Back in July 2021, twenty-eight emerging startup founders from Sri Lanka, Nepal, and India put their ideas and ambition to the test by enrolling with the Founder Institute Sri Lanka. On the 15th of December, eight of those founders will graduate from the rigorous and intensive program.

Founder Institute ( is the world’s largest pre-seed accelerator program. Originating from Stanford University, it provides a structured 14-week intensive program that is about converting ideas into sustainable businesses. Founder Institute has built more than 5000 companies worldwide with an estimated $30 billion portfolio value.

The program includes a series of sessions and assignments designed to gear entrepreneurs for startup success, alongside inputs from a critical support network of startup experts. The sessions cover such topics as Customer Development, Branding, Equity, Legal, Hiring and Growth. The program is notoriously hard – because being a startup founder is even harder. 

Founder Institute in Sri Lanka is led by local startup leaders Ayami Wanasinghe (Managing Director, Founder Institute Sri Lanka), Fathhi Mohamed (Co-founder, PickMe, Dishserve, YOHO Beds), Ayesha Ratnayake (Co-founder, Show & Tell) and Gabriel Yohendran (Founder, Model Factory) and features many of Sri Lanka’s top startup founders, investors and executives as mentors.

The graduating batch of founders represents the second cohort of entrepreneurs graduating from Founder Institute Sri Lanka. The initial batch in 2020 graduated eight promising companies in the country including Niftron which has become one of Founder Institute’s Top 50 Fastest-Growing Companies, worldwide.

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