Kakehashi 2024: SLPAJ’s Flagship Project Links Sri Lankan Startups to Global Opportunities

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – The Sri Lanka Professional Association in Japan (SLPAJ), in partnership with the Sri Lankan Embassy in Japan, proudly presents the annual Kakehashi event, a powerful platform that connects Sri Lankan startups with investors, fostering growth and expansion.

The event is held from October to January, online and through social media, and serves as a remarkable opportunity for startups to showcase their unique value propositions, establish valuable networks, elevate brand recognition, and generate promising leads. Applicants come from a wide range of industries, such as FinTech, AgriTech, HealthTech, and EdTech.

Supported by key ecosystem partners including ICTA Spiralation, Lankan Angel Network (LAN), TRACE, SLASSCOM, and Mora Ventures, the Kakehashi event thrives on collaboration and drives innovation in the Sri Lankan startup ecosystem. Additionally, the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) has consistently associated with SLPAJ, playing a vital role in promoting collaboration between Sri Lankan and Japanese business organizations.

“Our vision is to add value for Sri Lanka and Japan through building business opportunities and enabling bridging platforms to facilitate relations between the two nations. Kakehashi, along with our other endeavours, has been a flagship project intended to feature emerging startups in whichever funding series of their journey,” says NelakaHaturusinghe, President of SLPAJ.

The second edition of Kakehashi commenced in August last year. The launch featured an enthralling talk by Pieter Franken, Founder of Japan Fin-Tech, who explored the potential of technology and startups in uplifting emerging economies, with a special focus on the Sri Lankan context. Vidyuth Prasanth, who has extensive experience in the agrotech industry, enlightened the audience as a panelist.

In December, participants witnessed another informative presentation titled “How to Build a Successful Startup” by Azran Osman-Rani, a remarkable serial entrepreneur from Malaysia. Osman-Rani, widely known for his diverse portfolio as founder of Naluri, AirAsiaX, iFlix, and more, discussed the intricacies of building a successful startup. His insights revolved around the contrasting approaches of established organizations and conventional startups, encompassing the pros and cons, hurdles faced, “portfolio bets,” phased funding, and the potential for failure.

SLPAJ recently briefed the applicants on the benefits of this project and the post-event acceleration program that they can avail of. A one-on-one session was conducted by Toby Barlett for the finalists on how to effectively pitch their ideas in preparation for the finals, due to be held on January 24, 2024. This year’s finalists are Eagle Eye, Leeg, Talco Solutions, and YH2 Digital Health.

“Kakehashi bridges Sri Lankan startups to an international audience with access to resources. The continuation of this program will provide emerging entrepreneurs the opportunity to widen their networks. Winning this prestigious competition has been a life-changing experience for me and my team, as it offered personal growth, funding, cultural exchange, and valuable connections. The competition challenged participants to push boundaries, be resilient, and think innovatively, fostering skills that extend beyond professional achievements,” says Keerthi Kodithuwakku, CEO of Jendo Innovations, who won last year’s Kakehashi competition.

As the SLPAJ continues its unwavering commitment to fostering collaboration and empowering entrepreneurs, Kakehashi emerges as a catalyst for Sri Lanka’s startup ecosystem. By bridging the gap between investors and startups, it lays the foundation for a thriving future characterized by innovation, growth, and global connectivity.

Tune into the Final Pitch event via Zoom, on 24 January 2024, from 3.00 to 5.00pm.



Meeting ID: 878 8046 9562

Passcode: KkhashiF23

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *