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Incentiwise CHANGE! Making a social impact.

“To us, social impact = quality of life”, says Tiasha Renganathan, the founder and director of Incentiwise who along with her fellow directors, Eshan Tudawe and Bharathy Premachandra believe that there is much opportunity for social impact that is not only tangible, but also sustainable.

 

Incentiwise is a startup that aims to develop social entrepreneurship in Sri Lanka, by being a part of the communities they live in and creating tangible differences.

 

Their recent social impact competition gave Sri Lanka a taste of what Incentiwise is all about: partnering with Singularity University to encourage entrepreneurs to develop and submit ideas that help create a smarter city, are relevant over time, account for current needs and most importantly, promote economic value creation by harnessing technology.

 

TechAdvisor.lk got the chance talk to Tiasha on what Incentiwise is about and the change they hope to create.

 

Q.

Tell me a little about your company and what you do?

 

A.

Incentiwise is a company dedicated to developing social entrepreneurship in Sri Lanka. Our USP revolves around the idea of structuring incentive schemes to encourage entrepreneurs which aren’t always monetary in nature and thereby create access and opportunity to entrepreneurs across the country. Our underlying goal is to really create tangible social impact for the country while making that impact sustainable through creating livelihoods for the entrepreneurs themselves. We are a for-profit company that looks to create a community of ‘do gooders’ who build sustainable businesses whilst balancing the needs for people, planet and profit.

 

Q.

Where did the idea come from? What was your inspiration?

 

A.

The idea wasn’t really a sudden whim but many years in the making, in the sense that it became obvious that so many people have potential and the ability to change the world in small ways but needed the motivation and ability to make that potential a reality.

 

Q.

What kind of programmes have you run so far? Anything for us to look forward to?

 

A.

At our core, our focus involves, curating incentivized social impact competitions in conjunction with local or foreign partners, identifying and providing entrepreneurs with the support required to commercialize businesses that solve a social issue, and creating dialogue between social entrepreneurs and thought leaders around the world.

 

Our first pillar was the launch of Sri Lanka’s first social impact challenge on Smart Cities in April this year complemented by a partnership with Singularity University in the USA to structure the incentive. The challenge saw over a 100 entrepreneurs from across the island participate with the winning entrepreneur currently at Singularity University for a 10-week programme worth USD 35,000.

 

Q.

Based on the submissions received for your last project, the Social Impact Competition, how big a part do you think technology plays in the thought processes of the future thinkers of Sri Lanka?

 

A.

I believe, technology plays a pivotal role in society and in our lives today and this dependency is only likely to increase exponentially. However, I also believe that there is more than just technology required to create a movement around change specifically and that passionate people who believe is really what can be game changing.

 

Q.

How big a part has technology played in your business vs. creative thinking?

 

A.

Our value proposition doesn’t revolve around a technology play as such. However, it’s always certainly prevalent in either the way we choose to communicate via our website www.incentiwisechange.com or in the technology opportunities we scout in terms of social impact businesses.

 

Q.

What are the key milestones over the next 6-12 months that you hope to achieve in the company?

 

A.

Our key milestones are really to create awareness of what social entrepreneurship is first and foremost about, and to develop a community of change makers as we say. Above and beyond that of course we intend to launch one more social impact challenge this year and focus on working with some of our entrepreneurs to develop feasible scalable businesses.

 

Q.

How do you feel Incentiwise has impacted people?

 

A.

It’s probably too early in the day to answer this question. However we feel at least to one entrepreneur we have created an opportunity to immerse himself in the Silicon Valley startup culture through a graduate training programme at one of the best technology innovation universities in the world, thus creating the connects he needs to take his product to the next level.

 

Q.

What do you think is one of the key characteristics startups in Sri Lanka don’t have?

 

A.

Access and opportunity in terms of funding and business acumen at times perhaps. But I feel that’s changing and that there are more and more youth really pursuing some great ideas and delivering unique value to the market.

 

Q.

If there was a company you wish you started what is it and why?

 

A.

Y Combinator which is an accelerator based out of the US which created a new model for funding early stage startups

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