Down the Memory Lane: Inaugural Startup Weekend Kathmandu

Inaugural Startup Weekend Kathmandu

Nepal Entrepreneurs’ Hub an organisation dedicated to nurture entrepreneurship, support start up communities by contributing towards a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem of the country embarked upon the entrepreneurial journey of organizing StartUp Weekend Kathmandu.With the vision to help aspiring entrepreneurs turn their ideas into reality, Startup Weekend Kathmandu was the first event of its kind to be organized in Nepal. It was organised from 8th February to 10th February and was a part of global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who  learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures.

Startup weekend is a 54 hours weekend event with a global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate, and empower ideators from all walk of the life. All Startup Weekend event follows the same basic model which consists of a 54 hours long ecstasy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. Anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams vote on the ideas and cross functional teams are formed around the top ideas. The weekend incorporates idea pitching, coaching, mock presentation and opportunity for critical feedback.

Beginning with open mic pitches on Friday, this day saw successful participation from all 15 participants who pitched their ideas and encouraged others to join their team. Participants brought their best ideas and tried to convince others to join their team. This day brought together all participants, helped them gel up so that they can work together for the weekend. During the second day, participants were introduced to various mentors from various background who had come to help them team to work on their strength and weaknesses. Mentors helped to make their project practical to achieve. They also provided them with constructive feedback.

Mr. Vidhan Rana, one of the mentors commented on the event  “On Saturday afternoon, as I walked into rooms were the teams had already begun working on their respective ideas, I got a sense that most of the teams were really serious about their ideas and wanted to take their ideas beyond the weekend. The ideas ranged from an online portal to provide agricultural information to farmers to a portal to sell Nepali books online; from a online marketplace for Android Apps developed by Nepali programmers to an educational game built for smart phones; from a web-based platform to provide information regarding festivals in Nepal to a travel app catered for tourist to help them plan their travel to Nepal. Of the 14 ideas, at least half could be easily commercialized and turned into a sustainable business.”

The moment of truth for most of the participants arrived during the third day. Participants had 5 minutes to present their ideas/ prototype built to the crowd and judges. The panel of judges included:

Mr. Anand Bagaria (MD, Nimbus Holdings)

Mr. Saurabh Jyoti (Director, Jyoti Group)

Mr. Suman Rayamaji of (Chief Financial Officer, Smart Telecom Pvt.Ltd)

Four teams were selected as the winner based on various criterias that were pre set. The four ideas that bagged the title of winners were:

  1. Parikshya (The winner)- Build a site to let students give model tests online while also providing results and feedback online.
  2. Nepali Bytes (first runner up)-  A company looking to promote Nepali literature online along with Gamification, which plans to create educational games, targeted towards the Nepali market.
  3. Race your town (second runner up): A gaming company looking to create racing games where you can race through the streets of Kathmandu.

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