IIT nurtures entrepreneurship spirit of Lankan undergraduates through CodeSprint 3.0

Sunday, 3rd of June 2018

Informatics Institute of Technology (IIT), the pioneer in British higher education in Sri Lanka, successfully organised the third edition of their annual Inter- University coding event – CodeSprint 3.0. This year the event was completely revamped into a 3-month long Young Entrepreneurship Incubator and Startup Battlefrom the 24-hour hackathon of previous years’ CodeSprint events. CodeSprint is the premier Inter- University coding event of Sri Lanka organized by the IEEE Student Branch of Informatics Institute of Technology. Powered by Dialog Ideamart, CodeSprint has always been a technology-based event which commenced as a 24-hour hackathon where undergraduates are to come up with innovative solutions for local and global issues.

This year’s CodeSprint – titled CodeSprint 3.0 – was carried out under the theme of “Youth Entrepreneurship Incubator and Startup Battle” and went beyond providing a platform for undergraduates for ideation by offering a launchpad for entrepreneurial endeavours. The unique event provided hundreds of undergraduates from various universities across the island with the opportunity to learn how to transform their big tech idea into an actual product that can be pitched to a potential investor. From IIT’s point of view, CodeSprint 3.0 presented the young undergraduates of IIT who organised the event, the chance to learn how to create an innovative platform and make it a success through planning, teamwork, dedication, coordination and hard work.

They were able to capture the imagination of the IIT lecturers with their enthusiasm and liaised with a host of external parties such as top companies and leading personalities from the IT industry to make the event a remarkable success story. After the initial announcement, there were 150 registrations from all 9 provinces of the island out of which 15 teams were chosen for the Semi Finals. These 15 teams were presented with the opportunity to participate in accelerated workshops and were assigned domain-specific mentors based on the product that they were pitching. After a Product Pitch by all 15 teams, the Final 6 teams were selected to make presentations to investors where 3 winners were eventually picked and presented with exciting prizes that would help boost their products even further. The Winners of CodeSprint 3.0 Startup Battle was Team Scorpions from the University of Moratuwa.

Their product “Plant Doc”, an app for farmers and gardeners, would identify plant diseases via image recognition and suggest appropriate remedies. Team Yadolala from IIT was the First Runners-up with their product “LetMeSpeak”, a tool that offereda gamified approach to overcoming speech impediments in children. The Second Runnersup position was also won by a team from the University of Moratuwa as Team Phoenix bagged the prize for their solution Genesan Sole, an insole device that can fit into a shoe and help the wearer stay safe from diabetes. Expressing her views on the success of CodeSprint 3.0, Naomi Krishnarajah – Dean of IIT stated, “This year’s CodeSprint is the 3rd year of this unique event and by far the most exciting. Our students came up with this very innovative concept themselves, approached the lecturer and saw to it that every aspect of the event was well organized and methodically handled.

Promoting youth entrepreneurship is a very vital aspect of today’s economy and even has the support of the Government. These students, who are only in their first and second years of their degree programme, not only came up with the concept but made sure they engaged all the relevant parties such as the mentors, sponsors, competitors and lecturers, to deliver an excellent CodeSprint which I strongly believe will continue to grow into the future.” Mithushan Jalangan – Vice President of the IEEE Computer Society of Informatics Institute of Technology Student Chapter commented, “I pitched the concept for the new, expanded version of CodeSprint to my lecturer during the first year of my studies here at IIT and he gave us his fullest support.

We wanted to inculcate the entrepreneurial spirit within our fellow undergraduates from across the island and build a solid ecosystem to guide them and make their tech ideas a reality. The whole programme got very positive reviews and we believe it was a win-win for everyone who took part.” Established in 1990, IIT is an award-winning campus offering internal postgraduate and undergraduate degrees from the University of Westminster (UOW) - UK, Robert Gordon University - UK and Canterbury Christ Church University - UK. IIT has played a pivotal role in strengthening the IT sector in Sri Lanka over the years by producing world-class graduates. Since inception, IIT has produced over 3,000 graduates who are excelling in over 250 organization around the globe.