational brands. Shehara is VP Marketing and Strategy for Asia Pacific of Emojot, a Sri Lankan owned Silicon Valley Technology startup. She was previously Group Head of Strategy for several companies in Kuala Lumpur. She is on several boards including Keells Food Products. She has sat on several think tanks and mentored several startups. She has received innovation awards from the Eisenhower Fellowship and Ray Awards.

Shiran Sanjeewa
Enterprise UX Architect

For over 12 years, Shiran has conceptualised, designed and managed the production of many projects for a wide range of clients involving online branding & strategy, usability, information architecture, interaction design, and online & offline interactive media. Shiran spearheaded introducing UX into Sri Lankan IT industry with the initiative and currently works as an Enterprise UX Architect for ISA at Air Arabia Group.

Tharindu Dassanayake
Founder/CEO, SquareMobile

Tharindu is the Founder/CEO of ShoutOUT Labs, a Sri Lankan telecoms startup. He is also a Director of Founder Institute in Sri Lanka. Tharindu has participated in international startup events including 4YFN and InnovFest Unbound. He has also been a mentor/speaker for different startup events and hackathons in Sri Lanka. 

Organizing Team

Techstars Startup Weekend Colombo is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • Yudhanjaya
  • Sam
    de Silva
  • Ayami
  • Gayantha
    De Zoysa
  • Natasha
  • Sujan
  • Aminda


Andrew Hyde
Startup Week Founder @ UP Global

Andrew Hyde was the first employee at Techstars, a mentorship-driven startup incubator, and is the founder of Startup Weekend.

Andrew grew up in Oregon and currently is a fulltime vagabond and minimalist.

He currently volunteers for a colorado dude ranch and is working on his cowboy walk.

Anurag Maloo
Regional Manager APAC (South & Central Asia), Techstars

Anurag Maloo is an Indo-Asian startup innovation Community Architect. As a Regional Manager for South & Central Asia with Techstars and Startup Weekend, he is responsible for the cultivation and sustained growth of vibrant startup ecosystems in India, SAARC nations (Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Maldives) and Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan). He is incredibly passionate about fostering entrepreneurship, innovation ecosystem, grassroots leadership, and building strong collaborative startup communities. He has been involved in various startup initiatives, community empowerment and leadership development programs, and bringing innovation into the corporate world. With his proven track records of experience cultivating key influencers within diverse geopolitical regions, Anurag has succeeded in creating inclusive startup communities in turbulent and struggling, yet developing ecosystems and emerging economies of Asia. His interests range from entrepreneurship to education, startups to sustainability, social impact to grassroots innovations, and peace building communities. Being a storyteller, teacher and life explorer, he can be found having engaging conversations with friends and random people, sharing life stories, radiating positive joyous happy energies, enriching audiences with his traveling experiences and narrating inspirational humane stories around the world from the hot deserts of Rajasthan to the cold deserts of Antarctica.

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