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Business accelerator draws 35 applicants

- KRISHANA PRASAIN, Kathmandu

Jan 16, 2019-

Next Launchpad has received 35 applications from start-ups and small and medium enterprises so far to enrol in its second business accelerator programme. The call for applications closes on January 31. Next Launchpad is a mentorship driven, business accelerator programme where early stage businesses take their business to the next level through a four-month-long rigorous Launchpad curriculum. 

According to the company, the programme consists of one-on-one mentoring, guidance, insight sharing, workshops, brainstorming sessions, inspirational talks and networking. It also provides investment connections through various homegrown programmes such as meet our mentors, brainfast, venture walk, venture talk and venture blend.

Eton Technology enrolled in the first Next Launchpad business accelerator programme and obtained financing for its business. Prabal Pradhan, co-founder and chief technical officer of Eton, said that the programme helped them to connect with the right partner and investor. The programme has provided long-term vision and helped to establish a corporate culture, he said. 

Eton develops innovative technology that provides digital and management services in the education sector. Sajilo School Manager, a school management system software developed by Eton, fulfils the academic and administrative needs of schools and colleges.    

“We help start-ups who have already started selling their products and services in the market but are struggling to grow,” said Jiten Shrestha, programme manager at Next Launchpad. The programme tries to dissect operations so they can function in a better way, he added. “We try to fill managerial, financial or technical gaps,” he said. After the session, companies will pitch their ideas to potential investors who not only add monetary but also technical value to the business, he said. 

The first session was held in 2017 when Next Launch Pad accelerated six companies—Nepal Packaging and Cool Storage, Farm to Finger’s, Eton Technology, Danfe Solution, Home Automation Nepal and Margo Nepal. Among them, Eton Technology, Danfe Solution and Margo Nepal received investment while Home Automation received loan funding.

A total of Rs10.5 million in investments was received from the previous session, Shrestha said. The company plans to extend the number of participants this year from six to 10, he added. Start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises wishing to enrol in the programme need to be at least a year old, have started generating revenue, and have multiple co-founders with different backgrounds, Shrestha said. 

According to him, Next Launchpad will take 5-15 percent of the equity based on the size of the selected company’s business. “Once they secure funding, we will make a full or partial exit.” Next Launchpad is also planning to launch a venture fund for established start-ups. 

 

Published: 16-01-2019 08:00

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