Down the Memory Lane: Spark Talk & Meetups 15th Series “International Trends in Business Incubation”

Lalit Basnet – SEP 14, 2017

Nepal Entrepreneurs’ Hub organized its flagship event, Spark Talk and Meetups: 15th Series on 27th June 2017. The topic of discussion was “International Trends in Business Incubation” by Mr. Julian Webb, Business Incubation Consultant for World Bank infoDev. The program shed light on recent developments and trends in the entrepreneurial ecosystem internationally along with the impact of Accelerator programs, Coworking Spaces, and Incubators. Similarly, he stressed the importance of university based entrepreneurial programs, arts of incubation being practiced in developing nations, challenges & Prospects for an entrepreneur in Nepal, the importance of Bootstrapping for the entrepreneur.

The key learning from Mr. Julian Webb:

1. The rate of entrepreneurship is declining in the west and the trend of older people taking on the route of an entrepreneur is greater than the number of younger people starting out. According to data provided by Kauffman Foundation, the share of new entrepreneurs between ages 20 to 34 fell from 34% in 1996 to 23% in 2013 and the peak age of entrepreneurial activity is 40. Some of the reasons contributing to these are;
a. Higher debt levels;
b. More distrust and fear
c. Culture
d. Wealth concentration
e. Uncertainty

2. The “Do Well” and “Don’t Do” of Accelerators

Do Well Don’t Do
Market validation Build companies
Business model validation Products and technologies with long development cycles
Pivot for best product/market fit Follow and engage graduates
Intensity and Speed Build community of entrepreneurs
Excellent source of seed capital Provide sustained support for companies
Engage mentor community Generate revenue for the program

3. Advantages and Challenges of Co-Working Spaces

Advantages Challenges
Flexible and adaptable concept Community building
Varied client types Does not necessarily involve a business development program
Easy to incorporate in traditional incubation Outcomes hard to track

4. Operational modality of Incubators;
a. Ownership;
b. Profit Motivated;
c. Area of Activity;
d. Purpose.

5. Benefits of University level entrepreneurship program are;
a. Retain and recruit young talents;
b. Develop entrepreneurial education in the university.

Learnings from Q&A session:

6. Incubators should look after good team while selecting the participants. Their zeal and passion make all the difference. Ideas can be molded and polished during incubation.

7. Similarly, investors also go for the same trait. They go after smart people who can adjust and bootstrap.

8. Nepalese entrepreneurs need to get the basics right first and then talk about disruptive innovation later. The stakeholders should capitalize on the opportunities that are already present in Nepal should be the way to go ahead for Nepalese Entrepreneurs.

9. For an entrepreneurial ecosystem to thrive in Nepal, three things are the must.

1.) Collaboration with other stakeholders

2.) Networking

3.) Bootstrapping

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