Venture Engine entrepreneurship finale on Feb. 21 | Sunday Observer

Venture Engine entrepreneurship finale on Feb. 21

 Go-to-market workshop conducted by Senior Vice President at Linear Squared, Mohit Pande.
Go-to-market workshop conducted by Senior Vice President at Linear Squared, Mohit Pande.

The pioneering entrepreneurship program Venture Engine will hold its finale on Wednesday, February 21, at Hatch, Sri Lanka’s largest co-working space.

Following three rounds of filtering, 18 startups have been shortlisted at the finale where they will pitch to an international panel of investors in selecting the top fundable startups for the year.

Alongside the filtering sessions, participants were at the workshops conducted by experienced professionals from diverse fields. Venture Engine workshops coach budding entrepreneurs to set up and scale their ventures and build robust value propositions enabling them to become ‘ready for investment’.

According to Founder of Venture Engine, the Lankan Angel Network, and General Partner at BOV Capital Prajeeth Balasubramaniam, “The program aims to ensure that applicants benefit through feedback, expertise and overall experience gained throughout the program regardless of funding.

“For this year’s workshop sessions, we put a lot of thought into areas that entrepreneurs struggle with, such as developing a go-to-market strategy and communicating their business plan in a tough two-to six-minute pitch.

“We believe startups - coming out of this year’s program will have a competitive edge over others given the versatile knowledge they have gained through these comprehensive workshops.”

Venture Engine was co-founded by BOV Capital and the Indian Angel Network.A key aspect during the program’s initial filtering was to engage and evaluate the team behind each start-up, which has traditionally influenced investors on the decision to invest.Chairman of the Lankan Angel Network, Mano Sekaram said, “Eventually what creates value for us as investors is how well the team can execute.”

The Lankan Angel Network, Sri Lanka’s pioneering Business Angel Network, which has collectively invested over Rs. 2.2 billion in over 30+startups is the main organiser of Venture Engine. Filtering rounds and workshops for Venture Engine this year were held at HATCH, the official venue partner for the seventh Venture Engine Colombo 1.

Also supporting the current cycle of Venture Engine, as its title sponsor, is Indian Venture Capital firm Aavishkaar, with longtime supporter Dialog Axiata.

This year’s top 18 finalists include TravelSpends, Kimbula Kithul, mintpay,, Porukki, Loop Learning, Project 360, Niwadu Deals, LiveRoom, Real Pixels, Fositive, Tripmo, Helios P2P,, SparkGrid,, Ecosteem and SIXER VIDEO.

Well-known corporate trainer Sandun Fernando hosted the second workshop on preparing and presenting the pitch deck.

Aavishkaar’s Shashvat Rai facilitated a workshop on the startup funding cycle, valuation methods and up/down rounds where participants learned how and when to raise money and plan for future exits.

Another new workshop, ‘Go-to-market’ by Senior Vice President at Linear Squared, Mohit Pande, focused on strategies related to best utilising limited resources.

Next was the finance workshop conducted by Hussein Moosajee focusing on financial essentials for start-ups.

The legal workshop was conducted by Arittha Wikramanayake.