Startup Weekend - Ecotourism

    Friday, November 24 - 26, 2017

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Organizing Team
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Startup Weekend - Ecotourism

Friday, November 24 - 26, 2017

Friday, November 24 - 26, 2017
Event starts at 3:30 pm

Namgay Heritage Hotel
Near Kelki School
Thimphu, Bhutan

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Tourism is Bhutan's second largest industry. Let your idea make a mark.

The broad theme of the event is ecotourism. All ideas related to ecotourism such as environment, agriculture, community, nature, technology in tourism etc. are most welcome. 

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Friday November 24th

3:30 pm
Registration of participants and attendees

4:15 pm
Arrival of invited guests
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

4:30 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Facilitator leads the pre-pitching session. Experience sharing by a successful entrepreneur Mock-pitchescoaches, and community leaders

5:00 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

6:30 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

7:15 pm
Form Teams
Announcement of shortlisted ideas and team formation

7:50 pm

8:15 pm
Briefing to the teams formed about the next two days’ work

Saturday November 25th

8:00 am
Breakfast at the venue. All participants and mentors to be at the venue by 9 am.

9:00 am
Begin Work
Facilitator announces the time table for the mentors. Teams book time slots with mentors

10:00 am
Introduction to lean model canvas workshop (tentative)

10:30 am
Teams develop their ideas further with the help of mentors

1:00 pm

2:00 pm
Check in
Market survey and customer validation

7:00 pm

8:00 pm
Teams gather back at venue and work on developing the MVP

Sunday November 26th

8:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Teams work with mentors to develop the MVP and get their presentation ready. Some team members might continue to get more market survey done.

12:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

1:00 pm

2:00 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Teams work on getting the final presentation, MVP and prototype ready

4:00 pm
Practice/mock presentation in teams with mentors’ help

4:30 pm
Check In
All guests and participants seated

5:00 pm
Guest Arrival
Arrival of the Chief Guest

6:45 pm
Declaration of results and awards ceremony

7:30 pm
Keynote address by the Chief Guest


Pushpa Chhetri
Founder/CEO, Bhutan Media and Communications Institute

Pushpa Chhetri is a social entrepreneur. She founded Bhutan Media and Communications Institute in 2011, the first private institute of its kind in Bhutan to contribute towards a professional development of Media and Communications Industry.  She worked in Kuensel for 15 years prior to her entrepreneurial venture. She was awarded Loden’s best Entrepreneur Award in 2016. She measures success in terms of social service and impact rather than financial benefits. Today, BMCI provides short trainings and consultancy services. They are also International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL) Asia’s local partner in Bhutan. ICDL is world’s leading computer certification program.  She has been managing Communications 4 Development projects, Knowledge creation and dissemination, policy dialogues and social initiatives apart from trainings for both local as international organisations.  Recently BMCI has initiated many social initiatives like Future of Youth, A Hand in Happiness, Noun For Nuns, Digital Challenge, Social Media for Empowerment, etc. 

Kinley Wangdi

Kinley Wangdi is the founder of Green Vibes Bhutan. Graduated from Malaysia at Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation with BA (Hons) in International Business Management (2012 – 2015).  He worked in Singapore as Corporate Marketing & Sales Consultant for more than a year. Exploring Singapore & Malaysia for more than 4 years, Kinley took the boldest decision to bring beautiful tradition of taking healthy beverages like smoothies and juices into Bhutan where uprising of fast food and unhealthy food market is taking a fast pace trending habit. With his passion for benefits of fresh fruits & vegetables he started his initial bootstrapped home based delivery business. Now, he stood first from the recent Loden Foundation beneficiary and soon he is going to open a juice bar (his dream) in town. He is currently incubate of iHub.

