October, 22, 2020
Inspired by the success of last year’s inaugural cohort, the GoodLife X (GLX) Accelerator programme’s, second set of innovative companies graduated recently after successfully completing their intensive and immersive three-month training.
The second cohort which kicked off in July comprised ten startups in the Food, Travel, Wellness and Design sectors, truly demonstrating the intent of the programme. The timing was vital for the above sectors in the country especially amidst the pandemic and its effects on the local business landscape.
The startups included:
BusSeat, addressing the vacuum of an online platform connecting passengers with bus operators creating an effective scheduling mechanism,
Good Folks, supporting sustainable and organic producers across Sri Lanka by operating an e-commerce platform showcasing their products,
Local Forecast, a virtual platform for local craft artisans to market their creations,
Mindful Travels, creating unique sustainable and curated experiences for tourists and local holiday makers,
Moonshadow Naturals, empowering women to generate income producing sustainable body-care products while home-based,
Olai, producing alternatives for plastic by the use of palmyrah products,
Owita Organics, encouraging Sri Lanka towards organic food consumption by forming a complete end-to-end organic and health food solution,
RAW, an all-women company producing cold-pressed juices using organic produce, renewable energy and sustainable packaging,
Sebastco – fabricating wearable sustainable products utilizing 90% natural materials,
Wawamu – a tower system designed to empower consumers to grow chemical-free produce at home within limited space.
Supported by the GIZ Sri Lanka’s SME Sector Development Programme (on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development), the GLX Accelerator programme has created a strong platform to foster ethical and sustainable early-stage entrepreneurial businesses. Growth and innovation is nurtured in selected post-revenue startups through guidance, training, a strong network of education partners, and other useful resources specially designed to help them refine and scale up their businesses.
Last year, founders of six companies were provided access to a vibrant ecosystem to evolve and the opportunity to accelerate their companies and their impact in contributing to a more sustainable future.
Reflecting on the journey so far with the second graduating cohort, Randhula de Silva, Director GoodLife X, said “Through GLX we continue to foster innovation and inspire startups in sustainable sectors to take the goodness of Sri Lanka into international markets. We are impressed by the passion shown by this year’s participants to focus on creating impact through their innovative businesses for greater good of the world”
During 12 weeks of intensive virtual training, the entrepreneurs worked with mentors, coaches and GLX team members to unlock their true potential and drive growth. This year’s Accelerator included distinct pillars such as education, mentorship, coaching and goal management to help participants acquire core competencies.
A key aspect of the programme was the partnership with the ESCP Business School, Berlin, a prestigious and leading business school in Germany. Each team was paired with an ESCP mentor to encourage strategic-thinking, to guide and inspire and equip them with necessary tools to leverage new opportunities.
Interesting and thought-provoking speaker sessions and discussion on a wide range of topics such as human resource management, finance, legal, marketing and branding, connected the entrepreneurs to experts. The startups also received support in refining their pitch deck and delivery through vital pitch coaching sessions. An Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) framework was initiated to assist the companies prepare a clearer vision, implement interconnected goals and achieve measurable results.
Hatch as GLX’s community partner, has strengthened this cohort contributing to grow the entrepreneurial culture and continue to nurture a vibrant startup ecosystem.
As Sri Lanka’s startup ecosystem begins to find its feet, GLX within a short span has gained momentum as a movement promoting economic growth and leveraging Sri Lanka as an innovation hub and launch pad for sustainable businesses in Asia.