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Startup Lessons Learned - Building of Sri Lankan Tech Ecosystem

Whilst late to the game, Sri Lanka is finally waking up to the important role tech startups could play in moving Sri Lankan economy forward. 

Today, Sri Lankan tech ecosystem consists of a thriving group of 400+ community on Facebook, an angel network, regular hackathons, an accelerator, public sector support via Spiralation and a number of thriving startups, among them the world renown WSO2.

What can the community do to accelerate development of the tech ecosystem? What is the role that could be played by the Sri Lankan government and the banking and finance sector? What lessons can be learned from places such as Manchester in the UK?

This event intends to open your mind and invite you to take an active role in the development of the Sri Lankan tech ecosystem.

"Organised by tech entrepreneurs for tech entrepreneurs"


4:30 - Welcome by Enosh Praveen

4:35 - 5:30 Speeches

  - Manoj Ranaweera - Techcelerate (lessons learned in setting up and running tech startups and building a vibrant ecosystem from scratch)

- Shakya Lahiry Pathmalal - Takas (lessons learned from raising seed funding and first round funding in Sri Lanka)

- Jeevan Gnanam - Lanka Angel Network (lessons learned in financing Sri Lanka's budding tech entrepreneurs)

5:30 - 6:00 Panel 1 - Tech Ecosystem of Sri Lanka

- Chaired by Enosh Praveen (Readme)

- Panelists: Manoj Ranaweera (Techcelerate), Shakya Pathmalal (Takas), Jeevan Gnanam (Lanka Angel Network), and Wellington Perera (Microsoft)

6:00 - 6:30 Panel 2 - Policy Changes Needed

- Chaired by Manoj Ranaweera

- Panelists: Ruwindu Peiris (SLASSCOM), Deshal de Mel (Director,Sampath Bank), Anushka Wijesinha (Economist, Institute of Policy Studies), Fayaz Hudah (Spiralation)

6:30 onwards - Networking


1. Manoj Ranaweera 

Founder & Techcelerate, Strategy & Commercialisation of LiveStax

Manoj was lured into the world of tech startups when the opportunity arose to invest and run a new business unit of a tech startup. Since then Manoj has founded ebdex (e-invoicing platform) and edocr (Youtube for documents). 

Having realised after the catastrophic failure of ebdex that Manoj knew nothing about software development or running a startup, he built a 2,100 strong ecosystem for tech entrepreneurs in Manchester, UK, bringing tech entrepreneurs, investors and deal makers via 100+ tech events. 

In addition to being responsible for the strategy of, Manoj has joined LiveStax, the best $1bn opportunity Manoj has seen. In addition, Manoj is an Advisor to San Francisco based Cazoomi. 

Manoj will share the lessons learned in setting up and running tech startups and building a vibrant ecosystem from scratch.

2. Shakya Lahiru Pathmalal

Founder & CEO,

Born into a family of entrepreneurs, Lahiru co- founded in late 2012 to offer better choice and service for consumer electronics. Today,, a fast growing eCommerce service, offers 3,000+ products sourced and full filled by 40+ authorised agents. goal is to become the largest eCommer service in the island in the next 5 years.

Lahiru will share the story and lessons learned from raising seed funding and completing a successful 1st round post seed from investors here and abroad.

3. Jeevan Gnanam

Angel Investor and CEO, St. Anthony's Industries Group

Jeevan serves as the CEO of St. Anthony’s Group, a highly respected Sri Lankan industries group which was founded by his grandfather. 

Jeevan is the brains behind Orion City, Sri Lanka's first IT park, which houses IT firms including Virtusa.

Among the companies founded by Jeevan include; Providence (software development) and SAKS (BPO). Jeevan is an active angel investor of the Lanka Angel Network.

Jeevan will share the story and lessons learned in financing Sri Lanka's budding tech entrepreneurs.



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  • sam

    Another hijack - but hopefully relevant :-)

    If you are part of the tech ecosystem, feel free to map yourself at

    2 · March 5, 2014

  • shakya P.

    Fantastic, thanks for the effort everyone!

    March 4, 2014

  • Dilash

    Hi Everyone,

    The count down is on! We are just 1 hour short for the event!

    The Event - Start Up Lessons Learned
    Where: Orion City IT park Cafeteria - Chips & Bites, No 752, Baseline Road, Colombo 09.
    When: Today @ 4:30 PM to 6:30PM
    * Refreshments will be served at the networking session

    After Party @ Bay Leaf (open to all the attendees)

    When: 8PM onwards
    Where: The Bay Leaf @ Gregory's Road, Colombo 7
    * Extended happy hour till 10PM - 50% off for all cocktails!

    For any further info, please don't hesitate to call on 0777767680.

    Hope to see you guys there on time :-)

    March 3, 2014

  • Manoj R.

    @lahiru - can you try adding your pic please? Everytime I try to save it, it simply vanishes!

    February 24, 2014

    • Manoj R.

      Brilliant - thanks. Tried to also add the Sri Lankan startup map created by Sam but came across the same issue. The map is a good start, but someone needs to spend few hours mapping out all the cool Sri Lankan startups.

      February 25, 2014

    • shakya P.

      Manoj, can you send it across ? see what we can do from our end?

      February 25, 2014

  • Manoj R.

    Looking forward to finally meet many of the Sri Lankan tech entrepreneurial community I've come to know online

    3 · February 24, 2014

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