IEEE Innovation Nation Sri Lanka kicked off in 2019 with the introduction of “The Hustle Story”, a series of talks revolving around personal stories of Sri Lankan startups, inspiring networking and starting new conversations.
The first session of the Hustle Story was held on the 13th of June 2019 at Colombo Cooperative, and had more than 70 participants. During the two hour event, speakers Jehan Wijesinghe and Ragularuban Nanthagopal inspired the audience with stories of they started their respective startups, and the journey they took from there.
Jehan spoke about how innovation is the key to the country’s economic growth, and that children, with their high levels of learnability, is where we should start. His startup, Igniterspace, aims to develop innovation in young kids by teaching them to build, create and pitch.
Ruban had a different story. He explained that even if you’re not a kid, you should never be afraid to go back to square one and start again. However, he also emphasized that just because you google some code, that does not make you an expert in it. Ruban explained how he, over one fateful sushi dinner, teamed up with his partner Dulitha and founded Alakazam, a digital marketing assistance.
Teams and partners are key, he explained, and so is your attitude. If you’re arrogant, no one would ever want to help you, regardless of how good you are.
The messages that were conveyed were very heartfelt, and as the speakers and participants mingled after the event, bonding over refreshments, it was clear that conversations had indeed been inspired, which is what the Hustle Story really is about.
The second session will be held on the 11th of July, and we expect similar stories and a wider reach in terms of audience.
Innovation Nation Sri Lanka is going off strong this year, with registrations for the startup pre-accelerator currently open and the Hustle Stories building up a network of followers.
We also have a partnership with the newly launched SL Inspire happening next year.
Author – Paramie Jayakody