Start your own “Drones-as-a-Service” business
With the introduction of drone mapping technology five years ago, a large number of new small business ventures have since been created worldwide, tackling a variety of issues that were either addressed by very costly and difficult-to-deploy technology or had no solution. Nepal is facing many of these issues, due to natural disasters, infrastructure and agriculture development and challenges related to climate change, creating a local market need where drone technology can provide solutions.
WeRobotics, in partnership with Nepal Flying Labs, Nepal Engineers’ Association and the Robotics Association of Nepal are hosting a business incubation program on how to leverage technical skills and readily available drone mapping hard- and software to create a drone-related service business in Nepal. The program includes:
A call for business ideas from February 1 to March 15, 2017 where you present how you and your team will leverage drone mapping technology as a “drone-as-a-service” company. Four finalists will be chosen at a pitching event to be held on March 18, 2017 in collaboration with our partners NEA and RAN.
A five-day business development seminar, given by international business development experts, will be held in Kathmandu from April 10 – 14, 2017. During this week, the 4 finalist teams will learn how to turn their ideas into a solid business plan.
A five-week business development period where each of the 4 teams will receive office space at NEABIC and USD 500 in cash. During this period, each team will iterate on and validate their business plan to be ready to participate in the business plan competition.
A business plan competition where a final jury will elect the winning team based on their business plan and video pitch. The winning team will receive a business incubation fund of USD 7’500 that will allow to kick-start the team’s business and receive incubation support from NEABIC.
During the Ideation phase, 37 teams have put in their ideas on how to create a drone-related service business and 19 teams have pitched their idea in front of a jury made up of professionals and key stakeholders of Nepal. On March 18, 2017, the jury has selected four winning teams.
From April 10 to 14, 2017, the four teams have participated in our Business Incubation Seminar that helped them transform their ideas into a solid business plan. Currently, the four teams are iterating on their business model and finalising their business plan for the Final competition that will be held at the end of May.
Stay tuned for more updates and discover the finalist teams, Final jury members and mentors here.
Our 4 “Drones as a Service” Finalist Teams
AirliftMedical Supplies Delivery
We are Airlift, we believe having No Road, should Not be a Problem. Our drone delivery system helps remote Nepal deprived of road access by providing urgent medical supplies to remote health centers and empowering them to be emergency ready.
DroNepalDrone Mapping & Modelling
Nepal is taking baby steps towards development. It needs changing. We sell drone based quality survey data and analytics to construction companies and consultancies and give them means for helping with better predictability of costs and time all at no increased costs.
Dronepal, Sustainable infrastructure development through better metrics and analytics.
KalpaBrikshya’s Wonderland App and maps will help to make best out of events by personalizing demands of each visitors, organizers, salespersons etc. and fulfilling them. Loneliness in crowded area will be no more. Just navigate, enjoy shopping by discovering offers, tracking trends and more without fear of losing close ones.
MaphubDrone Mapping & Modelling
Our drone survey helps government agency and private consultants acquire geographical information and prepare maps by reducing cost , time and human risk factors and
increasing accuracy of data unlike traditional survey using total station.
Our Final Jury
Gisli Olafsson is a member of the Board of WeRobotics and Chief Technology Officer of Beringer Finance, the largest tech-focused investment bank in Europe. He has over 25 years of international experience from diverse fields, such as humanitarian response, medical diagnostics, venture capital, non-profit and information technology.
Janak Raj Joshi
Janak Raj Joshi
Janak Raj Joshi is a Chief Survey Officer of Government of Nepal.Holding a degree of MSC Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation and 17 years of professional career, he worked for various government agencies under Ministry of Land Reform and Management including Director of Geomatics Engineering Program.
Mr Abhaya Poudel has over nine years of experience in Business Advisory & Consulting, Accounting and Taxation and FDI Facilitation. He has been involved in promoting entrepreneurship throughout his career. He has been serving as a mentor in various business accelerator programs in Nepal.
Bibhusan Bista is the CEO of Young Innovations. With over eight years of experience in areas of software development, information and communication technologies for development, he intends in promoting technology entrepreneurship among young graduates and enthusiasts.
Our Mentors & Coaches
Niraj Khanal is a CEO/Co-founder of Antarprerana, a private company that Supports entrepreneurs of Nepal through investment and mentorship. He has also been providing coaching and trainings for entrepreneurs supporting them in the entire investment cycle.
