With the entrepreneurship ecosystem thriving in Nepal, a gathering of entrepreneurs and mentors from all walks of life is run of the mill. But what made last week’s event different than any other such gathering, was one of its guests. MeetTheFounder event, hosted by Rockstart Impact on the 20th of October, marked the first visit to Nepal of Oscar Kneppers, the Founder of Rockstart.
Oscar is considered a successful serial entrepreneur and a celebrated internet publisher, launching several cross-media brands since 1998 –all focused on new media and technology. After selling his media businesses in 2002 and 2008, Oscar founded Rockstart in 2011. In the past 6 years, Rockstart grew to 4 accelerator verticals, invested in 128 companies, and has offices in Europe, South America, and South Asia.
Rockstart Impact has been in Nepal since 2014, and already has three batches of alumni. However, Oscar has only met these alumni’s when they were in the Netherlands’ pitching during Demo Days in Amsterdam. The event brought together potential applicants, alumni, mentors, friends, and partners of Rockstart Impact, team and Oscar under one roof. Victoria Ous, the Program Director of Rockstart Impact, believes that “entrepreneurship is how we can grow Nepal’s economy”, and this event is just one of the examples highlighting this fact.
Rockstart Impact is currently accepting applications for its 4th batch of companies until October 5, so the event allowed new entrepreneurs to get a chance to get to know what the program was all about from the perspective of an investor, mentor, and alumni. The event put under spotlight Peter Tropper, advisor to many VC funds, Niraj Khanal, Partner SAFAL Partners, and Aashish Adhikari, Founder RedMud Coffee, who shared their insights about Nepal entrepreneurship scene, the importance of accelerators for further development of the ecosystem, and their experiences with Rockstart Impact program. In fact, Tenzing Yangchean Tamang, an entrepreneur and a potential applicant for the fourth batch of Rockstart Impact program revealed that she found this event very “informative and helpful” and she after attending the event she “felt that she could also apply to the program.”
As we look back, we realize how extraordinary this event actually was. It is not always that you would get to see such a diverse group of people gathering. Nor it is a common sight for new business to be able to talk to some of the best minds in Nepal’s business field, or get advice from entrepreneurs that were in a similar position some time ago. But it’s all about putting efforts together in growing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Nepal and creating a bigger impact within the Nepali economy.