A Business Accelerator Journey

Sandeep Gurung, August 11, 2017

Our company Funkey Delights was just 2 months old when we first came to know about the Enterprise: Nepal Startup Accelerator Program. Our company was offering a new product in Nepal, fried ice-cream rolls and we were observing the market, so my co-founder and I were not sure whether to apply for the program. However, some well-established companies started showing interest to invest in our company but we lacked the right skillset and the confidence to negotiate with the investors. Thus, with the hope to learn new skills, expand our network and with the ultimate aim to obtain investment, we applied for the program. Fortunately, we were selected among 400 companies and I attended the 12 week accelerator program representing our company.

We were driven by the urgency to expand our business rapidly and were in a rush to obtain investment. As the program progressed, we realized our shortcomings in that we were not aware about all the preparations that went behind making the company investment ready such as corporate structure, legal obligations, business model, financial structure and projection and many other things that we were not aware about. Enterprise helped us in our journey of making our company investment ready.

The program overall was a very enriching experience which helped us discover and learn different dimensions of operating a business. I along with 5 other companies explored various areas of business with the help of different tools, techniques and skills that equipped us to shape our company better.We also got the opportunity to learn from many established national and international entrepreneurs who shared their experiences during different corporate dinners and special sessions organized during the program. The program specifically helped our company in defining proper vision and in the areas of defining our business model and finding the net worth and the financial valuation.

The end of the program culminated in the Demo Day, the period by which we felt like we had matured in many ways to structure our company and manage it professionally. We were also able to attract the interest of many investors from our final pitch at the Demo Day held at Radisson Hotel. It was a very exciting prospect for us and we spent months working on our company's valuation and negotiating the deal. However, after some deep and careful contemplation we decided not to take the first round of investment.

We were well aware about the advantages of having an investor on board who would not only accelerate our company's growth but also mentor us to become better entrepreneurs. However, we also had to analyze other variables that came into play in our business. Our company was at the very early stage of its operation and we had not even completed a single business cycle. Further, we were also unsure about the proper direction the company might take and we felt that taking an investment at this stage might jeopardize both the investors and the company. Unfortunately for these reasons, we sadly declined the investment offer made by some of the well-known figures of the business industry in Nepal.

The whole journey of our Enterprise program was indeed very rewarding and it is a great achievement in itself just to be a part of the program and to learn from the leaders as well as experts from different sectors. Even though we eventually decided to decline the investment offer, Enterprise program helped us a lot in organizing and managing our company: Funkey Delights.

Thanks a lot to the Enterprise Team, the Mentors, the Instructors and the other participants and best wishes for the third batch of the program.

Sandeep Gurung is the CEO and Co-Founder at Funkey Delights.

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