ABAF & Venture Engine 2017 Want To Boost Sri Lanka’s Startup Eco-system

Colombo is gearing up to host some of Asia’s most prominent Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists with the Asian Business Angel Forum (ABAF) 2017 being held in conjunction with Venture Engine, Sri Lanka’s most successful platform for accelerating and expanding the country’s most promising entrepreneurial concepts.

ABAF is Asia’s only investor conference that brings together Angel Investors, HNI’s, Venture Capitalists and other key stakeholders to one platform that focuses on global startup trends and best practices amongst a host of topics, attracting over 250 leading investors from across the Asian, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Australasian regions.

The result of a partnership between founders BOVCapital, the Indian Angel Network and the Lankan Angel Network, Venture Engine has led the way in developing the startup eco-system in the country. Crucially, this year’s Venture Engine will also act as an unprecedented conduit for Sri Lankan entrepreneurs to gain access to investment, expertise, and direct mentorship from some of the Asian region’s most prominent investors via the ABAF platform.

Heena Khushalani - Program Manager of Aavishka, Dumith Fernando – Chairman of Lankan Angel Network, Jordan Green – Chairman of Asian Business Angel Forum, Prajeeth Balasubramaniam – Managing Director of BOVCapital and Jeevan Gnanam – Director of Orion City

Heena Khushalani – Program Manager of Aavishka, Dumith Fernando – Chairman of Lankan Angel Network, Jordan Green – Chairman of Asian Business Angel Forum, Prajeeth Balasubramaniam – Managing Director of BOVCapital and Jeevan Gnanam – Director of Orion City

“From the outset, our vision for Venture Engine was to serve not only as a place to bring together Sri Lanka’s most ambitious and talented entrepreneurs, but also as an incubator capable of nurturing skills and honing business models to the level that these businesses can then work to aggressively compete on the global stage. Each year we have managed to open new doors via this program, and in 2017 via the connection with ABAF we believe that we have now achieved the next iteration in this progression towards a globalized competition,” said Prajeeth Balasubramaiam of BOV Capital.

Prajeeth Balasubramaniam – Managing Director, BOVCapital

Prajeeth Balasubramaniam – Managing Director, BOVCapital

“Venture Engine was honored at the Asia Responsible Entrepreneurship Awards (AREA) in 2014, which focuses on businesses that pioneer sustainable and responsible entrepreneurship, reinforcing the value the program has created in the last few years. Venture Engine has displayed the talent and drive of Sri Lankan entrepreneurs and the success of the program was a key contributor to Sri Lanka winning the bid to host ABAF this year, ahead of other countries in the region,” he added.

Being selected as the host country for the Asian Business Angel Forum 2017 is a testament of how far the start-up ecosystem in the country has progressed over the last few years. This is a truly unprecedented opportunity for our local entrepreneurs to go beyond their familiar boundaries and take their business to the next level. I strongly urge anyone who feels that they have a strong business plan along with a novel business model to step forward and take up the challenge,” Lankan Angel Network Chairman, Dumith Fernando said.

Dumith Fernando – Chairman, Lankan Angel Network addressing the gathering

Dumith Fernando – Chairman, Lankan Angel Network addressing the gathering

Building on the trailblazing path that first began in 2012, Venture Engine has brought together investors with collective investments of over Rs. 2 billion across 25 local startups as part of a breakthrough effort to reshape the future of Sri Lanka and its economy through the injection of seed capital enabling our local startups to scale globally.

“ABAF brings together the elite of early-stage investment in Asia. Participants exchange knowledge, investment insights, market trends and experience to enrich their opportunities for success. The networking alone delivers participants a wealth of privileged information unavailable at any other event in Asia,” commented ABAF Chairman Jordan Green.

Jordan Green – Chairman, Asian Business Angel Forum addressing the gathering

Jordan Green – Chairman, Asian Business Angel Forum addressing the gathering

Submissions for Venture Engine 2017 will be open from 28 June to 9 August, following which the best business ideas will be selected for a program of rapid improvement over the course of five workshops with filtering and mentoring between sessions.

Applications will be open to any early stage company or startup with some customer validation and revenue as well as those in pursuit of series A funding. Following the finale of Venture Engine 2017 on 11th October 2017, the ABAF programme will commence on 12th October at the Cinnamon Lakeside which will include an opportunity for the Venture Engine finalists to present their ideas to ABAF participants.

The opening of the conference on the 12th will be followed by an exhibition held in parallel featuring ten stalls, including five stalls reserved for Sri Lankan startups with the balance featuring exciting new startups from across the Asian region. The exhibition will be open to all visitors, and will provide a platform for startups looking to scale upwards in the region to raise their next round of funding.

The main conference – which will be hosted along the theme “Cross Border Investing in Startups” and feature regional analyses of what is trending in the startup scene – will be followed by extensive technical training sessions and panel discussions on how to drive exits featuring a highly distinguished line up of international speakers before concluding on 13th October with a half-day tour of Colombo City for foreign delegates.

Former Venture Engine sponsors and prominent venture capital firm Aavishkaar will serve as platinum sponsors to the event together with Orion City as the Silver Sponsor and Dialog as the Official Telecommunications Sponsor.

Early bird registrations for ABAF are open from 28 June with a standard ticket for locals being priced at Rs. 25,000. However LAN’s 70 local members are welcome to participate free-of-charge. For more information you can click here or contact Jaime on 0777039889 or email info@lankanangelnetwork.com. Submissions for Venture Engine will be open until 9 August 2017.

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