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  • Writer's pictureKelly Alica Liman

Top 9 Startup Accelerators & Incubators in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has seen a tremendous increase in the number of entrepreneurs and innovative startups in recent years, fuelling the creation of a robust startup ecosystem. As the need for startup support, funding, and resources grows, startup accelerators and incubators have emerged as major participants in enabling this growth. These programs equip budding entrepreneurs with the skills, guidance, and fundraising opportunities they need to convert their ideas into profitable enterprises. In this article, we have compiled a comprehensive list of all incubator and accelerator programs in Sri Lanka, along with a short overview to help you find a suitable program. The incubators and accelerators in this list have been subdivided into applicability for startups in their 'ideation' or 'launch' stages.







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FULL LIST OF STARTUP INCUBATORS AND ACCELERATORS IN SRI LANKA



Ideation Stage Startup Incubators in Sri Lanka


Full list of ideation-stage startup incubators in Sri Lanka:




  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Multiple Sectors

  • Application Link


Hatch is a business incubator, accelerator, and coworking space devoted to supporting entrepreneurial growth and success. Hatch provides a supportive environment for businesses to develop, with the purpose of empowering entrepreneurs and assisting them in reaching their full potential. Hatch offers a variety of perks to entrepreneurs through its comprehensive program, including access to a cutting-edge co-working environment, expert training and coaching, prioritized support, and infrastructure credit. The incubator not only offers necessary resources for growth, but it also organizes networking events, workshops, and pitch sessions to link companies with possible investors and influencers. Whether it's refining business ideas, accessing funding opportunities, or gaining invaluable industry insights, Hatch is the ideal platform for businesses aiming to accelerate their growth and create a lasting influence in the startup scene.



  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Science

  • Application Link


The Start-Up Engine at SLINTEC is a comprehensive program that supports and nurtures innovative ideas in the scientific and technology industries. The Start-Up Engine is made up of two major programs: an accelerator and an incubator. The accelerator focuses on giving extensive support to early-stage projects, providing them with a variety of resources and services, such as mentorship, access to a network of industry professionals, and finance support. The incubator also fosters the growth of these ventures by providing access to cutting-edge facilities, research and development expertise, and business development assistance. Through their initiative, SLINTEC hopes to contribute to the improvement of the scientific and technology sectors in Sri Lanka by establishing a vibrant ecosystem for innovation and growth.





  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Sector Agnostic

  • Application Link


SquareHub is a startup incubator, accelerator, and coworking space that will coach, inspire, and challenge you to accelerate the growth of your startup. SquareHub aspires to disrupt the startup environment in Sri Lanka and beyond through their services and provides everything you need to turn your concept into a successful business. Some of the Sri Lankan startups who have used their services include DirectPay, PayMedia, GiftUp, AgriGo, ShareaBook, Certistor, and more.



  • Who is it for: Aspiring entrepreneurs with an idea and seeking cofounder

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Sector Agnostic

  • Application Link


Youth Business Sri Lanka (YBSL) is an organization that strives to help young entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka thrive in business by providing them with the skills and resources they need. YBSL provides vital business skills training, connects young entrepreneurs with experienced business mentors, and connects them with funding opportunities. Recognizing the difficulties that young people have in integrating into the labor force, YBSL seeks to encourage young entrepreneurs to overcome these challenges and prosper in their entrepreneurial ventures by tackling the skills gap, aspirational gap, knowledge gap, and structural gap.



  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Technology

  • Application Link


Yarl IT Hub is a nonprofit organization established in Jaffna, Sri Lanka, aimed on cultivating a startup attitude as well as innovation, creativity, and technology skills. Focusing on IT services and consultancy, provides a variety of initiatives such as YGC Accelerator, Uki, Aki, Sudar, YGC, Thulir, and Hatch Kalam. The organization regularly organizes seminars and programs to educate and motivate the region's young entrepreneurs. Yarl IT Hub has established itself as a grassroots group that are making waves in Jaffna and Northern Sri Lanka, establishing an ecosystem that fosters a startup attitude and promotes technical progress through their projects and activities.





Launch Stage Startup Incubators and Accelerators in Sri Lanka


Full list of launch stage startup incubators and accelerators in Sri Lanka:




  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Cybersecurity, Educational Technology, Robotic Process Automation, Data Science, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Mixed Reality, Blockchain, Industry-focused Solutions

  • Application Link


The PwC Accelerator in Sri Lanka is an initiative that strives to support both startups and existing businesses in the nation. They provide a variety of services to assist entrepreneurs in navigating the hurdles of beginning and running a firm. Mentoring, business planning, capital raising, and access to expert teams for valuation, tax structuring, legal, and IT services are among the services provided. As part of their startup support, they run an accelerator program, which provides crucial coaching, resources, and access to their wide network. The PwC Accelerator program focuses on developing industries such as cybersecurity, educational technology, robotics, and data science. They do not take equity in exchange for their services, making it a favorable option for businesses of all sizes.



  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Sector Agnostic

  • Application Link


Situated in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Venture Engine was founded in 2012 to serve as a platform for Sri Lankan entrepreneurs to start and grow their enterprises. Venture Engine's mission is to accelerate company growth by offering a framework for making ideas work and building confidence in their vision. The incubator offers a variety of services and assistance to assist businesses in thriving in the local ecosystem. This includes access to seed funding, venture capital, advice, and mentoring from leading industry experts. The program has aided entrepreneurs such as Chanchala Gunawardana, creator of Kimbula Kithul, in navigating the hurdles of starting a firm and pursuing worldwide prospects.





  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Sector Agnostic

  • Application Link


Slingshot is a startup incubator/seed accelerator support program that strives to provide outstanding entrepreneurs and inventors the opportunity to market their discoveries and initiatives. The initiative offers support at two levels: those with a developed prototype and those who currently have a business and wish to accelerate its growth. Slingshot invests early in a company's lifecycle and also assists firms with revising their plans and accelerating revenue development. Slingshot seeks to create value by offering business insights and coaching, as well as funding startups and enterprises that have a strategic fit with the industries in which they operate.



  • Who is it for: Early startup with a team / Mature startup with a team

  • Need to have an idea: Yes

  • Focus: Sector Agnostic

  • Application Link


JohnKeellsX is a renowned startup accelerator program that has helped to nurture and develop budding entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka. Backed by John Keells Holdings, one of Sri Lanka's major conglomerates, the program offers entrepreneurs with the tools and support they need to survive in the competitive business scene. To assist businesses in scaling their ventures, the program provides mentorship, access to a large network of industry experts, and investment options. Startups in the JohnKeellsX program obtain a competitive advantage in their respective sectors by harnessing the conglomerate's broad network and resources. Furthermore, the program focuses on skill development and information exchange, providing entrepreneurs with the tools they need to handle hurdles and achieve long-term success.





Closing Thoughts on Startup Incubators and Accelerators in Sri Lanka


Without a doubt, formal entrepreneurship training programs and supporting ecosystems are required to enhance the startup scene in Sri Lanka. The advent of startup accelerators and incubators in Sri Lanka has been critical in the expansion of the country's startup ecosystem. Slingshot and JohnKeellsX are significant participants in this market, offering entrepreneurs the tools, coaching, and financial options startups require to accelerate their growth. By offering a platform for networking, knowledge sharing, and access to funding, startup accelerators and incubators are driving economic growth and social change in Sri Lanka's growing startup ecosystem.




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