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MIT launches global startup labs in Nepal

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jun 18, 2018-Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, has launched the MIT Global Startup Labs (GSL) in Nepal with Kathmandu University and Ncell.

MIT GSL empowers technology entrepreneurs and helps cultivate the startup ecosystem in emerging economies.

MIT has been conducting the programme for the last 18 years in 25 countries promoting economic development by cultivating young technology entrepreneurs, including India and Sri Lanka in South Asia.

Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Nepal Swarna Perera; Cultural Affairs Officer of US Embassy to Nepal Grace Caroll; Senior Director of Nepal Telecommunications Authority Ananda Raj Khanal; Registrar of KU Professor Dr Bhola Thapa, MIT Faculty Co-Director for GSL Professor Saman Amarasinghe, and Managing Director of Ncell Suren J Amarasekera jointly inaugurated the MIT GSL in Nepal amid a function in the Capital on Friday. This pioneering programme has been initiated by Ncell in collaboration with MIT and Kathmandu University (KU) as a part of Ncell’s corporate social responsibility (CSR).

The course on mobile technology and entrepreneurship, based on MIT’s unique approach, will engage 35 selected KU students and young alumni.

The intensive boot camp is led by 4 MIT instructors and is unique in that it is a student to student lab. Commencing on June 15 and concluding on August 2 with a Demo Day that will highlight the teams’ project prototypes. The goal is to both educate students to embrace entrepreneurship and to help foster startups.

“We are delighted to partner with MIT and KU to bring the MIT GSL programme to Nepal. This is in line with our vision to help nurture ‘technopreneurship’ spirit among young talent through innovation,” said Amarasekera. “This collaboration reflects Ncell’s strong commitment towards facilitating further development of an ecosystem with ‘technopreneurs’ playing pivotal role for the socio-economic advancement of Nepal.”

MIT GSL—Nepal will be an intensive 7 week innovation boot camp, where students will develop startup projects—from ideation stage to execution of technology startups.

 Globally, MIT GSL partners with universities and companies in emerging regions and organises advanced courses taught by MIT instructors. The MIT GSL programme focuses on mobile and internet technologies and is structured so that students are exposed to the commercial possibilities of technologies.

“MIT Global Startup Labs has trained nearly 3,000 budding entrepreneurs in 24 countries to become leaders in the new information economy in their home countries as well as internationally,” said Professor Amarasinghe, the Associate Department Head for the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) and faculty co-director for GSL. “With Ncell’s generous support, I am excited that MIT is able to bring the GSL programme to Kathmandu University for the first time. We hope some of the participants will be able to use this experience to revolutionise the Nepali digital ecosystem and even make a global impact.” For the inaugural year, the programme targets students and alumni of KU who aspire to make a change through innovative digital business ideas.

The programme will be implemented in two phases, wherein 35 selected students will first undergo intensive training to accelerate and refine their digital ideas, and in the second phase team up to turn their ideas into viable products and businesses.

Published: 18-06-2018 08:51

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