- Dr. Cornelius ‘Conny’ Boersch is the most active Tech-Investor in Europe; and the largest Venture Capitalist in Latin America.
- Keen to promote the replication of proven, successful models and business ideas for implementation in Sri Lanka.
- Sri Lanka continues to have an untapped market, with very little risk for investors, given the potential of the market.
Dr Cornelius Boersch – European Business Angel of the Year (2009) and a Certified Super Angel by the European Investment Fund (EIF), during his first visit to Sri Lanka this year partook in a private event held on October 13, 2021 at Hatch Works in Colombo. The event which welcomed a limited number of guests, was broadcasted via Facebook Live for local and global audiences.
Conducted in partnership with Hatch Works, Lion ventures, and The Council for Startups, the event featured a conversation-style knowledge sharing session with Dr. Boersch, led by Founder, Veracity AI – Jeevan Gnanam, and was later joined by Co-Founder, Hatch Works – Nathan Sivagananathan and Managing GP, BOV Capital Ltd – Prajeeth Balasubramaniam, and was concluded with a Q&A session.
Speaking at the event, Dr Boersch noted “There is no shortage of knowledge, talent or passion in Sri Lanka. However, the biggest challenge I see here is the conservative mindset and the belief that the Sri Lankan market works differently compared to the rest of the world. When I started the largest food delivery company in Europe many people said that this model could not be applied to countries such as India and even Saudi Arabia, but we see that the food delivery companies are the most successful businesses in today’s market. The world has become so similar that ideas that work in London and Berlin can also work in Colombo. Sri Lanka has one great advantage (although you may see this as negative), you are five  years behind. This means you don’t have to make the same mistakes that others have, you can instead replicate models that have been tried and tested and developed to be successful. There are business models that can be applied to any market, and entrepreneurship doesn’t mean you have to create something new. I see the potential in Sri Lanka.”
General Partner, Lion Ventures – Love Yadav, the key personality behind the partnership with Dr. Cornelius Boersch, noted “As early stage investors we look for new opportunities and it is apparent that Sri Lanka is ideal where untapped potential is concerned. After successfully deploying capital for the first round of funding, Lion Ventures is closing in on its second round of funding wherein 60% of its capital will go towards venture build up ideas and the remaining 40% towards promising local startups that are easily scalable and globally transportable. I would like to thank the Board of investments and its Chairman Mr Sanjaya Mohottala who has played an integral role in the success of this trip”.
Dr Boersch spoke passionately about the need for replicating models proven for success in other markets, but adapting them to Sri Lanka’s market. Whilst his focus remains on developing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Sri Lanka, he also delved into the concept of changing the local mindset, and for serial entrepreneurs to take on the role of investors to help newer entrants. His 3-day business tour of Sri Lanka included discussions with the Founders of promising startups, The Council of Startups, Port City commission; as well as private meetings with top business houses and a courtesy visit with the Minister of Youth & Sports and Development Coordination & Supervision – Namal Rajapaksa, where the future of Sri Lanka’s strategic digital revolution was discussed in depth. Acting in partnership with Lion Ventures – a private investment vehicle formed to make long term investments through a venture build up structure focussed on digital transformation and clean technology models Dr Boersch aims to fast-track his strategic goal of further developing Sri Lanka’s local market and its entrepreneurial prowess, as he is set to revolutionise Sri Lanka’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Investment Director, Mountain Partners – Jorge Perez Garcia concluded: “Sri Lanka is at the inflection point of digital disruption as the Sri Lankan Startup ecosystem is ready to bloom. During this short but insightful visit to its capital, Colombo, we have been inspired by the talent of founders and managers alike, as well as by the new measures that the government will put in place in the coming months to support entrepreneurship. We are clear this is a pivotal moment for the country; we have seen it many times in other countries around the World and we see the same starting in Sri Lanka. Together with our local partner, Lion Ventures, we are starting a journey to capture opportunities in the digital space through our Company Builder and Early Stage Fund. With them, we plan to nurture and boost the local talent, bring successful disruptive business models to the country and back some of the most promising local teams. We want to invite every family office, investor, manager and entrepreneur to join us in this exciting journey that will boost the country’s long-term economic growth and open the door to a brighter future for new generations to come.
As the founder of Mountain Partners AG and Conny & Co. AG, Dr Boersch has been an entrepreneur since 1990 and the founder of ACG AG, a leading company in the RFID market. His global portfolio also includes space logistics and drone technology.