Startup Weekend Kathmandu: University Edition
Startup Weekend Kathmandu: University Edition is the 11th iteration of the event, organized for the first time in Kathmandu University School of Management (KUSOM).The event organized by Nepal Entrepreneurs’ Hub (NEHUB) in association with Kathmandu University began from November 10, |Friday till November 12, Sunday. The event experienced tremendous participation from 80 university students. The main sponsors for the event was Unilever.
The objective of the 11th iteration of the event was to provide a platform for university level students to transform their innovative ideas into reality and assist in the initial setup of their business.
Meet, Pitch & Team Up
The event formally began on November 10, 2017, Friday which was primarily focused on the idea pitching from the selected participants. The event experienced participation from the 80 students from various universities of Nepal who pitched their individual ideas. The participants voted for the ideas and out of 65 pitched ideas, top 12 ideas were selected for further pitching. The participants formed 12 cross functional teams to work on the selected ideas and prepare to pitch their final business idea on Sunday evening.
The event was initiated by Mr. Suman Shakya, Co-founder of NEHUB, Co-organizer of Startup Weekend 2017. Friday’s session began with basic warm up and accommodation for the participants.
Following Mr. Shakya, Mr. Sixit Bhatta, CEO of Tootle Nepal and the inspirational speaker for the day, spoke how following one’s passion is a step taken in the ladder of being an entrepreneur. Mr. Bhatta began his speech by encouraging the participants to break the rules to innovate. Mr. Bhatta said, “As an entrepreneur, do not follow rules.” Mr. Bhatta further shared his life experiences and shifts in jobs before finally debuting as an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship was his way of expressing himself. He comprehensively briefed about the journey as an entrepreneur and also motivated participants to never give up on failures, which they encountered in their journey rather consider it as a great learning opportunity.
The session continued with mock pitch. The main notion behind the pitch was to make participants familiar with pressure, which they have to face in upcoming 54 hours. Mr. Shakya further in the session stimulated to participants to work on their ideas diligently and reshape it to make it commercial. He also explained about the code of conduct of the event and different perks that would be provided to participants for their ideas. Again he repeated the schedule that participants are ought to follow throughout the event for three days.
The main session of the event, pitching ideas started progressively where each participant came up with unique and interesting ideas. They are:
1. Home Away from Home, Biodegradable Sanitary Napkins, Food Truck, Rent-it, Smart Agriculture System, Portable Washing Machine, Ambulance Trace Application, Investomania, Second Hand Book Website, Go-green Recycle Plastic, Chew-ra and Cookie with a cause
Learn & Work
On Saturday, the second day of Startup Weekend , participants were facilitated by mentors from various fields of expertise. 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 and presented their ideas in front of the coaches for the feedback and comments.
Mentors provided insights to participants to build their idea more effective and feasible. This session of the day was in fact very fruitful for the participants. They came across different things to be considered while presenting their unique ideas. The mentors were given a schedule to ensure that each team got to meet the mentors and the interaction was free from interruption.
Mentoring continued the next day as well. On Sunday morning mentors, Debesh Lal Pradhan and Rajiv Sharma, facilitated the participants from 8am to 12am .
The later phase of the last day of event started from the final pitching of ideas by top twelve teams in front of panel of judges. Twelve teams with varying business ideas presented their startup idea to the list of judges which included: a. Jay Maharjan, Scholar, University of Southern California b. Kishore Maharjan, Former CEO, Civil Bank c. Pranaya Hada, Marketing Head, Unilever Nepal Limited
All those unique ideas were appreciated by judges. The ideas were judged on the basis of business model, customer validation, execution and prototype. After rigorous discussion among the panel of judges, three teams were nominated as winners starting from smart agriculture holding 3rd position, Flavored Chew-ra holding 2nd place and lastly Rani Biodegradable Sanitary Napkins winning the entire competition.
On the occasion, Registrar and Dean of Kathmandu University opined that these sort of events motivate students to startup their own business and this has a significant role in economic development of our nation. All the participants were encouraged to work on their ideas and participate in upcoming Hult prize at KU, Dhulikhel. Finally after having the grand dinner, startup event was wrapped up.
The top three winning ideas in Startup Weekend Kathmandu: University Edition were:
- Biodegradable Sanitary Pads by Shambhavi Singh
The idea is to develop environment friendly sanitary napkins as sustainable choices for women.
- Flavored Chew-ra by Samayee Dhungel
The idea is to manufacture beaten rice in different flavors and position as a cheaper substitute to other imported breakfast cereals.
III. Smart Agriculture System by Prajan Shrestha
The idea is based on IOT system which uses sensors to monitor values and send those information to the internet that can be accessed from smartphone.
Pranya Hada has been working as the head of Marketing department since 2013. Previously he worked for Hansraj Hulaschand and Co. for three years. His key skills include building marketing strategy, performing integrated marketing and marketing research.
Kishore Maharjan served as the Chief Executive Officer of Civil Bank Limited and Sunrise Bank Limited. Mr. Maharjan also served as a general manager at Himalayan Bank Limited for 13 years. He has done Master’s degree in Finance from Tribhuvan University. Given his long term service in financial sector of Nepal for more than 3 decades, he has come to possess a strong set of skills like financial analysis, strategic planning, credit analysis, risk management, commercial lending, business development and the like.
Jay Maharjan is an author, entrepreneur, angel investor and a community leader. Inspired by his personal mentor Peter Drucker, Maharjan has dedicated his life to advocate for entrepreneurship and community leadership. Maharjan served as a region champion for the White House initiative Startup America Partnership, and along the way, represented the region – to contribute towards major business legislations of this generation.
With a unique background in engineering, art, management and public policy, Maharjan is singularly qualified to lay out the clear challenges and opportunities that both entrepreneurs and the workforce will encounter in this new economy. Maharjan has received rave reviews for his first book. Maharjan continues to lend his expertise at major conventions and media outlets. Jay Maharjan is currently a public policy leadership scholar at the University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy.