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MIT

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Information technology (IT) is one of the most emerging industries both locally and internationally. Sri Lanka is reputed for producing high numbers of experts in this domain and consists of many IT companies with international recognition for their high quality products and services.

Employees with expertise IT knowledge, ambitious and adaptive personality are the greatest asset of the IT industry. Their strength and dedication is the key for all the success achieved by local IT industry worldwide.  Therefore it’s not a secret that all the employers in IT industry seek for recruiting the most suitable employees for their companies.

University of Colombo School of Computing (UCSC) is renowned for building both academic knowledge and good personalities of its students in order to produce quality graduates to the society. Therefore UCSC undergraduates have strengthened with up-to date domain knowledge and skills which make them potential employees with enthusiasm and dedication to prosper in their future careers.

“Career Fair 2014” is organized by UCSC for the second consecutive year and will be staged on 30th October 2014 from 9.00am onwards at UCSC premises.  It is an opportunity for 4th year undergraduates to show-case their talents to the well-known companies in the IT industry with the intention of exploring inspiring careers.

This is a great opportunity for IT industry to access a large pool of candidates who have expertise in the exact fields which the companies are seeking for recruitment. It’s really great that many of the leading IT companies in Sri Lanka have already identified the potential of UCSC students and joined hands with us.

For more details:

Website: http://careers.ucsc.lk/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ucsccf
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CareerFairUCSC

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After the trial run on 16th this month, MIT Global Startup Lab’s actual Pitch Day took place on 27th of January 2014 at Park Street Mews. This was a revised Pitching session after consulting the mentors and going through their ideas once again if they had to change their topic of research. Industry experts and Mentors took time to attend this event from their bust Monday schedules.

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Same teams but revised ideas were presented yesterday. Four of the outstanding teams, Team Alpha Q, Bigya, A Team and Team WII Charge from the last pitch were selected to have a separate pitching session. Harsha Purasinghe, CEO of MicroImage was amazed by the ideas and the potential these participants have and encouraged them to carry on with their market research. Amber Houghstow and Akshita Puram, Instructors at MIT Global Startup labs said that Sri Lanka has this amazing bond between the Industry and the Students, like they have never seen anywhere before.  Ruwindhu Peiris, Director at Stax Inc and a well wisher of this program gave away the thanking note and said this would be a  huge push towards SLASSCOM’s 1000 tech-Startup vision by 2022.

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Pitch Day was followed by an Open Bar Networking session where the Students met their mentors and other industry experts and got their insights as well since there is room for corrections and improvements.

You can find the Photo album for this event here, and catch the conversation regarding Global Startup Labs- Pitch day under the hashtag #GSLPitchDay, here.

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Initiated in early April of 2013, MIT Global Start-up Lab started in Sri Lanka in order to empower young entrepreneurs to overcome their fears and to get them started with their ideas and their start-ups. It was observed that, our young entrepreneurs have brilliant ideas, but lack proper guidance and mindset to carry them out. That is where GSL comes in to support them, to encourage them and to assist them.

On January 16th 2014,  ’Industry Day 2′ took place at Orion City Cafeteria, where the participants had to attend as a team or as individual components and pitch their ideas in front of the judge panel. Of course there was a ‘Mentor Involvement’ prior to this, few days back on 10th of January, guiding them on how to make ‘THE’ impression and how to present their ideas.

After much consideration, idea ‘Car Talk’ emerged as the ultimate winner

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People were divided into groups and then they got 2 minutes each to pitch their ideas.

Some of the ideas that stood out from the rest were:

A USB device capable of finding boarding place nearby for University students, an App which will find the needful people or find people having same interests as you, a review check-in location based app, an app which allows you to deposit small amount of money via your mobile app. A wearable locket which can track people and another app which will talk on behalf of your car itself to find the perfect diagnostic for it.

