Seeding startup stars at Seedstars KathmanduOct 24, 2017
Eight Nepali tech startups vied to win the Seedstars Kathmandu 2017 competition organized by MIC Nepal in partnership with UNDP
Ride-share app Tootle was crowned the winner of the Seedstars Kathmandu 2017, a competition for tech startups in Nepal that concluded on 23 October. Organized by the Microsoft Innovation Center Nepal (MIC Nepal) in partnership with UNDP, the contest saw eight seed-stage startups designed by young teams pitching innovative combinations of technology and entrepreneurship.
Seedstars is a Swiss-based group of companies that aims to connect entrepreneurs to corporations through activities such as startup scouting, company building and acceleration programs. The finalists in the Kathmandu iteration of the competition presented a range of ideas: from apps geared at providing information on climatic conditions and agricultural markets for the benefit of rural farmers; another that sought to streamline tourism by facilitating travel bookings; an app for real estate solutions; and another that offered express parcel delivery services, among others. Of them, Tootle, an app that matches people looking for rides with motorcycle riders that are travelling the same route, was deemed by the jury to tick all the boxes.
“There is no alternative to promoting entrepreneurship, especially among the young in Nepal, for any kind of meaningful change to be affected in terms of sustainable economic growth,” said Allen Bailochan Tuladhar, CEO of Unlimited Technology, which hosts MIC Nepal.
In the same vein, UNDP's Assistant Country Director in Nepal, Vijaya Singh—who was among the members of the jury—said it was encouraging to see so many young people eager to use their ideas, skills and the disruptive potential of new technology to address some of the most persistent problems in the country. "UNDP is extremely pleased to support an initiative that brings young talent and innovation to the forefront in such a big way," he said.
The winning team, led by CEO and co-founder Sixit Bhatta (watch an interview with him below), will now head on to the Regional Summit and the Global Seedstars Summit, which takes place in Switzerland every year, to network and compete with international startups to win $1 million in investment, along with additional prizes and perks. This is Seedstars’ second installment in Nepal, following a national summit last year in which Visualize VR had triumphed.
More photos of the event can be viewed on our Flickr site