August, 21, 2014
Angel investor alliance partners with Brandix-funded seed accelerator to encourage investment in innovative apparel start-ups
Bringing together organizations with the shared goal of promoting innovation, and thereby uplifting the nation, the Lankan Angel Network has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Brandix-funded Disrupt Unlimited, a seed accelerator program that helps start-ups in the apparel, textile, and accessories sectors to commercialize their ideas.
Passionate about empowering entrepreneurs, the Lankan Angel Network is a platform for angel investors to help high-growth, early-stage local start-ups through mentorship and funding.
Launched in early 2014, Disrupt Unlimited encourages innovators from across industries to develop technology-driven solutions that address challenges at every stage of the supply chains, leading to revolutionary changes in the way apparels, textiles and accessories are made, packaged, distributed and consumed.
This MOU will entail Disrupt Unlimited offering up selected candidates for investment by the Lankan Angel Network, which will reciprocate by providing expert advice on the strategic initiatives of the program, as well as hosting events geared towards knowledge sharing and best practices, for the betterment of the innovation ecosystem. Lankan Angel Network members will also act as mentors to, and conduct training sessions for, participants in the Disrupt Unlimited seed accelerator program.
Commenting on the partnership, Brandix Group Director Udena Wickremesooriya said, “Our hope is that supporting start-ups in the apparel industry will create a ripple effect across industries. Leveraging our experience and domain knowledge in one of the country’s strongest industries, we want to help Sri Lanka attract the investment, talent, and resources necessary to become a global hub for innovation. Partnering with Lankan Angel Network is an important step in developing that ecosystem.”
Comprising a number of industry leaders, successful entrepreneurs and technical experts from the apparel, textile and accessories sectors, Disrupt Unlimited offers its carefully selected candidates the opportunity to pitch their game-changing ideas to potential investors during its Demo Days. Leading up to Demo Day, the program’s experienced advisors, industry-specific mentors, practical workshops, networking opportunities, collaborative workspaces, and legal and administrative services are available to support the entrepreneurs as they build their prototypes.
The MOU also provides Lankan Angel Network members with invitations to attend Disrupt Unlimited Demo Days, wherein they will be able to evaluate the pitches made by program participants and decide whether they want to participate in potential round two investment opportunities.
Further, the Lankan Angel Network will also give promising entrepreneurs and start-up teams that were ineligible for participation in the Disrupt Unlimited incubator programs, the opportunity to be mentored and refine their business plans for future investment.
Commenting on the MOU, Lankan Angel Network Chairman Eric Wikramanayake stated, “The apparel industry is at the cutting edge of pushing innovation and global best practices in Sri Lanka. As Sri Lanka moves up the value chain in this industry, it is an opportune time to attract and empower entrepreneurial talent to address the many opportunities in that journey. The Lankan Angel Network is also partnering with angel networks and investors across the globe enabling our entrepreneurs to quickly gain access to global markets and new technology in scaling their business internationally which will be especially useful for start-ups in this industry”.