Nagendra Kafley

Nagendra Kafley is the co-founder of a start-up;, an online on-demand logistic platform. He recently graduated from College of Science and Technology with a degree in Civil Engineering. As a firm believer of diversity education, he has worked in various projects from directing short films like “Nye Namgay”, “Letters”, documentary “CST, my home” to winning the Green Technology Challenge 2017 organised by Tarayana Foundation designing a Low-cost Solar Water Heater for small communities across Bhutan. He is also a member of the winning team in the Startup Weekend 2017 held at CST. A passionate tech lover believing in laissez-faire model of management with new technologies.

Event Judges

Tshering Pelden

Tshering is the Programme Manager of the Loden Foundation. She looks after entrepreneurship and education programme. She has done her Master in Business Administration (MBA) from University of Canberra, Australia. Before joining Loden Foundation, she worked as Budget Officer at Royal University of Bhutan for  Ministry of Finance, Royal Government of Bhutan. She has also worked as Teacher, Marketing officer and Credit Officer before she did her Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Management  (PGDFM) from Royal Institute of Management, Bhutan. Tshering graduated with Bachelors in Commerce (Honours) from Sherubtse College. 

Pema Wangdi

Dasho Lam Dorji

Dasho Lam Dorji is a former Secretary of Ministry of Finance. He joined as the new Finance Secretary on 19th March 2008 and retired in June 2016. Prior to this appointment, he was the Secretary of the Planning Commission (now GNH commission) since 2003. He started his career in the Ministry of Finance, and headed the budget, accounts and aid coordination divisions for several years. In 1998, he was appointed as the Director, Department of Budget and Accounts. During his long association with the Ministry of Finance, he served as Director in the boards of various government corporations. In December 2007, DHI appointment him as the Chairman of the Bhutan Telecom Board of Directors. While in the Department of Budget and Accounts, he was part of the team that came up with the revised Financial, Budget and Procurement manuals in 2000. Several budget reforms were initiated during his tenure in this department. Over the years, He qualified as a chartered management accountant from UK, and holds MBA from the University of Wales. Currently, he is the Lead Advisor to the Biodiversity Finance Initiative in Bhutan. 

Aum Kinlay Tshering

Name: Ms. Kinlay Tshering, Designation: Director, Department of Agriculture
Board Director, Rural Enterprise Development Corporation Limited (REDCL) Board Director, Natural Resources Development Corporation Limited (NRDCL)
Started her professional career as horticulture research officer at Renewable Natural Resource Research Center at Khangma (Trashigang), Wengkhar (Mongar) and Yusipang (Thimphu), before taking up the position as Chief Horticulture Officer, Horticulture Division under the Department of Agriculture. In 2016, she became the Director of the Department of Agriculture. 

Coaches and Mentors

Diego Menchaca
Co-founder at teamscope

Diego is a Chilean entrepreneur who co-founded Teamscope: A simple app for clinical data management which is used to gather clinical data on mobile application with or without internet. 

Jigme Tenzin
CEO and Founder of

Co-founder of two startups; and Sustainable Enterprises He is the first and only youth entrepreneur who has pitched his idea @ Silicon Valley, USA during the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2016. He is a speaker and trainer on Entrepreneurship education in the country and has trained 3000+ aspiring entrepreneurs.He is a Youth Business International Certified Mentor for the Loden Foundation. He is also a certified business consultant as recognized by REDCL.

Ram Bdr.

RAM BAHADUR GURUNG, MBA, PGC-FM, B.Com (H)   Dy. Chief Program Officer, Entrepreneurship and Business Development Division Department of Employment, Ministry of Labour and Human Resources Thimphu: Bhutan 

Kinzang Duba

Kinzang Duba A Farmer and an Entrepreneur. Founder at YiAP (Youth in Agriculture Programme)  Bachelors degree from Gaddue College of Business Studies

Dipan Pradhan

Dipan Pradhan is currently a full-fledged entrepreneur in hospitality industry and currently works in the capacity as a General Manager in Bhutan Silverpine Resort, a family-run hotel business and owns Lhaki Yangchak Service apartment, a start-up tourist standard hotel in Thimphu. He has served as a lecturer in Gaeddu College of Business Studies in the field of Finance, Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship. He strongly believes that one cannot develop entrepreneurship with theoretical aspect alone but by being an entrepreneur and sharing the testimony of your entrepreneurial journey. Dipan is closely associated as a trainer in providing basic and advance entrepreneurship training programme jointly organized by Bhutan Incubation and Technology Center and MoLHR. 

