What are the Udhyamis up to today? – Makervalley
By Falguni Basnet
Held in the M&S towers, the second iteration of Udhyami Seed Camp was the “Tech Edition”, and sixteen teams participated in the intensive 6-day entrepreneurship programme to turn ideas into businesses. Almost a year into launching their refined businesses, the startups have taken off in different directions. For most of them, the 6-day camp and the subsequent 2 months of follow-up sessions became a stepping stone, packed with information and guidance from experienced individuals. It accelerated their learning process, and helped them come up with polished blueprints of their businesses. Their position in the Nepali and international market today, is exemplary. The following is the third part of the four-parts series, for the second batch of Udhyami Seed Camp, where we catch up with Ashish Katuwal and Pawan Rai, team members of Makervalley.
Before joining Udhyami Seed Camp, Katuwal was working on a website for Hire Any Photographer. The idea was to connect creatives, including photographers, to clients through an online platform. He started out with three people, and before he participated in Udhyami, he hadn’t worked much on it. The team heard about Udhyami through social media, and hoped that with its help, they would be able to take their project forward, by bringing their ideas to life.
At Udhyami, like all the other startups, they got a chance to meet mentors. Since they participated in the tech edition of the seed camp, most of the mentors were involved in the technical sector. “This was very helpful for us, and several of our other projects that we’re working on were born while listening to them and learning from them,” said Katuwal. During the Seed Camp, Katuwal also realized that he was focusing more on building a webpage and software, and not paying as much attention to expanding the team, finding a target audience and so on. The Seed Camp helped them a lot with that as well.
With four people in the team now, their project has taken a slightly new direction now. They are working on several projects under the collective name of Makervalley, an open operation lab in Thapathali, Kathmandu. They are exploring 3D printers, working on virtual reality projects, and so on. Recently they also held a hackathon–an event where computer programmers and others involved collaborate on software projects. Currently, they are working on a couple of projects, including a plastic recycling projects and are open to taking more new members. As for their idea of “Hire Any Photographer”, it will remain alive, as a part of Makervalley. “We’re still struggling to discover our revenue model, and actively coming up with marketing schemes, ideas and so on. But one thing is for sure, we’re not only an online platform anymore,” said Katuwal.