Thursday, 03 November 2016 19:15

John Keells X announces winners of the Open Innovation Challenge

John Keells X, an open innovation challenge conceptualized by John Keells Holdings PLC (JKH), announced the winners of its first Open Innovation Challenge on Wednesday, 2 November at the Atrium, Cinnamon Grand.

The winning team, Jendo received a Rs 2 Million cash prize while the runner up, Markify received Rs 1 Million. These winners received the reward with no strings attached.

Co-founded by Keerthi Kodithuwakku, Isuru Rajakaruna and Charith Vithanage, Jendo will provide new technology to monitor peripheral cardiovascular systems with research conducted under the supervision of senior medical professors. Runner up Markify, a voice controlled, SAAS analytics platform with data ingestion capabilities is spearheaded by Sohan Dharmaraja.

The four month Open Innovation Challenge was launched in June 2016 by JKH to encourage innovators with imagination and a strong design ethic to take the next step in making a pipeline idea a reality. Via the competition, John Keells X called for individuals and teams to submit applications online. 148 applications were shortlisted to 10, followed by an Open Day where the teams were formally inducted to the competition. The ten teams were given a development window of 60 days; during this time, they were also given the opportunity to meet and interact with their peers and to network with JKH leadership through a series of events.

John Keells X welcomed any idea that was both innovative and disruptive. The shortlisted applicants submitted minimum viable products or commercially launched businesses that were being further developed.  Some ideas reimagined an existing model in a more efficient or useful format whilst some devised new solutions to meet a prevailing gap in the market.

The demo was judged by a panel comprising of Dr Hans Wijesuriya, Group CEO – Dialog Axiata PLC, and Jonathan Alles, Managing Director and CEO of Hatton National Bank PLC alongside Ajit Gunewardene, Deputy Chairman, Ronnie Peiris, Group Finance Director, Krishan Balendra, President (Leisure Sector), Gihan Cooray, President (Corporate Finance & Retail Sector), and Ramesh Shanmuganathan, Group CIO/Executive Vice President from John Keells Holdings PLC.

The John Keells X Open Innovation Challenge is part of a digitization initiative by John Keells Holdings PLC, spearheaded by Chairman Susantha Ratnayake in a bid to create a conducive ecosystem in order for young entrepreneurs to thrive whilst encouraging businesses at JKH to engage in open innovation. The John Keells X open innovation challenge partnered with SLASSCOM, ICTA, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce as well as Roar.lk as their digital media partner.

Captions (from left):

JKX 1: Janith Priyankara (Jendo), Dulara De Zoysa (Jendo), Udula Selakara (Jendo), Gihan Cooray (President of Corporate Finance & Retail Sector, JKH), Susantha Ratnayake (Chairman, JKH), Ronnie Peiris (Group Finance Director, JKH), Vinod Samarawickrama (Jendo’s 1st Angel Investor), Keerthi Kodithuwakku (Jendo), Dr Hans Wijesuriya (Group CEO – Dialog Axiata), Ajit Gunewardene (Deputy Chairman, JKH) and Krishan Balendra (President of Leisure Sector, JKH)

JKX 2: Malaka Rathuvithana (Markify), Gihan Cooray (President of Corporate Finance & Retail Sector, JKH), Susantha Ratnayake (Chairman, JKH), Ronnie Peiris (Group Finance Director), Sohan Dharmaraja (Markify), Ajit Gunewardene (Deputy Chairman, JKH), Dr Hans Wijesuriya (Group CEO – Dialog Axiata PLC), Krishan Balendra (President of Leisure Sector, JKH) and Vinoth Kanna (Markify)

JKX 3: Finalists with the Executive Board members of John Keells Holdings PLC

JKX 4: Keerthi Kodithuwakku, from winning team Jendo, accepting the Rs. 2 million cash prize presented by Susantha Ratnayake (Chairman, JKH),

JKX 5: Sohan Dharmaraja from Markify accepting the runners up cash prize presented by Ajit Gunewardene (Deputy Chairman, JKH) (LI)

Last modified on Thursday, 03 November 2016 19:36

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