Next Launchpad 2019: Enabling startups scale and grow exponentially

Next Launchpad 2019: Enabling startups scale and grow exponentially

 

One of the few accelerator programs in Nepal, Next Launchpad started with its first iteration in 2017 and will now conduct the classes for its second batch from mid-July. Launchpad is a three-month mentorship program that focuses on making the participating companies more structured, defined and investment-ready.  In 2017, the program played an important role in shaping six startups - Danfe Solutions, Margo Nepal, Farm To Finger, Home Automation Nepal, NPAC and Eton Technology. The previous companies have seen tremendous growth ever since the program ended, some diversifying departmentally to the others securing investment. Launchpad is specifically structured to provide access to a fine set of mentorship – trainers, networks and sophisticated curriculum – to help high potential companies grow to their full capacity. This year, Next Launchpad will be helping nine participating companies over a course of three months to finetune their operation, tweak their business processes and assist them to reach their optimal potential.

 There are several startups in Nepal that have been in operation for some time now but are struggling to gain investment, grow optimally or strategize efficiently; there is a wide possibility of a business failing in many stages of operation. Launchpad’s idea behind taking the initiative to launch the program, as stated by Launchpad’s program organizer, Mr Jiten Shrestha is to help Nepali businesses increase the survivability. When the founders burn out their capital and are trying to figure out their next best way to grow, Launchpad intervenes in order to give them a little push in the right direction.

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This particular season, Launchpad will conduct the classes for two to three days per week, as opposed to the every week-day schedule of the previous iteration, to give the participating founders ample time to focus on their respective businesses. The founders need not take time off their work to join the program, a win-win situation. 

The curriculum encompasses a wide array of business aspects from validating the products to breaking down the finances of the company to checking sustainability. In addition to that, the program aims to guide the founders to meet the demands of the customers, minimize their cost, manage and motivate human resources.

According to Shrestha, the program would be a success if it is able to raise investment for at least half of the companies. He also adds that the value that they receive through the program is aimed to be long-lasting. Even though Launchpad has not received ‘glamorous’ attention in the past, their motive to grow businesses stands strong. To give an example, last season, Home Automation Nepal - a company that specializes in automating lights- had been facing a saturated market before joining the program; they were hardly getting any customers. However, Launchpad was able to revitalize their business by connecting them to the right people; their sales eventually rocketed in a matter of months.

In a country like Nepal where most of the products we use are imported, Launchpad takes on a crucial role of providing the right permutation of mentorship to help these local products and services to meet the vision they built.

 

By: Shreeya Maskey

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