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After scoring them according to the judging criteria,  the ideas pitched were shortlisted for Round 2, where they had to convince the judges furthermore in order to get into the next round. This went on for a while and at last, one team was selected as the winner. After much consideration, idea ‘Car Talk’ emerged as the ultimate winner. Reason for them to bag this was that they had it all planned out and they were ahead of all others there.

In the end, a round table discussion took place where the mentors ‘interacted’ with the participants and also cleared some doubts they had in them.

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We hope this initiative brings out and shines the unpolished entrepreneurs, to make the country a better place by bringing foreign revenue in and develop themselves as well and the others.

You can find our previous articles regarding MIT Global Startup Labs here.

Industry Day One Live Blog

Industry Day Two  Live Blog

Photo Album – Day One

Photo Album – Day Two

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    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Global Startup Labs (MIT-GSL), is an MIT program where a team of MIT students run an intensive 6-8 week incubator style entrepreneurship courses at top tech universities in developing countries. Gathering momentum from last year, this program has now been made a national initiative in partnership with the Sri Lankan Association of Software and Services Companies (SLASSCOM), Brandix and Sri Lankan Universities.

    MIT Global Startup Labs – Sri Lanka Challenge 2014 will identify, develop and commercialize successful tech enterprises.  This program is targeted at 2nd year and older students, as well as recent graduates from any discipline, who have the passion and drive to be an entrepreneur.  The selected participants will be exposed to world class entrepreneurship training by MIT-GSL instructors and local industry experts and gain close industry mentoring and networking access through SLASSCOM and Brandix.

    This massive initiative will be run through a 7 month period starting in January, 2014 and will require high personal dedication and commitment from the participants.

    Don’t miss out! Apply today!  http://fs16.formsite.com/ruwindhu/GSL-SriLanka2014/index.html

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    What is MIT Global Startup Labs? (Previously known as MIT AITI program).

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) delivers innovation through “MIT Global Startup Labs” to promote development in emerging regions by cultivating young technology entrepreneurs

    This year, a team of 4 MIT students, 2 each from technology and entrepreneurship departments guide 5 teams of students from University of Moratuwa in Sri Lanka. The program consist intensive 8 weeks long curriculum.

    Teams are expected to create a Mobile application based business.

    For more: http://aiti.mit.edu/program/sri-lanka-2013/

    What mentors do?

    This is my second year as a mentor for “MIT Global Startup Labs”.

    I have met the team and got to know what they’ve been through: a series of lectures, hackathons, customer interactions, feedback sessions from mentors and industry partners. This year specific training on Django and android was given.

    The teams basically live and breathe for 8 weeks. Because it is very important that they give undiluted attention, they are released from the normal university lectures and assignments for the period.

    My role is to see their business sense of the application they build. I ask questions and get their attention to focus on the customer, as sometimes excitement over technology can distract the value given to the customer. Developing a Mobile app is easy, but figuring out the ‘value’ to ‘customer’ is always a tough nut to crack, and they have only 8 weeks to do it all.

    I could see a lot of focused energy from the MIT team plus a healthy interaction with many industry partners like SLASSCOM, Stax and Lanka Angel Network. Out side the program I see lot of media (print/TV) attention, and much enthusiasm in social media. This shows the growing consciousness for start-ups in Sri Lanka – a good sign.

    This coming Thursday, July 25th, the teams go through the critique day. They will demo their prototypes for judges, mentors and mobile operators to get the feedback for their final pitching that would happen on 01st August in a grand ceremony, ending the program. I am looking forward to see also what other teams have created. This week will be interesting.

     This years’ mentors include: Mafaz Ishaq (Director, Calamander Capital), Ruwindhu Peiris (Director, Stax), Sanath Fernando (CEO Ridgecreast), Arj Wignaraj (Stax Colombo office founder), and Lasith Lansakara (Engagement Manager, Stax Labs), Jeevan Gnanam (CEO and founder Orion City), Harsha Purasinghe (CEO and founder Microimage), Chandika Jayasundara (CEO and founder Cinergix), Isura Silva (Manager Sarvodaya-Fusion) and Madu Ratnayake (Vice President of Virtusa).