Sangay Phurba

Executive Training Program on Tourism Policy & Strategy – UNWTO/Asia/Pacific   Training of the Trainer (ToT) – Interpretative guiding approach – Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)/Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB), Thimphu, Bhutan   Leadership Imperative – NIIT, India – Thimphu, Bhutan

Dr.Karma Tshering

Specialized in sustainable tourism development Masters from the University of Edinburgh PhD from the University of Sydney Served in Department of Forests and Parks for over 20 years He also serves as an On-site evaluator/judge for the National Geographic Unique Lodges and Awards Program and also as the representative for Travel life to coach local Tour Operators to develop sustainability in tourism

Ngawang Gyeltshen

Ngawang Gyeltshen is a Programme Coordinator with the United Nations Development Programme in Bhutan. He has over a decade of experience in Bhutan’s natural resource management, protected areas, environmental policy development and community-based projects including ecotourism development in Bhutan’s national parks. He currently focusses on identifying nature-based financing solutions for development. He has a Master’s degree in  Mountain Forestry from Boku University, Austria and an MPhil in Conservation Leadership from University of Cambridge, UK. He is a Kinship Conservation Fellow.  

Kinley Pelden

Kinley Pelden is the founder of YiGa Chocolate, the first and the only chocolate manufacturer in Bhutan. Yiga produces fine artisinal bars infused with natural and locally produced ingredients.

Tshewang Dem
Proprietor of Tshejor's Ayzey

Tshewang is the recipient of the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the Bhutan Enterprise Awards organized by the Department of Cottage and Small Industries in 2014. She is the proprietor of Tshejor Eazy and she worked for the Tourism Council of Bhutan prior to embarking on the journey of entrepreneurship. 

kuenzang Tshering

Kuenzang has been working at Institute for Management Studies Limited since 2016. He led the team of researchers in completing Bhutan Tourism Monitor Report of 2016. As a trainer he was involved in providing training in environmental management, sustainable development frameworks which includes ecotourism as a major component. Previously he worked for International Center for Integrated Mountain Development Center (ICIMOD) in Kathmandu. Besides Bhutan, he also worked in countries like Canada, Netherlands, Tanzania, Kenya and Nepal conducting ecosystem related studies. He is also a PhD student of Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada.

Tshering Choki

is Director at the Athang Training Academy, Athang Private Limited. Prior to her recent move to the private sector Choki has worked for the environmental NGO, Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN) in the capacity of project management and coordination. She has spent almost a decade living in Phobjikha valley where she has been responsible for coordination of the conservation and sustainable livelihood program of RSPN. Her specialization has been in community-based sustainable tourism (CBST) and she has been responsible for development of CBST in Phobjikha valley in Wangduephodrang and in Haa District. Besides managing the Athang Training Academy, she is still pursuing her career in sustainable tourism and also does freelance consultation on community-based programs. She is currently involved in the community-based ecotourism development of My Gakidh Village for the Youth Development Fund. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from Sherubtse College, Trashigang and a Masters of Business Administration from University of Canberra. Her background in tourism comes from her years of practical experiences in the field and from relevant trainings. Choki also considers herself as a doer, an on the ground implementer and facilitator who is keen on delivering results rather than just a planner.

