June 17, 2018: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, launched the MIT Global Startup Labs (GSL) in Nepal on Friday, June 15 in collaboration with Kathmandu University and Ncell. According to Ncell, MIT GSL empowers technology entrepreneurs and helps cultivate the startup ecosystem in emerging economies.
MIT has been conducting the program since the last 18 years in 25 countries promoting economic development by cultivating young technology entrepreneurs.
Sri Lankan ambassador to Nepal, Swarna Perera; cultural affairs officer of the US Embassy to Nepal, Grace Caroll; senior director of Nepal Telecommunications Authority, Ananda Raj Khanal; registrar of KU, Prof Dr Bhola Thapa, MIT faculty co-director for GSL, Prof Saman Amarasinghe, and managing director of Ncell Suren J Amarasekera jointly inaugurated the MIT GSL in Nepal amid a function in the capital.
The course on mobile technology and entrepreneurship, based on MIT’s unique approach, will engage 35 selected KU students and young alumni.
The intensive boot camp is led by 4 MIT instructors and is unique in that it is a student-to-student lab. Commencing on June 15 and concluding on August 2 with a Demo Day that will highlight their team project prototypes, the goal is to both educate students to entrepreneurship and to help foster startups.
MIT GSL – Nepal will be an intensive 7-week innovation boot camp, where the students will develop startup projects - from ideation stage to execution of technology startups.
Globally, MIT GSL partners with universities and companies in emerging regions and organizes advanced courses taught by MIT instructors. The MIT GSL program focuses on mobile and internet technologies and is structured so that students are exposed to the commercial possibilities of technologies. Components of the course include detailed technical curriculum, market research, team development, and business model execution, learning to pitch ideas, guest lectures, and networking events, all to help students realize the potential of their ideas. All of this culminates on Demo Day, sponsored by Ncell, with the student teams delivering pitches and prototypes as part of this funded business competition.
For the inaugural year, the program targets students and alumni of KU who aspire to make a change through innovative digital business ideas. The program will be implemented in two phases, wherein 35 selected students will first undergo intensive training to accelerate and refine their digital ideas, and in the second phase, the teams turn their ideas into viable products and businesses. An ecosystem of resources, mentorship, inspiration, and opportunities brought together by MIT, KU, and Ncell will facilitate them through these processes, the statement concluded.