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    Date submitted
  • 01-Sep-2017

iHub Bhutan

Abstract

iHub, a duly licensed training institute based in Thimphu, is an innovative hub to stimulate the establishment and growth of technology-based start-ups companies and other compatible businesses by offering a pre-incubation unit, co-working space with flexible leases, shared use of common office equipment, direct business assistance and guidance, mentoring, networking to capital, and other technical resources. Currently six incubates are being served within the facility and two companies are taking up the co-working space.

The fact that iHub had to be registered as a training institute despite its core mission to function as an exclusive business incubator and in-house training to its select incubates suggests the newness of the concept. It is the missing link and one of the many pieces in the jig saw puzzle needed to boost the startup culture in the country.

In the existing scenario there are only two business incubators in the country i.e. Bhutan Innovation and Technology Centre (BITC) for Startups and Incubation Centre of Ministry of Economic Affairs focused on manufacturing sector only. Both of these are government owned and do not offer exclusive incubation and acceleration programs as delivered by incubators across the world. Moreover, the above agencies are preoccupied with their core functions and do not have adequate funds, expertise and time to devote.

As observed, the nationwide startup events organized by these organizations are negligible though much appreciated. BITC under Thimphu TechPark organizes Startup Weekend (SW) and Business Idea Competition of Bhutan (BICOB) while The Loden Foundation organizes bi-annual business idea competition offering soft loans and Global Startup Week (GSW) programs, REDCL has no such offering at all while the MoEA’s initiative is limited to providing office space and MoLHR offers various short term training programs. Of recent with the rising unemployment, Bhutan sees lots of startups mushrooming but these startups have neither the exposure nor enough money to bootstrap hence the need for such incubator is felt more than ever.

What iHub offers is neither an alternative nor a substitute to the above initiatives of various implementing agencies. It envisions a partnership and collaborative effort simply to address the rising demand for incubation and acceleration.

iHub is a for profit incubation center. This business sees the proposed incubation facility as an important tool in the economic development toolkit in Bhutan that will be a means to create new job opportunities for Bhutanese youth, create higher wage jobs, better leverage intellectual property, and contribute to the growth and success of emerging technology businesses.

Currently the facility is established in at Kashi Lam,Chhuba Chhu, Thimphu within a three room apartment with a hall. It intends to offer modest office space to a total of 15 incubates and co-working space for 5 startups. It also intends to organize local and global startup events by prudently scheduling haste during the period when the existing initiatives remain dormant. For example, The The details of incubation services, training and events are mentioned in the marketing plan of this business proposal.

iHub is a private, for-profit institution. However, an advisory board shall have authority to devise policies and strategic direction and final acceptance of clients should be endorsed by the advisory board.

The team is comprised of dynamic individuals with a passion for technology, innovation and depth within their respective areas of expertise. Some are from Singapore and one from Bhutan.

Video

Original YouTube URL: Open

Introduction Video

Additional Questions

Who is your customer?

School Drop outs, graduates, women, and international startups.

What problem does this idea/product solve or what market need does it serve?

I am trying to solve the youth unemployment through startups.

What attributes will make this idea/product successful? Why do you believe that those features will create success?

Access to finance, mentorship, networking and pitch. this will be success as its new and the startups eco-system is picking up so fast in Bhutan.

Explain how you (your team) will execute to make this idea/product successful? What gives you (your team) an advantage over others already in the market or new to this market?

Advisory Board -- The Advisory board shall consist of individual and organizations that share the vision for iHUB and provide expertise that will contribute to the ability of iHUB to fulfill its mission. The primary functions of the Board are to establish policy guidelines for iHUB operations and to assist in screening prospective clients. The Board would also be responsible for planning and formulating policy to guide the programmatic direction of iHUB, hiring the Creative Manager position, and ensuring the overall financial viability of iHUB. Creative Manager – The creative manager should be full-time, on-site Creative Manager will be responsible to manage the operations of iHUB and provide direct business assistance to clients. Create Manager shall report to the Advisory Board. The Creative Manager will provide the daily energy and hands on mentoring that is catalytic to the incubator’s mission. He/she will be experienced in technology start-ups, have a well-rounded understanding of business management, facilitative leadership ability, and interpersonal skills. Admin Support -- Initially, the Admin Support would be the only other paid position at the incubator. The receptionist would answer telephones, greet visitors, provide fee for service administrative support to tenants, and maintain equipment and supplies.