Travellers and Pilgrims judged best idea

Business: There are many business ideas after the first Startup Weekend held in Bhutan concluded yesterday. But not many were realistic as starting a “Travellers and Pilgrims”.

A panel of judges declared the first two ideas as the best ideas and relevant agencies such as Loden Foundation and the labour ministry is expected to provide support to the ideas.

The programme organized by QED, an independent local think tank, aimed at strengthening the Bhutanese entrepreneurship ecosystem through strategic partnerships and collaboration.

Travellers and Pilgrims is targeted to cater to the need of local people who want to visit places and holy sites within the country. “The business can be started immediately with minimum capital,” Sunil Rasaily, one of the judges said.

The idea clicked as many Bhutanese visit religious sites in Nepal and India while most of them have not visited most of the sites in the country.

The panel judged Car Renewal Reminder as the second best idea. The idea is to create a website to connect with car owners who would be reminded in their emails to renew their car documents. The car owners will receive emails until the documents are renewed from the date of expiry.

Another idea pitched was to manufacture cartoon boxes for packaging parcels and goods such as pickles. However, the cost of the manufacturing machine at Nu 4.5 million looked expensive for the judges.

One of the judges, Dorji Tashi from Loden Foundation said all the ideas were attractive and added that  the participants could visit the Loden Foundation office for possible support.

“Some people come with a piece of paper without proper proposal and complain that such support are not meant for them,” he said, project proposals have to be concrete.

It was Bhutan’s first Startup Weekend event. During the programme, participants build their own business idea and put it to the test while collaborating with likeminded, passionate individuals from a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and approaches.

The 54-hour programme lasted from Friday evening to Sunday night, and focused on entrepreneurial education, innovation and action.

The Startup Weekend was initiated to provide young Bhutanese the skills to be more innovative and to turn their ideas into reality.

MB Subba