The Informatics Institute of Technology (IIT), a pioneer in British higher education in Sri Lanka, conducted the third edition of its annual inter-university coding event – CodeSprint 3.0 recently.

This year, the event was completely revamped into a three-month long Young Entrepreneurship Incubator and Startup Battle from the 24-hour hackathon of previous years’ CodeSprint events.

CodeSprint is the premier inter-university coding event of Sri Lanka organised 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 had 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 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.

After the initial announcement, there were 150 registrations from all nine 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 six teams were selected to make presentations to investors where three winners were eventually picked and presented with 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, could 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 offered a gamified approach to overcoming speech impediments in children.

The second runners-up 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.

Dean of IIT Naomi Krishnarajah said, “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 organised and methodically handled.”

Vice President of the IEEE Computer Society of Informatics Institute of Technology Student Chapter Mithushan Jalangan said, “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.”

IIT nurtures entrepreneurship spirit of Lankan undergrads
The winners – Plant Doc (Team Scorpion). From left: StartupX Foundry Program Manager Aloka Gunasekara, Director at Informatics International Limited, Hiran Wickramasinghe, Creately Co-Founder, CTO and Chief Architect Hiraash Thawfeek, members of the winning team, Principal at BOV Capital Kishan Nadarajah, and Frontier Research Founder/CEO Amal Sanderatne.