Seeking Investment, 10 Budding Entrepreneurs Off to the Netherlands

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Looking for investors, 10 finalist entrepreneurs of the Rockstart Impact, an initiative by One to Watch to prepare a select group of high-potential Nepali companies investment-ready within 100 days, flew to the Netherlands on March 24. In the Netherlands, they will present their business ideas, investment requirements and profit-making plans for the next five years and try to convince Dutch investors to invest in their projects on March 26, dubbed as the ‘Demo Day’.
“Ten high-potential entrepreneurs have flown to the Netherlands looking for investors. The companies they represent are investment-ready. They will meet and interact with a group of 30 Dutch investors there,” said Niraj Khanal, Nepal Director of One to Watch, an asset management company.
The 10 investment-ready companies are Abari, Bloom Nepal, Fresh Meats, Red Mud, Inter Continental System, Shuddha Muhanko Khanepani Sewa, Smart Tech, Team Consultants, Uchit Jaivik Mal Udyog and Waste Concern. According to Khanal, the investment requirement of these companies ranges from Rs 10 million to Rs 50 million.
Khanal informed New Business Age that the selected entrepreneurs will spend about two weeks in the Netherlands where they will also make business visits.
A ‘Demo Day’ was organized in Lalitpur on March 12, the 100th day of the business acceleration programme, where representatives of the 10 companies made presentations about their products and services, business plans and investment requirements for the next five years in front of Dutch and Nepali investors. 
According to Khanal, after presentations on the Demo Day, Red Mud a restaurant selling Nepali coffee among other items, found a Dutch investor who has agreed to invest about Rs 15 million in the project.
“We hope that, other companies will find investors on the Demo Day in the Netherlands,” said Khanal.  
With its roots in the Netherlands, Rockstart Impact is Nepal’s only business accelerator programme at present. The business acceleration programme began on December 3, 2014 and concluded on March 12, 2015. During this 100-day period, representatives of the selected 10 companies were trained in marketization and commercialization of their products and services by Nepali and Dutch mentors. Eighteen Nepali and 10 Dutch mentors had been selected for the programme. 
The mentors included Madan Lamsal, Sekhar Chettri, Barsha Shrestha, Anjan Kumar Dahal, Bibhushan Bista, Sohan Khatri, Niraj Khanal, Willem Grimminck, Sanne Snieder, Constant Tilman etc.

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