Innovation Festival of ICTA’s “Disrupt Asia 2018” to showcase technology and inspire new wave of entrepreneurs

Posted On 04 Aug 2018
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Ideal platform for children, parents and young adults to gain insights into latest technology

Disrupt Asia 2018, Sri Lanka’s Premier Start-up Conference and Innovation Festival, is set to showcase advanced technologies and inspire a new wave of budding entrepreneursthrough its Innovation Festival.

The Innovation Festival, the most significant addition to this year’s edition of Disrupt Asia, will take place from 3.30pm to midnight on 11thAugust 2018 at the Trace – Expert City. This festival is entrance free and will showcase many technological innovations that include works of art and digital activations for the public to experience and interact with.

The Innovation Festival has been conceptualized with a focus on inspiring participants to recognize that technology is an element that needs to be embraced as it can be found everywhere, is used by all on a daily basis and positively impacts lives. In keeping with this approach, one section of the festival will include technology for children where they will be taught on how to utilize day-to-day items that can be found in any home to create simple, fun and creative tech gadgets through the concept of “Learning by Doing”.The festival will also allow the general public to observe, interact and educate themselves on some of the most eye-catching technologies available locally. Among them will be the Vega all-electric supercar developed by CodeGen International as well as a range of drones designed and developed by University of Moratuwa undergraduates while the latest computer games will also be made available.Interactive art installations will highlight the importance of Art as a key element that has to work hand-in-hand with technology in order to drive innovation and entrepreneurship.

Another section of the festival will emphasize on the significant role played by assistive technologies in improving the lives of differently-abled persons. Some of these advanced technologies include websites designed to be read by software to help the blind and visually-impaired persons, robotic arms that help disabled persons, smartphones that can be used by deaf persons and several others. A special stall will be setup by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Sri Lanka with the goal of educating the participants on the impact created by digital technology and the importance of Sustainable Development Goals. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as Global Goals, are a list of 17 global actions that emphasize the need to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that people everywhere enjoy peace and prosperity.

Damith Hettihewa – CEO of ICTA stated, “This Innovation Festival is much more than your traditional festival with food, drinks, music and lights as it includes a digital twist that has never been seen before in Sri Lanka. It is all about introducing children to the world of technology by way of showing how they can start by creating gadgets using day-to-day items and how advanced technology can impact the world around them in new, exciting ways. Their parents and even young adults who dream of creating their own start-up to change the world for the better will certainly be inspired by experiencing the different types of interactive technology on offer.”

Held in parallel with the Innovation Festival, the Conference of Disrupt Asia 2018 will consist of 4 main sections – Main Stage, Stage Two, Investor Forum and Workshops. It will discuss the need for policy and strategy while entrepreneurs sharing their successes and failures will provide inspiration to those hoping to take the plunge. Experts from Sri Lanka, USA, Netherlands, UK and India will share their knowledge on AI, digital marketing, security and set the stage for disruptive thinking around STEAM education, creative industries and social entrepreneurship.Tickets for the Conference can be purchased online via Disrupt Asia 2018 Start-up Battle, a competition where entrepreneurs will pitch their start-up and the top 3 selected in the preliminary rounds will pitch at the Grand Finale of the Disrupt Asia Start-up Battle on the Main Stage.The winners of the Disrupt Asia 2018 Start-up Battle will receive cash prizes and the chance to participate in the Oslo Innovation Week 2018 in September. The Investor Forum will be exclusively for professionals who wish to invest in technology start-ups. Participants will get valuable insights courtesy of an introduction to the start-up ecosystem in Sri Lanka, a knowledge sharing session conducted by experienced angel investors and a panel discussion on legal procedures applicable to start-up financing.

Organized by the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA), Disrupt Asia 2018 is supported by the Ministry of Telecommunication, Digital Infrastructure and Foreign Employment, International Partner – IKT Norge, Knowledge Partner – PWC, Supporting Partners – GIZ Sri Lanka, Payoneer, techStars and Trace-Expert City, Payments Partner – PayHere, Volunteer Partner – GudPpl, Eco System Partner – SLASSCOM, Makerspace Partner – Igniter Space, YouTube Partner – IdeaHell, Inclusion Partner – LIRNEasia, Social Innovation Partner – UNDP Sri Lanka, Creative Pavilion Partner – Gamer.LK and Hosting Partners – Calcey Technologies, Orange Electric, WSO2 and CodeGen.

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