On December 22, NEXT Venture Corp hosted the second edition of their flagship programme, Prabhu Bank NEXT Growth Conclave, at the Soaltee Crowne Plaza with more than 700 attendees. The largest entrepreneurship conference in Nepal, this year’s conclave saw an array of segments, including Startup Valley, Investors Lounge, Media Lounge and Venture Blend.
The conclave was a congregation of entrepreneurs and various business-sector experts who shared their experiences with taking ventures to the next level, and provided insight into what’s needed for creating successful businesses.
The audience was made up of individuals who hailed from all walks of life. Marshall Baptista, a researcher from India, came all the way from Mumbai just so that he could attend the conclave. “This is a great initiative. It’s nice to see something of this sort happening here in Nepal,” he said.
The highlight of this year’s event was the speaker-lineup comprising high-profile global and national speakers: there were 21 speakers in total. Among them were well-known captains of industry in Nepal, such as Dr. Upendra Mahato, Founder of Mahato Group of Companies, and Hem Raj Dhakal, Co-founder & MD of IME Group.
The conclave kicked off with a brief welcome note and then the stage was taken over by one of the global speaker from UK, Mr. Warren Leow, Vice President of Inmagine Group. Leow spoke on the topic ‘Paving the Way for Global Expansion.’, Leow talked about the pivotal steps an entrepreneur or a business needs to take to go international. He focused on the significance of having a core team with the right skills, developing public relations and having support networks.
Followed by Leow’s speech, Dr Upendra Mahato spoke about his entrepreneurial journey in this entrepreneurship conference. An entrepreneurial magnate, Dr. Mahato is known for being a visionary. Dr. Mahato spoke on the topic ‘Investing in Nepal: Here Lies the Future’. (One of the richest people in Nepal today, Dr. Mahato came from humble beginnings and has always attributed his success to the trial and tribulations he faced when he was younger). Mahato, a veteran entrepreneur, said he firmly believes in the notion that there are always opportunities in moments of crisis, and also added that the very problems that plague daily life in Kathmandu are opportunities for growth. “An entrepreneur will not only recognize the problems, but will also find solutions to them,” he said.
One of the more anticipated segments of the event was the panel discussion, which featured three discussions on the following topics: Decoding Business Growth, Tourism and Technology, and Investing in Nepal: Today-Tomorrow.
Kickstart Hill was another segment that was received well by the audience. In this segment, out of 36 startup companies that showcased in the Startup Valley, During this segment, 15 startups pitched their business to the audience. The companies that showcased in the Valley were from different categories like Tech, food, tourism, agriculture, handicraft, educational and more. According to the organizer, the startup that best sold its idea would win a chance to fly to Bangkok to attend the Techsauce Global Summit, Asia’s largest tech conference.
During the Startup Valley segment, entrepreneurs who had set up booths drew large crowds to their stalls. Startup Valley allowed entrepreneurs to expand their reach and attract media coverage and potential investors (which should help them accelerate the growth of their budding businesses). Many entrepreneurs were of the opinion that Startup Valley allowed them to sell their ideas exceedingly well and pick up new skills as the event went on.
The conference was highly participated by the media persons and the investors. The founders of the startup companies also got an opportunity to meet the potential investors, investors and the investment companies in this lounge, while the media representatives interacted with the companies from the valley itself and for the further discussion; they were seen in the Media Lounge.
The conclave was a great success with a considerable audience turnout. The 2017 event ended with the Venture Blend segment, where all attendees got to network over drinks.