It aims at cementing linkages between the startup ecosystems of India and Nepal

The Indian Embassy in Nepal is co-organising the third edition of Connect-IN (India-Nepal) International Entrepreneurship Conclave aimed at bringing Nepali and Indian entrepreneurs together. It will be held in Kathmandu on Wednesday.

“The Conclave is also part of the year-long celebrations to mark 75 years of India’s independence under ‘Azaadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, under which the first-ever India@75 Ideathon is also being planned from April 18-20,” said a statement issued by the Indian Embassy in Nepal.

“In its previous two editions, Connect [IN] provided an enabling platform to young entrepreneurs, investors, venture capitalists and experts from Nepal and India to learn from and connect with each other on a range of domains – from ideas to business models, problems to solutions, and businesses to funding,” the statement said.

“The 3rd edition aims at building upon the success of previous two editions to further cement the growing linkages between the startup ecosystems of India and Nepal,” it noted.

“In its current edition, Connect [IN] will include a number of Entrepreneur InShots: stories from founders of key startups which have made it big in India and Nepal,” the statement further said.

From India, these stories will include Meesho, a unicorn and one of India’s largest social e-commerce and resale portals, and Elucidata, an upcoming firm that uses data analytics to bridge the gap between life sciences and engineering.

From Nepal, it will include the well-known fintech player F1Soft Group and the e-commerce portal Sastodeal.

According to the statement, the Conclave will also feature three panel discussions focusing on challenges faced by startups during their early stages, funding of startups from VCs’ perspective, and on how technology can help overcome barriers in traditional businesses.

Among the Indian participants are Yatra Angel Network, a VC firm focusing on funding of fintech ventures, and Credenc, a startup using technology and data analytics for better decision making on disbursal of educational loans.

From Nepal, these would include well-known startups such as Tootle, Hatti Hatti, Pick and Drop, Pad2Go and SweetFix, and VCs such as Dolma Impact Fund and Business Oxygen. The event will also feature speakers from Standard Chartered Bank and King’s College Kathmandu.

“The India@75 Ideathon: This year, for the first time, as part of Connect [IN], the Embassy is also organizing an India@75 Ideathon from April 18-20,” it said.

“The Ideathon is aimed at engaging young minds of Nepal to find tech-enabled solutions to pressing challenges in four important domains which affect our day-to-day lives and also have salience in policy making in both our countries,” the statement informed.

These four domains are: a) Cross border commerce; b) Agriculture marketplace; c) Urban development; d) Governance.

The participants of India@75 Ideathon will be students of science, engineering, management and humanities based at Kathmandu-based universities and colleges.

“Over a period of three days, the participants will constitute inter-disciplinary teams on-site, undertake extensive brainstorming, collaboration and fieldwork and come with their own solutions to the problems identified in each of the above four domains,” it further noted.

On April 20, a jury of eminent personalities will select the winning teams and announce awards.

“The Embassy looks forward to enthusiastic participation from Nepal’s young entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, innovators, students and media persons, both in Connect [IN] Conclave as well as the India@75 Ideathon,” the statement added.

The Conclave was earlier scheduled for the first week of but had to be postponed to March in view of the worsening pandemic at the time.

The organizing partner is Clockb Business Innovations, and other partners include GMR, Tata Motors, Tata Meditech and Tootle.