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 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.
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 for making it to the top five in the selection process. 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.
In the initial round, 40 startups were selected by the jury from a pool of 1,700 plus startups from across the country. Among them 35 were selected further for whom an interactive training was provided on November 15 by Ranjit Acharya, Chair of the Startup Innovation Committee of FNCCI. Prior to this training, all of the 1700 startups and other aspiring startups and SMEs were provided with training on a hybrid platform on October 29 with Ashutosh Tiwari, MD of Safal Partners.
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.
During the ceremony, seven startups -- one from each province -- were honored as the emerging startup of the province.
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”.
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, Secretary in the Ministry of Finance Madhu Marasini, 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 flourish than a company with a single owner,” said Poudel. He added that the growth should not be Kathmandu centric.
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.
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.
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. The panel discussion was moderated by Suman Shakya, an entrepreneur, consultant and a certified trainer.
Lino Ahlering, MD of Daraz Nepal and Anjani Phuyal, Global CTO of Genese Solutions had shared their international business experiences.
This was the first edition of Newbiz Startup Summit & Awards with the theme 'Search for a Nepali Unicorn'. Kumari Bank Limited was the title sponsor of "Newbiz Startup Summit and Awards 2021" while Garima Bikas Bank Ltd was the co-sponsor of the event. The Startup & Innovation Committee of the FNCCI, Nepalese Young Entrepreneurs’ Forum (NYEF) and Dish Home Fibernet were the associate partners. The summit and awards programme was supported by Citizen Life Insurance, IME, NLG Insurance Company Ltd and Byanjan. The infra partner of the program was Mansiri Trading and the technical partner was Mango Tech.
(New Business Age will publish a special coverage about the Event in its coming issue)