Greenovation Startup Weekend Day One
Lana Kennett--Many nervous faces filled the room as the networking session kicked off pitch night. These were quickly dispelled as it transformed into a dance party in true Nepali style. Vibrant dancing to local tunes set the scene for an energetic night.The participants warmed up with a game of Half Baked; a highlight pitch being the Tump Penguin Conservation tourist attraction, in protest of ignorance toward climate change. Master of ceremonies Anurag Maloo (Techstars Regional Manager for South & Central Asia) took the stage to offer final bits of advice before pitching began. The fact he only had one day in Delhi after a hectic Startup Weekend in Tajikistan, before arriving at headquarters straight after the flight shows his amazing commitment to the event.
The audience was treated to 50 pitches (out of 54 participants) with over 40% coming from women! It was fantastic to have so many driven female entrepreneurs in the room and owning the stage, plus a record turnout of pitchers. After an amazing dinner put on by the South Asia Partnership Falcha, voting began. The tension rose as participants silently and anonymously placed stickers on their posters of choice, which were hidden by a screen of whiteboards. Finally the organisers counted and cross checked: the result was 12 final ideas!
Each leader had another chance to pitch and call for team mates. After a series of micro-job interviews, teams were formed with people from many backgrounds and even from outside the capital city. Environmental engineers, agriculturalists, business, techies, designers and scientists. From Kathmandu to Chitwan, diversity filled the room.
They busied themselves with brainstorming and formulating plans for the following day. Bring on tomorrow! Who will pivot? Who will crack under mentor pressure? One thing is certain - 12 teams must be ready to pitch on on Sunday night.