Yarl IT Hub’s plan to increase impact by 1000x

Yarl IT Hub
4 min readMar 1, 2018

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Yarl IT Hub is a not for profit social enterprise that has been in operation for the last 6 years and striving towards fostering technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship in Jaffna. Every year around150 like minded professionals volunteer with Yarl IT Hub and has made this in to an initiative by the community for the community.

Following is the summary of impact that we have collectively achieved during the last six years.

Table 1: Summary of current impact by Yarl IT Hub

After a lot of brainstormings, crowdsourcing and feedback gathering we have set up clear goals to be achieved in the next 5 years.

The Goals to be Achieved by Yarl IT Hub by 2022

We have defined the above goals by prioritising the need to enable Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship in the community.

Five point Action Plan to Achieve the Goals

As per our analysis and the experience we have gained by executing different initiatives, we believe we have a very good chance of achieving the defined goals by executing the above action plan. The plan is to have the first four initiatives to be planned and executed by Yarl IT Hub and the fifth initiative of running a seed fund to be left as a ‘for profit’ initiative to berun by High Net-worth Individuals who would invest in to that.

Capacity Building

Initiative 1: Digital Secondary Education Initiative

To give an opportunity for secondary school children from all areas to have access to quality educational learning content via Mobile and Web. Inorder to achieve this we would be launching Aki (ஆக்கி) a comprehensive digital learning platform.

ITEE foundation has been creating interactive learning content over the last 5 years and has successfully proven the massive increase in pass rates achievable, when children were given access to interactive digital learning content. This initiative would be to build further on the ground work done by ITEE foundation, along with the continuous support of ITEE foundation.

Initiative 2: Scale Uki the technology school

Out of the students who sit for A/Ls only around 20% gain access to state Universities or have the means of attending private universities. With Uki (ஊக்கி) we have validated the hypothesis that, these student’s who don’t get access to university can be trained in 6 months on a full scholarship with the basic skills needed by the tech industry, so that they join tech companies as interns.

Our intent is to scale Uki to 3 more locations in Northern province and expand the array of offerings to include, social media marketing, graphics design, search engine optimisation and project management specialisations as well. To start producing 500 students who would join the Tech industry every year.

Uki is a joint initiative between Yarl IT Hub and ITEE Foundation.

Ideation

Initiative 3: Establish research and social innovation center

Riding on the success we have had with Yarl IT Hub projects, where we have been able to accelerate the proliferation of bleeding edge tech awareness in the community. With the ideation centre, we wish to make it a methodical structure through which we can ideate and keep infusing tech, business models and innovations which can be quickly adopted and used by the community . Special emphasise would be placed on introducing these to help the grass root level SMEs and spurring new start ups.

Networking

Initiative 4: Active diaspora engagement

Although it has been completely unplanned and very adhoc, we have seen rapid results from the connects made between diaspora members and local talents. This has created win-win situations for both segments. Where for diaspora it has given access to cost effective talent and satisfaction of working with their roots. For the local talent, it has been attractive to get market access elsewhere.

Building on the above learning, the idea is to streamline and create annual networking events in Sillicon Valley, Toronto and London. To make it a forum where diaspora entrepreneurs, technologists and professionals see and interact with local entrepreneurs, talents and opportunities .

Funding

Initiative 5: Seed fund for very early stage Entrepreneurs

This will have to be a for profit entity separate from Yarl IT Hub, which will be owned, run and funded by the High Net worth Individuals. Ideally an entity like this is needed in the ecosystem to help early stage entrepreneurs to get access to seed fund to kick off activities.

Three ways in which you can get involved?

  1. You can join as a volunteer

If you can contribute in anyway, to any of the above initiatives please let us know by filling the following form. https://goo.gl/forms/zQQh2biLQlAOv0Ya2

We would love to get in touch with you.

Please join our Facebook group and keep a tab on our facebook page . Feel free to turn up at our public events, lend a hand and get involved!

2. Connect Potential Partner Organisations

If you can connect us to any potential organisations, which might be interested in partnering with us and fund some of the activities. Please let us know. https://goo.gl/forms/zQQh2biLQlAOv0Ya2

3. Give feedback on the above draft plans.

Feedback would allow us to refine the execution and help us achieve the collective mission of building Jaffna in to an innovation hub!

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Yarl IT Hub

Yarl IT Hub is a not for profit social enterprise focused on fostering innovation, entrepreneurship and technology in Jaffna.