As we come to the close of February 2019, it seems appropriate to look back on what an amazing year it has been for Sparkhub. But first a little bit of history, in late 2017 Maldives had the first Techstars Startup Weekend, this was the first international event that was specifically targeted towards building a startup culture in the Maldives. The participation and the overwhelmingly positive response towards the event was an eye-opener for the need or such events and education in the community.
Few of the community leaders who were involved in organizing this event got together to discuss how the momentum of establishing a proper startup culture in the Maldives could be sustainably maintained and accelerated.
Maldives up until that point did not have a body that was advocating for startup development, and facilitating partnerships with international bodies to provide opportunities for local startups. Ad-hoc efforts by companies and small community groups were few, disconnected and did not result in consistent growth and opportunities for the startup community.
This was the moment that the founders had the ‘spark’ of the idea, to build a business around what we loved doing. Helping others start, collaborate and innovate. To help discover, connect and learn from like-minded individuals, in essence providing the ‘hub’ for all startups to be hooked into. Sparkhub was formally registered on 7th February 2018.
The founding Mission for Sparkhub is to create startup culture in Maldives by strategically investing time & efforts, in entrepreneurs through collaboration between thinkers, policymakers, and enterprises to meet the evolving global demands.
Sparkhub is well poised to deliver on that mission, our founders come from diverse backgrounds and have had years of experience in multiple fields such as Entrepreneurship, Technology, Community Leadership, Policy Making, Marketing, and Managment.
Sparkhub’s focus for 2018 was primarily establishing and position ourselves as the market leader for all things startup. To this end, a lot of effort was put on building and maintaining global partnerships with organizations involved in the startup scene, resulting in Sparkub being able to facilitate execution of global events such as Angelhack, and StartupgrindX in the Maldives for the first time.
Significant progress was made to establish regional partnerships with organizations involved in the startup community, such as SquareHub in Sri Lanka where Sparkhub was an associate partner of Techstars Startup Weekend — Youth Edition. We will be announcing additional exciting partnerships early on in 2019
We are excited about the local partnerships that were established with companies and organizations involved and committed to the development of startups such as Corporate Maldives, FJS , Intellea, Kodefly, Maldives Getaways, CTL Strategies — Tax & Legal Advisors and Women in Tech. Suparkhub also met and lobbied the government to encourage policies that are more startup friendly.
Sparkhub was also well presented in international events, with our partners attending and representing Maldives in Disrupt Asia 2018 in Sri Lanka where Sparkhub enabled local startups to showcase their products, and Techstars APAC Summit in Bangkok, Thailand.
We also ran the first pilot of our own fireside chat product called Sparkchat, an informal & non-technical conversation between like-minded people to focus and explore their expertise on specific topics relating to startups. For edition one we had panelists from Mindvalley talk about their experience.
We would like to take this opportunity to give a shout out to our primary local partner Dhiraagu who has been pivotal to our success this year, Dhiraagu believes in our mission and has been an amazing ally to help us develop the startup ecosystem in Maldives. We look forward to more collaborations in the future.