Yarl Geek Challenge 10th Edition
The ‘Yarl Geek Challenge Senior’ is a premier entrepreneurship competition open to all youth. Objective of the competition is to nurture entrepreneurship, business skills, technological skills, innovation and creativity.
Yarl Geek Challenge (YGC) over the years has been massively impactful and as of today there are more than 35 startups run by Alumni of Yarl Geek Challenge and they employ more than 280+ people. With Yarl IT Hub stepping into its 10th year, it hosted the 10th edition of Yarl Geek Challenge. The ‘#YGC10 Senior’ started during early August and saw the end with the finale happening on the 7th of November, 2021. Due to the prevailing pandemic, this year too YGC was hosted online.
This year YGC started with the call for applications. As a new element in the 10th edition, “Explore” webinar series was introduced this time. ‘YGC Explore’ is a set of live webinars, where experts of different various fields and industries discuss in detail about the opportunities that can be explored by startups and innovation happening in the respective fields. FinTech (financial technology), AgriTech, Social Enterprise, EdTech, MedTech (technology in medicine) are some of such fields explored. This helped the prospective participants to get to know problems that exist in different fields so that they could pick those and work on it.
During the time of the application deadlines this time there were 75+ applications for the 10th season of YGC senior. Following that the teams were guided on Problem validation, Business Model Canvas Creation, Financial Model Creation and Pitch deck creation. After going through the set of guiding workshops, 48 teams successfully submitted the required submissions and got through to the next phase.
All the 48 teams who got qualified for the next round were given ‘one on one’ mentoring to finetune their business ideas, business models and presentations. This time 12 mentors volunteered from the USA, Canada and Australia to nurture these budding entrepreneurs.
Thereafter the qualifier round was held to select the best 10 teams who presented their ideas at the YGC 10 finale.
Then on the 7th of November, 2021 Yarl IT Hub hosted the grand finale of Yarl Geek Challenge Senior Season 10 via zoom with a large audience connecting from across the globe. Rajan Anandan(Managing Director, Sequoia Capital), Jurgen Samuel(Co-founder and CEO of Agile Network Technologies), Prof. Roshan Ragel(Professor at University of Peradeniya), Kasturi Chellarajah Wilson(Group CEO Hemas Holdings PLC), Chandi Dharmarathne(Vice President, Human Resources at Virtusa and Chairman of Lankan Angel Network), Prajeeth Balasubramaniam(Managing General Partner — BOV capital), Sonali Weerackody(Managing Director of Serendib Trust and co-investor of MVP) and Shan Nanthakumar(Chairman of ITEE Foundation and CEO of Momentum Venture Partners) were eminent judges of the finale.
Following are the 10 teams who pitched at the finale.
- ‘BoonFair’ presented an online marketplace that allows buyers to meet sellers to find the perfect product with a touch of personalisation.
- ‘Brahma.ai’ presented BuildMe, a Construction Management App that helps a contractor to maximize the utilization of the expected profit margin from the Construction projects of his/her company.
- ‘MoodforCode’ presented a smart POS which would empower Small & Medium Scale Retailers with Technology
- ‘Ceylance’ is a social enterprise which is trying to make Sri Lanka a better and trusted place to hire top talented freelance developers, designers and digital marketers.
- The A-Team presented their app ‘U-notes’ which is a platform for university students to exchange notes.
- ‘EPR Groupers’ presented their product work with and build with, which are applications that connect skilled workers with those who need to get the work done and construction companies with people who are looking for one.
- ‘Kada’ presented their platform through which they support the small and medium scale shop owners to mark their digital presence by creating a customized website for the shops.
- ‘Delft JKS’ presented their tourism venture through which they offer real experiences and memories to the travel lovers who visits the beautiful Island Delft
- ‘EDUS Online’ Institute provides Online Group classes via Zoom with best teachers from around the island, for all the subjects in English and Tamil medium from Grade 4 to G.C.E A/L.
- ‘Trash for Trade’ is a social enterprise which has created a Centralized Plastic Waste Management System
The grand finale came to an end with the announcement of the winners. ‘Trash for Trade’ won the Audience Choice Award, Ceylance and Trash for Trade became the joint winners of the Impact Award.
‘Mood for Code’ emerged as the 2nd runner up while ‘EPR Groupers’ became the 1st runner up. The winner of Yarl Geek Challenge Season 10 Senior was the Team ‘EDUS Online’ Institute.
Although we announce the winning team, the real winners would be the ones who would commit themselves to convert this into a running business with unrelenting passion! We hope all the teams who participated would do this!
All these wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the generous sponsors.
Pioneer Partner — ITEEF Foundation
Platinum Partners –LEBARA Foundation, Serendip Foundation, Ford Foundations / Lankan Angel Network
Gold Partner — Aravanai
Platinum Sponsors — WSO2, Comdu.it
Gold Sponsor — EAI Technologies, 99X, Idea Mart
Silver Sponsors — hSenid Mobile, Senzmate and Ideabeam
Accounting Partner — V-ignite
Green-tech Partner — Ecosteem