A few friends in IT, with roots in Jaffna, have come together with the vision to turn Jaffna into the next Silicon Valley. They plan to accomplish this through Yarl IT Hub (derived from the Tamil name for Jaffna, Yarlpanam), an apolitical non-profit organization, which nurtures IT knowledge sharing, innovation, and IT startups from the region. To most, this may seem overly ambitious and even impossible - something the visionaries are well aware of. But they're prepared to take on the challenge and have already partnered with some influential individuals in the Tech world to realize their dreams.
"If those who think to achieve,
Have a firm and focused mind,
They will realize what they thought of.
And even as they have thought of".
This week, Yarl is hosting their Yarl Geek Challenge, a technology competition for youth, which is funded by Blue Ocean Ventures (BOV), an early stage investor of companies in the US, India and Sri Lanka. Rajan Anandan, the Managing Director of Google India and Prajeeth Balasubramaniam, a VP at The Sri Lanka-Singapore Business Council, are the Founding General Partners of BOV. Their involvement brings the right type of resources to help Yarl get one step closer to turning Jaffna into the next big technology hub.
Three decades of war have prevented Jaffna from participating in the IT growth taking place around the world. But now, the absence of war opens up so many possibilities.
"We at Yarl IT Hub believe that the basic ingredient needed to become an IT power house is already there in Jaffna - that is the raw passion and thirst for knowledge. Also, we believe that scattered throughout the globe, there are enough people with roots from Jaffna who have the experience and knowledge to contribute towards this endeavor of preparing and creating the IT incubator and the brand Yarl! We request these experts to join with us on this endeavor!"