Bhutan National Start-Up Weekend Begins

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The MoIC Minister DN Dhungyel said that there is a need to change the expectations of youth who thinks that the government is the main source of employment.

Bhutan National Start-Up Weekend Begins. (Source: https://www.facebook.com/SWBhutan/photos)

 

The first Bhutan National Start-up weekend (technology edition) began yesterday in Thimphu with a boot camp for 157 participants selected from seven colleges and aspiring entrepreneurs. The Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC), together with the support from BITC and Techstars are organising the start-up weekend.

The initial round of selection for the participants and their ideas was conducted in seven colleges and in the Bhutan Innovation and Technology Centre (BITC), the Thimphu TechPark.

Ideas selected from college students and entrepreneurs

Twenty ideas were selected from each college between February and March this year while twenty-four ideas were selected from among youth and aspiring entrepreneurs.

The colleges include Jigme Namgyel Engineering College, Sherubtse College, the Gaeddu College of Business Studies, College of Language and Culture Studies, College of Science and Technology, College of Natural Resources, and the Royal Thimphu College.

The participants would be given a minute to pitch their business ideas. Only about 20 to 21 ideas will be selected for the next round. Thereafter, the chosen teams will work on developing prototypes and business models including market research.

On March 18, the final presentations will be done on the ideas. The top five ideas will be awarded cash prizes.

Cash prizes for the selected winners

The winner will be awarded a cash prize of Nu 800,000 from the Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC). The second will be awarded Nu 600,000 from Druk Holding and Investments (DHI). The third will get Nu 400,000 from the Ministry of Labour and Human Resources. The fourth best business idea will be given Nu 200,000 from DHI and the fifth will get Nu 100,000 from the Bank of Bhutan.

The winner of the special category will be awarded an amount of Nu 140,000 sponsored by Tashi Group of Companies.

The MoIC Secretary, Dasho Karma W Penjor, said: “The startup weekend is not a full stop. It is just a comma. If you want, from the government’s side we have the necessary conditions to facilitate your journey to the market.”

Bhutanese Youth encouraged to become entrepreneurs

The MoIC Minister DN Dhungyel said that there is a need to change the expectations of youth who thinks that the government is the main source of employment.

“Every youth must aspire to become an entrepreneur by himself or herself. This is how start-ups can benefit the country’s economy.”

 

 

By Karma Cheki (This article has been edited for the New Bhutan Times)

This article first appeared in Kuensel.

 

 


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