Regional Startup Network- to support entrepreneurs in the region

Why do some entrepreneurs in the country fail to succeed? Experts on startup businesses say lack of entrepreneurial insight and financial support are the main reasons. To support startups in the country, a two-day workshop was conducted this week in the capital. The workshop is a part of the support for entrepreneurs in the region of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal.

The Regional Startup Network workshop saw experts from various fields of startups. The organisers believe that the workshop will promote cross-regional relationships and further growth for all start-ups.

“We conceptualized this for the South Asian countries of India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Bhutan to uplift the entrepreneurs instilling them with U.S based practices and making them ready for collaborations and partnerships with U.S based organizations and Europe-based organizations,” said Soumya Sankalp Mahapatra, the Manager at Social Incubation in India.

Experts also consider Bhutanese entrepreneurs knowledgeable on where they stand. Supports like product validation and access to the market are expected to help startups sustain.

“For a country like Bhutan, you have a lot of resources; flora and fauna that you can utilize which is highly underutilized right now. And handicraft, which is severely in demand in the European Market. So, I think, it would be amazing if we can capitalize on that,” said Harshdeep Gumbar, the Founder of Acculegal in India.

The 20 local startups joining the workshop pitched their business ideas and hoped to be selected for the top five to represent Bhutan at the three-day advanced workshop in Kolkata.

Sonam, whose family has been in the art of producing intricate textiles was among the aspiring participants. She says the workshop has helped her to rediscover her capabilities.

“This workshop was very enriching and enlightening. To be honest, I realized that as a startup I actually lacked a lot of the technical backing and also a lot of the marketing techniques. Also, they taught us about how the work or services we provide can be intellectual property and how we can protect and actually grow a business through that,” said Sonam Chhoewang, the Founder of Leki Textiles and Weaving Studio.

The selected top five start-ups will be declared next week along with a discussion on the feasibility of the ideas. The selected start-ups will get support in accessing markets and finding investors.

Tshering Deki and Devika Pradhan

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