Idea Studio Incubation Center, Nepal’s first innovative platform to turn promising ideas into practical business solutions to the social problems faced in local communities, was handed over to the Kathmandu University School of Management (KUSOM) by UNICEF at an official ceremony attended by the university and UNICEF officials, private sector leaders, media and civil society.
Idea Studio, an initiative of UNICEF, was launched last year in partnership with Kathmandu University, Childreach Nepal and Meeting Point. Located at KUSOM, the Idea Studio Incubation Center brings together social innovators and experts from the academia, private, technical and development sectors to work on transforming raw ideas into socially conscious business ventures.
The first cohort of “ideators” at the incubation center included 37 social innovators shortlisted from more than 600 applicants from all over the nation and outside. The innovators were provided with intensive three-week mentorship by business leaders and KUSOM professors. Under the guidance of the mentors, the innovators then teamed up with Master of Business Administration (MBA) students at KUSOM to come up with comprehensive business proposals that were presented on a nationally televised reality show.
The handover ceremony paves the way for the incubation center to be fully institutionalized and integrated within the existing programs at KUSOM so that it continues to benefit the community of innovators in Nepal.
“We hope that Idea Studio continues to grow to become a success model not only in Nepal but also for other countries on how to facilitate socially inclusive and economically productive initiatives,” Hozumi said. “The hope, aspirations, and entrepreneurship that the Idea Studio generates, we believe, will encourage more young Nepalis to stay and invest their skills and ideas in their own country.”
Hozumi’s sentiment was reiterated by Prof. Dr. Ram Kantha Makaju Shrestha, Vice Chancellor of Kathmandu University.
“Our youth deserve better,” said Dr. Shrestha, who also added that the incubation centre will continue to “create an environment of innovation and knowledge.”