Bibek Bhandary is the Investment Manager at Antarprerana. He is passionate about working with and supporting Nepalese entrepreneurs in scaling and creating sustainable business models. He has been actively working in linking Nepalese students with entrepreneurs towards achieving sustainability and growth.
Laurent Kohler is an International Business Developer who is passionate about analyzing companies of various domains and their business models and aligning them with innovation and digital transformation opportunities. Creating ecosystems, federating people and using co-creation methods to help people achieve their best are Laurent’s driving factors.
Sonja Betschart is the Co-Founder of WeRobotics and a seasoned CEO, CMO and International Business Developer with over 20 years of experience, including in developing countries. She has helped numerous Start-ups to grow into leading businesses and has also worked for SMEs and Multinationals in Switzerland, Africa and Brazil.
Participation in this program is free of charge, including the pitching workshop for all teams who have contributed with an idea and the one-week seminar for the 4 finalist teams. The program is sponsored by following partners:
I. Who can participate in “Drones as a Service Business” Incubation Program?
This event is for people who are interested in learning how to use drone technology in a service business. Your team should have people with following skills:
- Business and Marketing/Sales
- Drone operator/pilot
- GIS/Imagery specialist (if idea involves mapping and aerial imagery)
- A team should have at least one engineer, or a student studying engineering.
II. What is the minimum and maximum number of individuals allowed in a team?
The maximum members you can have in a team is 4. To be called a team, you should ideally have a minimum of 2 people.
III. How can I participate and submit my idea?
To participate, you need to register. To register, click here. Submit the necessary details and we will get back to you.
IV. Do we have to build our drone product?
No. The idea should take advantage of readily available drones (hardware and software) already on the market to start a service business.
V. Do we have to develop only a business idea?
To register, all you need is a business idea. You will need to pitch this idea to a jury to move on to the one-week business seminar as one of the 4 finalist teams. The seminar will help you expand upon your business idea, and afterwards you will be given 5 weeks to create a finalized version for the business plan competition.
VI. Are there any criteria to participate?
You must live in Nepal and you, together with your teammates, should already possess the necessary technical knowledge and skills to operate drones, acquire data, and produce outputs like maps, 3D models, indexes, etc. You also must be motivated to create your own business using drone technology.
VII. Can I submit more than one idea?
No. You can only be in one team and that team can only submit one idea for their business.
VIII. What happens after submission of idea?
We will closely evaluate your idea and team. If selected, you’ll receive an email soon giving you further details of the competition.
IX. Can I change or update details of my idea or team after submission?
Yes, you can until March 10, 2017. To do so, send us an email with detailed information on why you want to change the details and what changes you would like to make.
X. What if two teams happen to submit similar idea?
The idea isn’t the most important thing. The team, their experience, and their solution to the problem is what we evaluate. Teams will compete even if ideas are similar, unless there is foul play or cheating.
XI. What are the workshop and seminar for?
The goal of the pitching workshop (March 20, 2017) is to provide you with all the necessary information on the competition. At this workshop each team will be required to pitch their idea. Based on this pitch, the four finalist teams will then be chosen.
The goal of the one-week business seminar (April 10 – 14, 2017) is to provide you with the necessary business tools to convert your idea into a business plan. During the seminar, you will start creating the business plan that you will keep on working during the following 4 weeks (business plan incubation period) to prepare your final business plan and pitch for the competition.
XII. What are the dates of seminars and workshops?
Pitching workshop: March 20, 2017
Business seminar: April 10 – 14, 2017 (5 days, full day program)
XIII. Can all members of the team participate in seminars and training?
Ideally the entire team should participate. We require however:
- At least one member to attend the Pitching workshop
- At least two members to attend each day of the Business seminar
XIV. What are the judging criteria for selecting finalists?
The following criteria will be used to choose the four finalist teams:
- How well defined is the business idea and how applicable is it in Nepal?
- How realistic is the idea in terms of using readily available drones and software?
- How appropriate are the skills of the team members to convert the idea into a business?
- How diverse are the team’s skills?
- What examples and experiences can the team already show for?
- How motivated is the team?
- How good is the pitch (quality of pitch)?
XV. What are the prizes?
The four finalists can participate free of charge in the business seminar. Upon successful completion, the teams will receive USD 500 as well as office space and mentorship for the following 4 weeks of the business plan incubation.
The final winning team will receive mentorship and office space for a limited business incubation period of 4 – 6 months as well as a fund to kick-start their business for a total value of USD 7,500.