How to Find, Evaluate and Launch New Startup Ideas

Coca-Cola presents Youth Dialogue is a monthly series of youth-focused discussion sessions organized by Glocal Pvt. Ltd. A platform where different people from different sectors share their experiences, challenges, and motivations.

Youth dialogue delivered fascinating sessions on a variety of topics like sport, environment, entertainment, business, culture, and tourism to develop skills for an ever-changing market. The speakers of the program include youth influencers, skillful people, entrepreneurs, politicians, and celebrities. It is a 1- hour long discussion series that contains a live audience and later it will be broadcast through YouTube, Instagram and Facebook.

Youth Dialogue’s seventh episode conversed on the topic of “How to Find, Evaluate and Launch New Startup Ideas.” An insightful and extremely invigorating session ended with a successful presence of students amidst an event held at the premises of Campion College. The dialogue had the presence of three amazing personalities and the participating panelists were;

  • Mr. Hempal Shrestha, Co-Founder at NeHub;
  • Mr. Niraj Khanal, CEO/ Founder at Antarprerana;
  • Ms. Kritika Lamsal, Co-owner at Sweet Fix;

The panel discussion was moderated by Ms. Saru Pyakurel, Corporate Officer at Glocal Pvt. Ltd.

Here is the gist of the discussion;

During the one-hour panel discussion, participants learned how to develop great startup ideas, evaluate their potential, and test them with customers. In Nepal’s fast-paced startup ecosystem, it is our duty to provide the youth with an opportunity to gain an understanding of the cores of entrepreneurship. The panellists discussed the process of finding, evaluating, and executing startup ideas. 

The best startup ideas, according to MrHempal Shrestha, don’t come from ideas, they come from people. This is the person you should be looking for. Ms Kritika Lamsal explained that those with excellence and the ability to solve small or big issues in their lives are those who may be capable of starting new businesses. And MrNiraj Khanal shared that to start any business idea, innovation and problem-solving skills are essential.

Speaking about how to actually launch a start-up, Mr Khanal told us that the primary factor is your interest, it is not about being infatuated or driven by other people’s ideas. It is about your own interests and skills. In the absence of interest, there is no start-up; there is no company that can go along.  As a leader, your objective is to solve society’s problems. Through your interest and skills, you might be able to alleviate people’s suffering. In a similar way, Mr Shrestha asked: “Does the solution come naturally or do you have to find it out?” According to him, at first, you think it is organic, but later you have to figure out what the exact solution is. Once you start, you have to keep going. You need to be passionate about solving/resulting in that problem. A single solution does not solve all problems, nor is it a solution for all other problems; it changes. To modify and improve yourself, you have to be passionate about doing so. Failing forward is the key to success. 

The question was asked to the panelist about the things actually necessary to launch a new startup. Ms Lamsal shared that if we have something innovative that is worth pursuing and beneficial we should launch a startup. Furthermore, Mr Khanal added that we should be equally ready to fail. If we are scared of failing, we may not start a startup. If we don’t accept failures, we cannot succeed. Such a person does not take risks. Failure is part of a start-up. Failure must be there. Failure leads to fast achievement. 

Sharing the entrepreneurial journey of developing Sweet Fix, Ms Lamsal shared that she started without studying the business ideas. It was tough for her to start Sweet Fix but she didn’t give up. She added that after adapting from our own mistakes; we can grow/progress in life rather than listening to other people. She added pandemic has changed her perspective and forced herself to stand and handle the business though she failed many times. After the pandemic, she realized we have to do it quickly, we have to do better, and we have to do it at lower resources and higher quality and focused on growth rather than profit. According to her, “There is no meaning of earning 1 lakh now if I don’t earn further, employ more people or bring more output in next 5 years.” 

Upon being asked, how important do you think it is for early-stage entrepreneurs to spend time thinking about and revising their ideas, MrShrestha shared it is very important to make an adequate time frame.  It depends on, who are we connecting with; team & mentors. Mentors are critical for both failure & success. As fresh beginners, we might have the energy but might not have experience. We have to ask our mentor before taking any steps. Nothing comes without questioning so we need to know what to ask our mentor to succeed. We need to search right mentor, find a good person and connect with them Mentor’s guidance is very crucial.  Likewise, MrKhanal shared if you have a passion, there should be a purpose in life. The purpose behind your business is very important. He said the mentor’s role is very big to find the purpose of your life. 

Talking about a short introduction about Sweet fix & future plans, Ms Lamsal shared Sweet Fix is a natural Popsicle company. Sweet Fix produces quality ice cream from locally produced veggies and fruits. During the lockdown, we made a protocol to make online delivery of ice cream, which leads to a few failures and many successes. Our plans are ever-changing. We are focused to improve our products and expanding our business nationally. 

Upon being asked how do you find youth’s potential/ mindset in terms of business, MrKhanal shared today’s youths have no patience. Youth stay more in imagination rather than reality. The youth of the outer valley has less opportunity. He added today’s youths have very high ambition. Similarly, MrShrestha shared that youths of outer valley/villages know the ground reality which is most to start up in comparison to the youth of the inner valley. Youths are looking for a secured job rather than implementing their startup ideas. Appetite for failure, improvement & making mistakes is important, it should be built.  Youths should understand instant gratification is not achieved; they should be ready to fail. Education & information should be used in the right way otherwise it’s a waste.  

The next question was raised to the panelist of the session. Moderator requested Mr Khanal to share the qualities he looks for in a startup pitch. Mr Khanal said it depends on how driven and focused you are on the plan; there should be clarity. Your skills will confirm whether you are passionate about your product/company or not. Similarly, adding to this question, Mr Shrestha shared that he looks for a startup pitch based on two things. Firstly, what vibes he/she brings. Can he/she really focus on themselves, can they really give their energy in one place & understand the pain.

The question was mentioned to Mr Khanal about the mindset of people regarding entrepreneurship. He stated that a great entrepreneur never fails, even if his or her product or service fails; they never give up and come up with new ideas. You should demonstrate your willingness to start a business with your parents. If you keep on the correct track and surround yourself with decent people, you will undoubtedly succeed in life. 

At the end of the session, the panelist raised the question, “What do you suggest to the youth of the Country regarding startup?” Answering the questions; Ms Lamsal advised- “Go with passion and make a path. Have the courage to face failure, which will lead you to success.” Adding to this Mr Shrestha suggested-“Build yourself, empower yourself that is most important. It’s good to fail, you have no regrets.” Similarly, Mr Khanal said- “Keep on exploring. If you will not explore, you can’t find out what you are qualified for in which specific thing. Keep trying different things and go with the flow.”

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