July 12, Colombo: As part of its efforts to advance U.S.-Sri Lankan economic ties and prosperity, the Embassy of the United States of America recently supported Cheryl Edison, American innovation expert, to work with Sri Lanka's leading IT entrepreneurs, engineering students, and Information and Communications Technology Agency (ICTA) representatives. Edison was also the keynote speaker for this year's Disrupt Asia conference.
"With its strategic location and impressive human capital, Sri Lanka is well-positioned to succeed as an IT and economic hub," said U.S. Embassy's Chargé d'affaires Robert Hilton. "We are proud to bring American experts to support the vision of an economically vibrant and inclusive Sri Lanka."
During Edison's eight-day visit to Jaffna and Colombo, she met with entrepreneurs and provided strategies on achieving business goals and marketing Sri Lankan products regionally and globally. Edison is a Silicon Valley global business development expert who has successfully launched companies across the globe, for clients including Volvo, Warner Brothers, Carrefour, and Revlon.
"Cheryl helped inspire Jaffna's aspiring entrepreneurs and provided Silicon Valley expertise as we develop our own creative spaces," said a member of the Yarl IT Hub community.
Edison led seminars for business and engineering students at the University of Jaffna; its Engineering Faculty in Kilinochchi; and the University of Sri Jayewardenepura. She also took time to mentor women entrepreneurs, representatives from the National Institute of Education, and members of the Sri Lanka Association of Software and Services Companies (SLASSCOM). At the Disrupt Asia conference, Edison encouraged local businesses and IT start-ups on global best practices to expand their markets.
Edison previously visited Sri Lanka in October 2016 to support the launch of innovation "Makerspaces" in Colombo and Kandy. She also held free virtual classes and individual counseling for participants in ICTA's Spiralation Tech Startup Support Program.