Gearing up for Pivot Nepal in Kathmandu!

Posted by on Apr 23, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Kathmandu, Nepal is an emerging hub for software development and technology entrepreneurship, and it is well-placed to do so given its strategic location between India and China.

I have had the pleasure of working with Young Innovations, a local Nepalese technology development firm to help launch the Mobile Social Networking Hub. Young Innovations works nationally and internationally to create technology software solutions, with a special focus on open data projects and mobile applications (particularly SMS-based tools), with a process innovation approach woven throughout their work. Yesterday, I had a great conversation with the CEO, Bibhusan Bista, where we talked about the importance of process innovation in creating and delivering technology for development projects, where project creation and implementation requires collaboration between key partners (such as government agencies and private companies) to ensure more effective solutions. Young Innovations is the recipient of an InfoDev grant to create one of six Mobile Social Networking Hubs in Asia, as part of InfoDev’s Creating Sustainable Business in the Knowledge Economy program, created in partnership with the World Bank, Nokia and the Government of Finland.

We are currently in the run-up to Pivot Nepal, a mobile apps pitching event – based on the successful Pivot East event in East Africa which is happening simultaneously in Kampala, Uganda this year. I am now in Kathmandu to help with the overall strategy for judging the finalist pitches, and am one of the judges on the panel for the final competition this Friday, April 26th.  We selected 18 finalists who will be pitching their ideas, out of the 116 ideas that were submitted to create mobile apps for Nepali challenges. The finalists fall evenly into one of three categories, namely: social development, utilities and entertainment and business and financial services. This is one of a number of events in Kathmandu (such the international Space Apps challenge and m2work hackathon) that bring together technology developers and problem challenge experts to co-create solutions for challenges. I’m very excited to be here and to be part of the growing mobile innovation and tech movement!!

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