Initiate and implement something first time ever in any context is like a voyage through stormy wind which leaves us in a situation to sail our ship through tidal waves to hit the harbor.
You’ve to be confident on the way and need to point the pin of the compass to a correct path. Moreover, your crew also should wish to have the challenging voyage in a confident manner.
YES..! That was happened a week ago with great experiences we faced on the harbor where we put the anchor of our ship as strong.
Just wish to recall the toughest weeks those we faced before 24th, 25th and 26th June, 2016. Our clock was running very fast and can’t imagine how the sheets got tear-off in daily calendar from the day we put our first step forward to host the first ever Startup Weekend event in Sri Lanka which, Startup Weekend Jaffna.
When we (me, along with Sharanyan Sharma, Thavaruban Thangarajah and Chamara Pieris) got the opportunity to host such wonderful and ever valuable event very first time in Sri Lanka along with the facilitation of Anurag Maloo, Regional Manager (South & Central Asia), Techstars, the days are most challenge to us and we’re lost to put the pillows below our head in nights as well on very nearest days when the event reaches its schedule.
Initially it’s really hard to derive a perfect plan to host such a giant event and we worked a lot on defining the event plan. The cups those hold our coffee on each meeting we had knew the efforts we put on that. After several workouts, we defined a structured plan and towards the plan, we move to the next step on approaching sponsors, mentors, speakers and judges to the event.
At a point, in a seamless way, we could able to give drive to our wheels as receiving many positive signs on our approaches. The days became happy thereafter as certain top level organizations of Sri Lanka welcome our effort on host such event and give their acceptance to be as the sponsors to the event. Likewise, we got the same response from some busiest people of Sri Lanka as well as they said “OK” to allocate some days on their calendar to get participate to Startup Weekend Jaffna as resource persons.
The smile we seen on several faces during our approaches gave us a big courage to carry our steps forward with a boost and however, the next thing we need to focus a lot has came to play on the ground as making people aware about the event and the benefit they can get from the participation of Startup Weekend Jaffna.
Make people aware on such event which many Sri Lankans previously not know is something like build a bridge between two mountain peaks to us. We had understanding that it’s not a rocket science and you know what we done on deriving plan for this?
"Just had some more cups of coffee..!"
As pillars to build such bridge, we started to receive many supports and as part of our plan, we initiated social channels of the event also to make people aware about the event and to getting their participation. It’s turned in a positive way as we started to receive responses from people among various part of Sri Lanka. In nearest days of the event, our mobiles run out of battery due to the lineup of calls we received regarding the event from many channels of people.
As students also can gain benefit throughout the event, to make them also aware and encouraging them on the participation to the event, we planned to arrange Startup Weekend Jaffna Bootcamps at some reputed educational institutions.
For that, we approached respective responsible persons of those institutions and with their best support; we could able to conduct Bootcamps at University of Jaffna, Advanced Technological Institute, Jaffna, University of Colombo, Technical College, Vavuniya and Vavuniya Campus of University of Jaffna
During the Bootcamps, many students put a big question mark on them as not fully have the idea on what is Startup Weekend? What its worth? and How they can benefited throughout the event?
Whatever, it’s good a student put their self on question to find out best answer to it. While conducting the Bootcamps, we have high belief on the passion of those young bloods and expect they’ll present themselves at their best on the event.
As expect, presence of students on the Startup Weekend Jaffna is unbelievable to us as seen their involvement with the event on the floor. Many of them found best answers to their questions which wrapped themselves during the time we conducted Bootcamps on their institutions.
After such a worthy 54 hours weekend run, we could able to get many positive words from the participants of the Startup Weekend Jaffna as below,
From the view point of mentors and other resource persons of the Startup Weekend Jaffna, they entered to the event with an enthusiasm to know what will go to happen on such event which hosted first time ever in Sri Lanka. They keen to give their involvement much with the event as certain exciting things were happened.
With the sunrise of Saturday morning, even the mentors and other resource persons got passionate towards Startup Weekend Jaffna and we seen untiring efforts from them on the event as encouraging and guiding teams up to after sunset of Sunday.
They too grabbed many wonderful experiences from Startup Weekend Jaffna as they shared their thoughts and experiences with us during the event. I wish to indicate that one of the judges, Mano Sekaram, Chairman - Slasscom Sri Lanka stated “I learned so much in last three days” on his speech on the last day of Startup Weekend Jaffna.
The success we expect and finally gained on Startup Weekend Jaffna is the positive voices we heard from participants, mentors and other resource persons of the event.
“When’ll you bring Startup Weekend to Colombo, Kandy and other parts of Sri Lanka as well?”
This is the question we received with much pleasure from many resource persons of the event. YES..! It’s the proud moment to us and as made Startup Weekend Jaffna a successful one which paved path to many young entrepreneurs, our steps are getting forward further to spread the passion to other parts of Sri Lanka as well in near future..!