Ekva LLC, a US Company with robust Sri Lankan roots searching for entrepreneurs dedicated to building game-changing ventures, launched its accelerator on March 22 selecting fifteen start-ups for the initial funding round.
A Durian Village concept by Jithmi Nadushika, a small-scale item export business by Taraka Adikari and immersive Smile Plus by Jairamanan Vijayaalayan were some of the ideas presented at the Ekva ek’celerator programme.
Established in 2022 to promote and empower gifted entrepreneurs, the accelerator, distinctively called ek’ celerator now has a variety of start-ups from an idea, proof of concept (PoC) and minimum viable product (MVP) to those vying for traction and early revenue.
U.S. Ambassador Julie Chung, Chief Guest at the event said, when talking about Sri Lanka, one of the go-to topics was the economic crisis but now it is time to talk about opportunity. “I love events like this because I get to meet and learn from people like you. The United States has a proud tradition of innovation. Having spent over a year here in Sri Lanka already, I found that even though the economic crisis, the spirit of innovation is just as alive here as it is back home in my home state of California or in the United States.”
She said that despite the current challenges, many are determined to stay in Sri Lanka and help build up their country. “They have not given up. It is this spirit of resilience and optimism that I’m so grateful to Ekva for providing the spark and the opportunities to grow their dreams. When I spoke with Amith I found out how much Amith and I have in common. We both moved to the United States when we were children. We both grew up in California and we’re both big hip-hop fans. I listen to a lot of the hip-hop artists that Amith has actually met. But most importantly, we have a sense of passion. This accelerator programme by him and his talented team symbolises another common point, the value we place on entrepreneurship and innovation.”
Oneli Palipane. SAHAETA (South Asian High Altitude Equine Training Academy), a business idea for an equine training and rehabilitation facility based in Nuwara Eliya said that She was inspired by the accelerator programme.
Jithmi Nadushika who proposed to create an entire supply chain for Durian Exports presented her concept at Durian Village for the accelerated team at the launch. “The judge board at the Ekva ek’celerator programme supported me and as a female entrepreneur I was very inspired.”