Startup Weekend Tourism
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 its third Startup Weekend in Pokhara on the theme Startup Weekend Tourism to mark World Tourism Day 2013 which was observed on 27 September. The event was also the first of its kind to take place outside Kathmandu in Pokhara. The venue for the weekend was Anand Business Hotel, Pokhara.
The schedule for the event was :
Meet, Pitch & Team Up
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:
|1.||Best Price Room|
|4.||National Blood Donors Directory|
|5.||Problems! Tell us|
|7.||Rentific It’s Terrific|
Learn & Work
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.
Present & Select
The final day of the Startup Weekend Tourism focused on the validation and work on towards the final pitch to the panel of judges. Mock pitching session was held in front of mock judges which gave the participants the feel of the final pitch and also provided them with suggestion where they can improve. Participants pitched their idea in front of the jury members at the evening. All the worked thoroughly with their team members and resource persons visiting the available mentors.
The winning ideas were:
- Best Price Room
- Rentific It’s Terrific
Birendra Kumar Mishra is currently the Director General at the Department of Information Technology. He has served in the Nepal government for the past 27 years in different sectors like Public Service Commission, Office of the Financial Controller General, Inland Revenue Department and most recently at Department of Information Technology . He wants to promote the IT industry in Nepal so that it helps to decrease unemployment and increase the financial prosperity of the Nepalese people. He holds a Master of Science degree in Mathematics and Information Technology from India. He has been on observational tour and received advance training from UK, Australia, Malaysia and other countries. He is credited for the PAN (Permanent Account Number) system and correspondingly income tax and VAT (Value Added tax) information system development and implementation. This is the most successful project in the government sector of Nepal. It has been awarded ICT Excellence Award for public service delivery through electronic channel.
Ashok Palike is a former Chairman of Pokhara Chamber of commerce and industry.
Laura Watson is a Senior Private Sector Development Specialist with IFC working with the Nepal Investment Climate Reform Program, and leading on the support to the Nepal Business Forum and the emerging work on Tourism Investment Generation. She established her career in Sydney Australia, working in senior management roles in Australia’s largest financial services institution, AMP, before leaving the private sector to work in grass roots development in Bangladesh and from there joining the IFC to help establish the Bangladesh Investment Climate Fund, IFC’s largest global Investment Climate project. She is the author of a World Bank published paper on Malaysia’s investment generation experience.
She has worked in different positions mainly as project manager and consultant, in private businesses in Germany with some short work placements in the US. Her experiences include the banking, retail & wholesale, sporting goods and textile industries. Prior to coming to Nepal, she administered emergency aid projects for a German NGO in Pakistan. Catrin has been working with the Nepalese private sector since 2008 when she joined National Business Initiative (NBI) as an Expert on Conflict Mediation through Corporate Social Responsibility. There, she supported businesses and associations in regard to responsible business practices and worked with different sectors to promote social and environmental sustainability. Together with Changefusion Nepal she initiated the first Social Entrepreneurship Competition and Award which was held twice so far in 2011 and 2012.
Amrit Tuladhar is currently the CEO of Muncha.com. Muncha.com is an online shopping and money transfer site that can be used to send gifts and money to people in Nepal. He has been working at Muncha.com for 14 years since 1999. Prior to joining his family business. he worked in Himalayan Bank for about 5 years. He holds a MBA degree from Marshal University, USA and finished his undergraduate degree from Berea College in Business.
Ms Deepa is a development practitioner, a private sector development consultant and a lecturer at Kathmandu University affiliated colleges. Currently she is working as a Consultant for the Regulatory Reform Project at International Finance Corporation, Nepal. She has worked for business enterprises as well as development/social sector organizations since 2001 on several aspects such as situation analysis and research, knowledge management, planning and management of project activities, mainstreaming gender equality and social inclusion, socio-economic analysis, brand articulation and other management and social aspects.
She holds a Master degree in Business Studies from Tribhuvan University and a Master degree in Development Studies from East West University, where she was conferred with a Gold Medal for academic excellence.
Prior to joining CloudFactory, Mr Karmath held leadership positions at two of the top software outsourcing companies in Nepal after returning from the US where he lived with his family for over a decade. In the States he was an Engineering Contractor at Google Inc and also worked at eBay Inc. as Senior Manager of Internet Marketing Solutions. Karmath holds a degree in Bachelors of Science in Computer Science & Mathematics from Metropolitan State College of Denver. Beside this he was startup co-founder of NextAction.net (now datalogix.com), a direct marketing company that provides a cooperative database for acquisition marketing to over 700 catalogs (competes with Abacus Direct, a division of DoubleClick).