Sri Lanka’s Brandix Seeks Disruptive Innovations!

Sri Lanka Brandix, an apparel sector group said it is committing up to a million US dollars to start-ups that will find ‘game changing’ solutions for apparel, textiles and accessories industries.

“The new venture ‘Disrupt Unlimited’ will run a seed accelerator that will inspire, mentor and fund start-ups with breakthrough solutions to disrupt products, practices, processes and business models in these sectors,” the firm said in a statement.
“The objective of the company is to encourage innovators … 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.”

Disrupt Unlimited will play the role of a ‘seed accelerator’ and provide start-ups with access to seed funding, advisors, practical workshops, networking opportunities, collaborative workspace and legal and administrative services.

The firm said it will also organize a demo day to pitch game-changing ideas to venture capitalists and angel investors.

Brandix Director Udena Wickremesooriya said in the apparel industry Sri Lanka has almost every component of the industry and the human capital, but products and processes have remained the same for a long period of time.

“There is a unique opportunity for Sri Lankans to get together and make the country a hub for innovation in this industry,” he said.

The firm had already started a ‘Disrupt-a-thon’ where 20 innovators were grappling with eight challenges ranging from increasing machine operator productivity to the development of wash-free clothing and elimination of coloured thread in apparel manufacture.

The inaugural Disrupt-a-thon participants have two weeks in which to submit conceptual solutions. Accepted solutiosn would be supported with seed capital for commercialization.

The eight challenges have also been posted on the Blog on the Disrupt Unlimited website opening them to innovators around the world.

The firm plans four such events every year and wants to draw universities, the Sri Lanka Inventors Commission, MIT Global Startup Labs programme, and Sri Lankans living overseas.