Rikish Gurung

Rikesh Gurung has started Green Road manufacturing in 2014.He has bachelor in business administration from madras university. He was nominated as best entrepreneur award for year 2017 by Ministry of Economic Affairs

Tshering Peldon

Gillian S

Gillian is a volunteer with Australian Volunteers for International Development, an Australian Government initiative. She is working as an Entrepreneurship Adviser to the Entrepreneurship and Self Employment Division of the Ministry of Labour and Human Resources. Gillian is a specialist in Marketing and Strategic Planning, having spent many years as an academic with Monash University and RMIT in Melbourne, Australia. Email: Designation: Entrepreneurship Adviser, ESED, Ministry of Labour and Human Resources

Vijay Gurung
Head, ICT, Royal Thimphu College

Mr. Vijay Gurung (People call him by his pet name - "Victor") has been an entrepreneur since 2010. He started off delivering services to clients like revamping old web, web development and maintenance before creating snazzy and custom design website and web applications for the client. While he was working as programmer at Payoda Technologies Ltd., India, he gained a lot of experience. Later on, he combined what he had learned from his past experiences then founded iDRUK SOLUTIONS, with a vision to provide value-added high quality IT Solutions to the clients by combining technology, domain expertise, process focus and a commitment to long-term client relationships. He is the founder and CTO of iDRUK SOLUTIONS . The company is growing significantly over the last few years and has over 100 happy clients.
He is also Program Leader and Lecturer for the Department of IT & Mathematics at Royal Thimphu College for the past 8 years.
He has been playing dynamic part in building start-up eco system in Bhutan. He has represented as Senior Mentor in more than 5 start-up in Bhutan.

Organizing Team

Techstars Startup Weekend Thimphu is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • Sonam
  • Chimi
  • Tshering
    C Dorji
  • Tashi
  • Ngawang


Anurag Maloo
Head of Partnerships (Asia), Seedstars

Anurag Maloo is an Indo-Asian startup community architect, and currently works with Seedstars to build right partnerships to impact people's lives in emerging markets through technology and entrepreneurship. Previously, as a Regional Manager for South & Central Asia with Techstars and Startup Weekend for 5.5 years, he was responsible for the cultivation and sustained growth of vibrant startup ecosystems in India, SAARC nations (Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Maldives) and Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan). He is incredibly passionate about fostering entrepreneurship, innovation ecosystem, grassroots leadership, and building strong collaborative startup communities. He has been involved in various startup initiatives, community empowerment and leadership development programs, and bringing innovation into the corporate world. He has done impact trips to nearly 58+ countries across 6 continents working with startup founders, entrepreneurs, innovators, community builders, investors, and governments to develop their entrepreneurship ecosystems. With his proven track record of experience cultivating key influencers within diverse geopolitical regions, Anurag has succeeded in creating inclusive startup communities in turbulent and struggling, yet developing ecosystems and emerging economies of Asia. His interests range from entrepreneurship to education, startups to sustainability, social impact to grassroots innovations, and peace building communities. Being a storyteller, teacher and life explorer, he can be found having engaging in authentic conversations with friends and random people, sharing life stories, radiating positive joyous happy energies, enriching audiences with his traveling experiences and narrating inspirational humane stories around the world from the hot deserts of Rajasthan to the cold and polar deserts of Antarctica, from travelling along the ancient trade cities on Silk Road to the vast, wild grasslands and virgin landscapes of nomadic Mongolia, and to trekking to the Base of the World's highest mountain, Mt. Everest Basecamp. 

Event Staff

Nicholas Taylor

Nick is the Knowledge Manager for UNDP’s Youth Co:Lab initiative. Co:Lab is an Asia-wide initiative that supports young people, businesses and governments to develop tech-led solutions for the SDGs. He has worked for various UN agencies including UN-ESCAP, UN-Habitat and Unesco focusing mostly on sustainable urban development solutions, but also on migration, livelihoods, youth and entrepreneurship.

Ana Norman Bermudez

Ana is from Spain and the UK. She has a background in photojournalism and gender issues, and is currently working in communications for UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub for Asia and the Pacific.

Cynthia Cheung
Founder @ Sparkle Academy Myanmar

Cynthia is the founder of Sparkle Academy, where she envisions business and technology education can empower the youths in developing countries. She has a passion for social innovation and and loves to enrich her knowledge, she studied business in the UK and self learnt front-end development.  She enjoys every second volunteering for Techstar’s Startup Weekend for the past four years.

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