Down the Memory Lane: Startup Weekend Pokhara Tourism Edition

Startup Weekend Pokhara: Tourism Edition

Lalit Basnet


Laying low beneath the warmth of  mighty himalayas, our country Nepal is blessed with scenic beauty of captivating Himalayan range. Thousands of tourists flock in during key season to witness the beauty that our country has to offer. Earnings from tourism is definitely one of the biggest contributor to Nepal’s GDP. One of the famous tourist hub in our country Pokhara has been attracting tourists from all over the world and it’s also not a secret that most of the tourist coming into Nepal is Pokhara centric.

Nepal Entrepreneurs’ Hub (NEHUB) organized third Startup Weekend in Pokhara on the theme Startup Weekend Tourism to mark World Tourism Day 2013 which was observed on 27 September. NEHUB organized its third Startup Weekend in Nepal and it was also the first one to take place outside Kathmandu in Pokhara. The venue for the weekend was Anand Business Hotel, Pokhara.

The sponsors for the event were:

  • Tier 2 Sponsors:  International Finance Corporation, UK Aid, Norad
  • Tier 3 Sponsors: Brihaspati Vidyasadan, Digitainment, King’s college, Islington College, Hyundai laxmi
  • Tier 4 Sponsors:  Worldlink, Muncha.com, NYFF, MQ Jobs, Business Oxygen Pvt. Ltd

For Startup Weekend Tourism, a total of 50 participants (11 female, 39 male) participated, out of which 33 participants were from Kathmandu, 13 from Pokhara and 4 represented other districts including Dolpa, Lamjung, Biratnagar and Butwal. A total of 27 pitches, were made on the first day and 9 teams were formed, through voting.  These nine teams worked throughout the weekend.

 

The list below gives you a basic introduction to the top ideas on Startup Weekend Tourism:

S.N Startup Ideas Idea Brief
1. Best Price Room Best Price Room is a website/app that allows you to get best price last minute rooms.
2. Couch Surfing Couch Surfing is a webpage that helps tourist sign up for local accommodation.
3. Link’O Link’O is a restaurant recommendation system app based on location and preference.
4. National Blood Donors Directory National Blood Donors Directory is an android app to integrate blood need of the people.
5. Problems! Tell us Problems! Tell us, is a startup allows the user to leave feedback or complaint regarding any service within the hospitality sector.
6. QR Click QR Click is the startup that allows applicants to paste the QR code in the public place and redirect them to the information portal.
7. Rentific It’s Terrific Rentific It’s terrific allows applicant to rent anything, anywhere and anytime.
8. Tourcult Tourcult is a mobile app and website for promoting tourism security.It helps in planning and promotion of tourism
9. YouAssist YouAssist is the platform to interact, bond, help and assist tourist to tourist, hotels to tourist and anyone / any organization around area/zone.

Local mentors and domain experts came throughout the event to coach the teams through the planning process. The team detailed their idea into a business plan. The team presented their ideas in front of the coaches for the feedbacks and comments.

The mentors that came into mentor the participants during the day were:

  1.      Deepa Shakya (Consultant at Regulatory Reform Project, IFC)
  2.      Karmath Dangol (VP Engineering, Cloudfactory)
  3.      Amrit Tuladhar (Owner/CEO Muncha.com)
  4.      Catrin Froehlich ( Co -Founder, Hidden Journeys Nepal)

The jury members of the finale were:

  1. Laura Anne Watson (Senior Private Sector Development Specialist, Nepal Investment Climate Reform Program Advisory Services in South Asia)
  2. Ashok Palikhe (Chairman, Pokhara Chamber of Commerce in Industry)
  3. Birendra Kumar Mishra (Director General, Nepal Government Department of Information Technology)

The winning ideas by the end of the weekend were: 

  1. Best Price Room
  2. Rentific It's Terrific

 

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