November 25: Upaya City Cargo Pvt Ltd has bagged the ‘Best Startup of the Year 2021” award. The startup was honored with the best startup of the year award during the “Kumari Bank NewBiz Startup Summit & Awards 2021” organized by New Business Age Pvt Ltd, the publisher of Aarthik Abhiyan daily and New Business Age magazine.
Madan Lamsal, chairman of New Business Age, Muktinath Bank’s CEO Pradhuman Pokharel and jury members jointly handed over the awards to the winners amid a program held in Kathmandu on November 25. Along with the award, Upaya City Cargo Pvt Ltd bagged a cash prize of Rs 100,000 as well as a certificate of honor and a trophy. Likewise, Leaf Plus Pvt Ltd, won the “Second Best Startup of the Year 2021” that carries a purse of Rs 50,000, a certificate and a trophy. The second best startup is a socio-economic enterprise that aims to have an impactful contribution to the environment and society by producing and promoting areca leaf products.
Aama Agro Products (P) Ltd was announced the “Third Best Startup of the Year 2021”. The third best startup was presented a certificate, trophy and cash prize of Rs 25,000.
The other two startups--Nepal Agro Inputs Marketing & Entrepreneurship Services (NAMES) Pvt Ltd, Admana Technology Pvt Ltd, were honored with the best startups of the year 2021 from amongst five startups which reached to ‘the final five’. The top five startups had gone through an extensive selection process and were invited to the grand finale for their pitches before the jury and the audiences of the grand ceremony, according to the organizer.
In the initial round, 40 startups were selected by the jury from a pool of 1,700 plus startups from across the country. Among the selected startups, 35 were selected during the shortlisting process.
The top 35 startups were also provided with an interactive training session on November 15. Prior to this training, all of the 1700 startups were provided with training on a hybrid platform on October 29.
Based on a pitch from the representatives of the top five startups during the award ceremony, the jury committee selected the top three startups of the year. The other two startups that made it to the ‘top five’ were also felicitated as “One of the Best Five Startups” during the award ceremony with letter of appreciation.
The jury committee had picked the best startups based on criteria like articulation of vision/mission statement, value proposition and market identification, team composition and calibre, innovation/USP/disruption, transaction-to-date, scalability and competitive strategy, IT used, creation story and the judgment of the jury, according to the organizer.
Tenzing Sonam Gonsar, founder and CEO of TEAM Ventures Pvt Ltd, Sumana Shrestha, founder and managing partner of Kosi Collaborative and Niraj Khanal, co-founder/CEO of Antarprerana were the members of the jury committee chaired by Siddhant Raj Pandey, CEO of Business Oxygen.
Startup from each province recognized as emerging startup
During the ceremony, seven startups -- one from each province -- were honored as the emerging startup of the province.
Far West Infotech & Research Center of Kailali from Sudur Paschim, Jwala Krishi Tatha Pashupalan Udyog of Dailekh from Karnali and Ninja Infosys Pvt Ltd of Banke from Lumbini were awarded the emerging startup of the province.
Ek Call Home Solutions Pvt. Ltd of Kaski from Gandaki, Glocal Private Limited of Lalitpur from Bagamati, Namaste Recycle Traders of Janakpur from Province 2 and Himalayan Lush Industry of Jhapa from Province 1 were the other startups that were honored as emerging startup of the province during the ceremony.
Similarly, the “Best Women-led Startup of the Year 2021” was awarded to Pure Joy Pvt Ltd.
Karkhana and Sparrow Pay Pvt Ltd (Khalti) received the “Special Recognition as Startup Success”. These two companies received special recognition for their success as startups.
The awards and honors were presented to startups under various categories amid presence of various dignitaries and guests including Vice Chairman of the National Planning Commission Biswo Nath Poudel, Nepal Rastra Bank’s (NRB) Governor Maha Prasad Adhikari and FNCCI President Shekhar Golchha.
NPC Vice Chairman Poudel, who was also the chief guest, said that the government wants growth but is concerned about inequality. “It is better for a company with a thousand shareholder flourisn than a company with a single owner,” said Poudel. He added that the growth should not be Kathmandu centric. “Tharus of Madhes and people of Terai as well as other far off areas must experience growth, not just the ones who reside in Kathmandu,” added Poudel.
Similarly, NRB Governor highlighted that the role of the central bank is to encourage and promote startups.
“But it is the startups who have to take the risk,” said Governor Adhikari, adding that it is highly commendable to note that young entrepreneurs have shown courage to start new businesses even during the current crisis posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
FNCCI President Golchha said that testing times like these give rise to able persons while all the hard-earned achievements are lost during a period of ease. And this, according to Golchha, repeats like a cycle.
Anuj Mani Timilsina, CEO of Kumari Bank, the title sponsor of the event, said the Kumari Bank is ever ready to assist startups to resolve their problems related to auditing and other financial issues which new companies are likely to encounter.
Meanwhile, Madan Lamsal, who is also the editor-in-chief of New Business Age and Aarthik Abhiyan acknowledged that the government, financial sector, development partners and other organizations like FNCCI and NEYF are making efforts to promote startups and entrepreneurship in the country. “Those efforts have been successful to a large extent. Still, the pace of the growth of startups and development of entrepreneurship has not been at the desired or expected level,” said Lamsal, adding, “We believe this programme will complement those efforts toward promoting startups in the country.”
Prior to the awards ceremony, a panel discussion was held where leading entrepreneurs, policymakers and business experts discussed challenges and opportunities facing the startup enterprises as well as policies to support their growth.
Juna Mathema, co-chairperson of Women Entrepreneurship Development Committee of FNCCI, Ashraya Dixit, manager of Operations of Hamro Patro and Kewal Prasad Bhandari, the member secretary of National Planning Commission were the panelists of the discussion.
Lino Ahlering, MD of Daraz Nepal and Anjani Phuyal, Global CTO of Genese Solutions had shared their international business experiences.The NewBiz Startup Summit & Awards 2021 is part of the various annual events New Business Age Pvt. Ltd organizes every year for the growth and development of the corporate sector. It has successfully completed the 5th edition of Newbiz Conclave and Business Excellence Awards. Other successful annual events include Business Women Summit & Awards, Higher Secondary School Rating-Ranking-Awards, Business School Rating-Ranking Awards, Money Expo, FDI in Nepal among others.
This is the first edition of Newbiz Startup Summit & Awards with the theme 'Search for a Nepali Unicorn'. Kumari Bank Limited is the title sponsor of "Newbiz Startup Summit and Awards 2021" while Garima Bikas Bank Ltd is the co-sponsor of the event. The Startup & Innovation Committee of the FNCCI, Nepalese Young Entrepreneurs’ Forum (NYEF) and Dish Home Fibernet are the associate partners. The summit and awards programme is supported by Citizen Life Insurance, IME, NLG Insurance Company Lth and Byanjan. The infra partner of the program is Mansiri Trading and the technical partner is Mango Tech.