Organised by the Sri Lanka Association of Software and Services Companies (SLASSCOM) and Motorola Solutions, FutureX, an annual event, has had a successful run over the last four consecutive years as the inter-university innovation championship.

The competition focuses on building the human resource capacity in mobile technology and aims to develop and promote innovation and inculcate and harness technopreneurship among university students through training and mentorship to build the tech start-up ecosystem. This in turn supports the IT-BPM industry vision of having 1,000 startups by 2022.

This year SLASSCOM partnered Zebra to conduct a nationwide inter-university competition where undergraduates from state and private universities, vocational institutes and technical colleges were challenged to develop solutions for tech innovations that will address socioeconomic issues in Sri Lanka.

This year’s event had 92 applicants taking part in the competition from 23 universities and institutes from which the top 30 product ideas selected for the second round of the competition ‘Pitch Your Idea Day’ which will be held on 23 October at the University of Colombo School of Computing ((UCSC). The 12 winning teams from the pitching round advanced to the third stage of the competition, where they took part in a series of workshops that were conducted by a few industry leaders such as Zone24x7, IFS Sri Lanka, Brandix i3, N-able, Pearson, 99x technologies , Zebra technologies, SimCentric, Calcey Technologies, Extreme SEO, Crowdisland and Common Edge. During the workshops, each of the teams was mentored on fine tuning their products and improving their business model. They will now showcase their products at the Demo Day, the grand final of the competition, which will take place on 9 December at Trace Expert City.

The competing teams along with their innovative project ideas comprises three blind support solutions named ‘Braille Band’ by the University of Moratuwa, ‘SpecBuddy’ by the Kotelawala Defence University, ‘Projectorasi’ by the Informatics Institute of Technology and two transport solutions named ‘Catch Me’ by the University of Kelaniya and ‘Find My Bus’ by the University of Moratuwa.

‘Electrifize’, which is a smart home, ‘Unidel’, a delivery system and ‘Architectural Formalism for Cyber Foraging in Smart phone’, a persuasive computing system, were presented by three teams from the Informatics Institute of Technology. ‘EmpSense’, an HR solution by the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology, ‘mydegree.lk’, a higher education support system by the University of Peradeniya/NSBM/SL2College , ‘Human Motion Analysis for Cricket’ which is an Analytical system and ‘Siplo Peer Tutoring Platform’ an E-Learning platform by the University of Moratuwa were among the other projects .

The grand final will be an exhibition open to the public with the top projects being on display in booths. The final hurdle of the competition will have the competitors pitching to the panel of judges that includes university academia, industry experts and potential investors.

This in turn will lead to further opportunities for the participants in making their projects a reality and in launching them to the market. The final winner of the competition stands to receive a cash prize of half a million as well as seed investments by potential investors.

The event is scheduled to start at 3.00 pm on 9 December at TRACE Expert City in Maradana.