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Startup World Cup Nepal 2021: Regional Grand Finale

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Startup World Cup Nepal Regionals- Grand Finale was successfully concluded on 19th of May 2021, where 10 Nepalese tech startups competed to be selected for the global level competition in Silicon Valley, USA. It is the first ever attempt of Nepal to compete in this global competition. 

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The final winner of this global competition would get an investment of $1 million for their startup.

About Startup World Cup

Startup World Cup is an initiation of prominent global venture capital firm- Pegasus Tech Ventures in Silicon Valley, which is a global venture capital company with over $1.5 billions of funds in management. It has offered capital funds and intellectual assistance to the startups around the globe. Some of the startups being SpaceX, Brod, Sofi, AirBnB and other Global Fortune 500 companies.  

It started StartUp World Cup back in 2016 with a prime mission to foster innovation, entrepreneurship by supporting the startups and startup ecosystem around the world. Any startup that has a huge potential to solve a problem in their economy or in the entire globe and is tech-driven can participate in this competition. This competition provides the access to the startups, provides access to new deals all around the world, helps to build a network with investors and corporate representatives and win the grand prize of $1 million. The selected teams from each country would compete in Silicon Valley on November 10-12 in front of 2500 investors.

By far, this global competition has already been a forum to 50,000 attendees from more than 35 countries last year. In 2021, they are aiming to get the country winners from 50+ countries and to see about 10,000 innovative startups among these countries. 

About the Event: Startup Worldcup Nepal 2021

For the first time, Nepal has been able to take part in this competition with a collaborative initiation of Startup Hub Nepal, National Youth Council and World Trade Group. The event kicked off with a round of panel discussions of various dignitaries including the Ministers, secretaries, educators, and administrators. 

The moderators along with the panelists discussed the current situation of startups in Nepal, its position in the global context, systematic and bureaucratic hurdles in its path. Similarly, they also discussed the ways to foster the startup culture and to head it towards tech-driven commonplace. 

After 3 panel discussions, it was concluded that Nepalese startups have a huge potential to go global and could be a way to connect global companies to reach out to the least developed countries like Nepal. However, the governmental policies and bureaucratic structures should be innovation friendly. They should also support the startups with proper liberal policies, financial support and a conducive environment to operate and expand to the global scenario. 

Module of the Competition

The judges panel for Startup World Cup Nepal 2021 consisted of 6 judges who are prominent in their own business and expertise. They were Bill  Reichert, General Partner, Pegasus Tech Ventures; Julian Mixon, Finance and Investment professional from Mergers and Acquisitions venture capital; Kamal Yousaf, IT professional from IBM Global Business Service; Adnan Siddiqui, Retail Industry Leader, Middle East, (Gulf and Levant) of IBM; Dennis Kibirev, Founder and CEO of Frontier Funder. Asgar Ali, IT Expert to the Prime Minister of Nepal and Co-Founder F1 Soft International was also present.

All the 10 participants representing each startup were given 4 minutes of time to pitch their idea and 3 minutes for the Q&A session from the judges. 

The competing teams were:

1. Hrisheek Innovations

It is an aerospace company in Nepal. It produces Space Cargos, rockets and other space related accessories with the use of local products and skills. 

2. AilePay

It is a payment platform which would interlink all the digital payment methods in a single platform.

3. Eco-Good Engines Pvt. Ltd

The team under this company are focused to develop a new eco-friendly fuel out of acetylene. The fuel would lower carbon emissions from vehicles and engines.  

4. Sriyog.com

It is a digital platform to provide job opportunities to job seekers and professionals.

5. Paperbook by Team Jagat

It is a concept that uses an E-ink display which is connected through the USB. It is aimed at reducing the cost of buying e-books from major ebook platforms.

6. Energy Chips

Energy chip is a food material that increases the energy of the body for 6 hours when 120 grams of it is taken. It is supposed to replace other hazardous junk and fast foods.

7. E-biz cards

The idea of this startup is to easily share business profiles and business cards via QR with higher security. The major motive is to replace the paper and plastic based cards. 

8. jGo by Taximandu

It is a multiservice app that provides a platform for ride hailings, deliveries and other household requirements. Through the app, one can register their own services and the users can find those very easily. They have already started the operation in Nepal and Africa.  

9. Microbio Systems Nepal

This company aims to produce quality assured bio medical materials, laboratory reagents and consumables.

10. ANSU

Ansu is Nepal’s First AR Based Education module. It has been developed to introduce augmented reality in teaching learning pedagogy for the school students. 

Curious about the Winner?

In this competition, the team that has got a chance to compete globally in Silicon Valley for the luring investment of $1 million is jGo app by Taximandu service. The idea pitch was performed by Arjun KC, founder of Taximandu. They have already started their operation as a ride sharing platform in African region. They are currently more focused into least developed economies where finding both a job and work related solutions is difficult. The jGo team will be going to Silicon Valley in November, 2021 to compete globally.

Conclusion

Startup World Cup is a premium platform for all aspiring entrepreneurs to meet up with their global competitors, learn about the global trends, get access to guidance and win a huge investment to turn their  idea into reality. In Nepal, Startup Hub Nepal has taken this initiation by working as a country partner for Startup World Cup. And, it conducted the first ever competition that connects Nepalese innovators with the global mentors in startup and technology. These types of events and competitions should be organized time and again to link the theory and practical application of what we learn about doing business along with fostering the technological advancement in every aspects of development.

Since startups are expected to solve the prevailing problems in a faster pace than the corporates, they must be technologically driven in order to get along with the direction the whole world is heading towards- i.e. tech-driven economy. On top of that, despite the zeal and ideas that many youths have as of now to start their own venture and scale it to the global context, the country on the other hand, should provide a conducive environment to boost up the innovations in the nation with proper funding mechanisms and administrative facilitation. Techsathi wishes all the best to the winning team of Startup World Cup Nepal 2021.

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Hi, I am a postgraduate student of Economics, stock market enthusiast, an occasional storyteller and a habitual reader.

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