Monday, December 10, 2012

Global opportunities for Nepalese Entrepreneur

Start-up culture in Nepal has just evolved. It is at its initial stage but this doesn't mean we don't make world class products already. 
In the world of Information Technology, we are only restricted by our thoughts. But when we aim to make a Global Product, we gotta think GLOBAL.

I being from Nepal have noticed that, despite of voluminous talent present here, entrepreneurs struggle with their start-ups. They have no idea of how to move ahead with their company. They might take this as a reason that there are not enough opportunities present. But the truth is, there are ample of opportunities prevailing for start-ups these days. The only thing is, you need to be aware of it and start exploring opportunities around the world to pitch.

One such good opportunity we found was Start-Up Chile program and Picovico is the first Nepalese Start-up to get through it. In this program, the Chilean Govt. provides an equity free fund of 40,000 USD and a platform to build your product. It is one of the greatest opportunities for Nepalese start-ups to explore. With this, you can be a part of the global, diversified and world class start-up community. You get a temporary resident visa for 1 year but you may leave the country after 24 weeks (at the end of the program) if you want. HereSuraj explains it really well about the benefits of this program. Details can be found here.

Another one leading from India is The Morpheus start-up accelerator program. Here, they choose 10-15 start-ups every six months. They provide a funding of 5L INR (~10K USD), along with 4 months of mentor-ship (more value than money) and take 6-9% equity in return. With this program, I'd say its not just 4 months program that you get but mentors for life time and its more valuable for your start-up to have them on board. Luckily, Picovico was a part of this program too.

Further, here is a list of popular start-up accelerators from around the world. Besides this, there are a lot of Start-up programs and events that happens in Silicon Valley, Europe and India, where you can go and pitch your start-up. You can get updates here

If you are looking for funding from Angel Investors, you can put your start-up in It is the biggest angel network in world.

And there are products and services that you need to run your business such as, Mailchimp, Google Adwords , Odesk, 99designs, Zendesk etc. Here are few links that give you discount/free coupons on such stuffs:

This was my experience from our start-up journey so far. I am sure there are lots of experiences yet to come, which I will be sharing with you all. 

Would love to hear your feedback and comments.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Business Canvas and Lean Startup

Recently, I attended a talk on "Business Canvas", in Start-Up Chile program. I found Business Canvas systematic representation of the questions, which we should ask to ourselves before we start any product.

Its a diagram, with following questions in order:
1. What problem your solving?
2. What are alternate solutions available?
3. What is your solution?
4. Unique Value Proposition
5. Unfair-Advantage
6. Customer Segments
7. Early Adoptors
8. Key Metrics
9. Channels
10. Cost Structures
11. Revenue Streams

You should always start with Business Canvas before you start working on any idea and should be prepared in team. It gives detail picture of your product. You can go over iterations of Business Canvas. And each of the section can be validated/invalidated with sets of experiments.

Now, before we proceed further, I want to discuss something on "The Lean Startup".

Lean Startup does not mean being lean in terms not eating food :P but lean in terms of development cycle. Its all about learning fast and keeps iterating fast.

The Lean Startup is a business approach coined by Eric Ries that aims to change the way that companies are built and new products are launched.The Lean Startup relies on validated learning, scientific experimentation, and iterative product releases to shorten product development cycles, measure progress, and gain valuable customer feedback.In this way, companies, especially startups, can design their products or services to meet the demands of their customer base without requiring large amounts of initial funding or expensive product launches.

So, one of the key learning from Lean Startup is to de-risking the most riskiest section of your business canvas. This can be done with making assumptions and run experiments to validate those.

Here is one of the nice example of it here

You can read other articles from him, he updates every week.

We have prepared first version Business Canvas for Picovico.

You can create your business canvas using