Urban Sprout Won Top Award At The Bhutan National Techstar Start-Up Weekend 2019


The Bhutan National Techstar Start-up weekend was held from 26th - 28th April 2019.

(Source: Facebook/Department of Information Technology & Telecom, Royal Government of Bhutan)


By Phub Dem | Kuensel

Urban Sprout was recognised as the best idea for the Bhutan National Techstar Start-up weekend from 26th - 28th April 2019.

The idea behind this project which was awarded a sum of Nu 600,000 is to produce sprouts in three days using a grow monitoring device called ‘pulse’ to meet the high demand for expensive imported sprouts

The second prize of Nu 400,000 went to Dragon Treasure, an application used to access information and research papers in Dzongkha, images and videos of Bhutanese culture as well as Google speaker in Dzongkha.

Dragon Wine won the third prize of Nu 200,000 and Home tech bagged the fourth position with a sum of Nu 100,000, while iSchool won the honourable mention award.


Source: Facebook/Department of Information Technology & Telecom, Royal Government of Bhutan


Along with the cash prizes, the winning teams will be given special membership in the DHI Business Acceleration Programme.

Further support given to the start-up winners

In addition, the Department of Information Technology and Telecom (DITT) will also assist the teams in liaising with other government agencies to launch the ideas as commercial businesses. The winning teams were also given books on entrepreneurship, innovation and start-ups.

In support of entrepreneurship in Bhutan, Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering said that the event has changed his concept about start-ups, he also mentioned that the Government will give 100 percent support to the young start-ups.

Of the 180 ideas presented, the initial round of selection for the participants and their ideas was conducted in six colleges and the Thimphu TechPark. 28 ideas were selected and further screened to pick the top 15 finalists.

The colleges include: the Jigme Namgyel Engineering College, Sherubtse College, Gaeddu College of Business Studies, College of Language and Culture Studies, College of Science and Technology, and the College of Natural Resources.

Challenges faced in executing the start-up ideas

Of the challenges faced, the validity of the ideas and their presentation continue to remain the biggest obstacle for the start-ups.

Even though various ministries, departments, financial institutions and community volunteers have organised many start-up events, the ideas failed to be executed.


Photo: Facebook/Department of Information Technology & Telecom, Royal Government of Bhutan


Therefore, the ideas which were conceived at the start-up weekend remained just as a raw plan as no concrete action was taken after the event was over.

However, in order to nurture these ideas, attractive prizes, mentorship as well as incubation centres were provided by the organisers.

Providing the right support for the winners of the start-up events

The Founder of InnoHome, runner up of last’s year start-up weekend, Pema Singye, said that the focus should be on networking young entrepreneurs with financial support and mentors. “Rather than wasting the resources at an initial stage, the organisers should help us penetrate the market.”

Many ideas failed to take off due to a lack of financial support, moreover the organising agencies lacked coordination.

“The Start-up centre in Changzamtog takes in only the winners from the events organised by the Ministry of Economic Affairs while the Techpark takes in winners of events organised by the DITT.”

An entrepreneur said that if all the relevant stakeholders could come together, the creation of a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem will be beneficial for the economic growth of the nation. 

Out of about 30 winners from the start-up weekend, only two—Bundle and Miniature Bhutan (winner of 4th and 5th edition of start-up weekend)—matured into commercial businesses.     

Meanwhile, the winners of the 6th edition of the National Start-up Weekend that took place in March last year are reportedly working on their prototypes. The three winning teams are: Sungjab, InnoHome (smart switch system), and Shaa-Veggie.  


This article first appeared in Kuensel and has been edited for Daily Bhutan.


Related Posts

Techstars Startup Weekend Bhutan (Eco-Tourism): 54 Hours where...

The eventful weekend saw 130 keen people in attendance, of which 56 pitched ideas. This was the fifth time that such an...

Nov 29, 2017 08:46

Startup Weekend Begins in Phuentsholing

The Startup Weekend is organised in collaboration with Thimphu Techpark, Techstars, Department of IT and Telecom (DITT)...

Oct 29, 2017 12:00

Need For More Women Entrepreneurs To Partake In Bhutan’s Economic...

The 2018 Global Gender Gap Report has ranked Bhutan 122nd out of 149 countries on a global index.

Mar 14, 2019 20:54

Applying The Vital ‘7Cs’ To Boost Bhutan’s Business Development...

Successful navigation of these ‘7Cs’ will help you (Bhutan) to create the business legacy that you deserve and desire.

Jan 22, 2019 18:29

Jab-Chor—A Platform For Young Entrepreneurs In Bhutan To Nurture...

Jab-Chor was inspired by His Majesty’s aspirations for the youth of Bhutan.

Dec 19, 2018 15:03



Conference On Biodemocracy - Balancing Political And Ecological Democracy Held In Bhutan

The conference helped to deepen democracy through discussions on harmonious coexistence.

Jul 20, 2019 19:38

Government Of Bhutan Injects Nu 1 Billion To Kick-start Organic Flagship Programme

To export a product as an organic, it will be certified only after proper laboratory tests have been conducted.

Jul 12, 2019 21:48


Suhas Gopinath - World’s Youngest CEO Gave An Inspiring Talk On Innovation & Technology In Bhutan

“Technology is a means of survival in the competitive modern world with modern problems,” said Suhas Gopinath.

Jul 22, 2019 23:58

Inspired By His Majesty The King, The Reading Retreat Aims To Inculcate Reading Habits Among Bhutan’s Youth

The upcoming reading retreat, which is scheduled from July 21 – 27, is expected to attract 268 students from schools across Bhutan.

Jul 16, 2019 23:58


Bhutan’s Dragon Boys Starts FIFA World Cup Qualifiers With A 1-0 Win Over Guam

Midfielder, Tshering Dorji’s 35th minute strike was enough to make Bhutan win the first leg of the first round of the 2022 World Cup and...

Jun 08, 2019 22:18

Meet Choki Om – First Woman From Bhutan To Become A FIFA Referee

Originally from the district of Wangdue, Choki has already been a referee for over a decade.

May 16, 2019 20:58


Celebrating Bhutan's Entrepreneurs: Kuenga Dendup & Pema C. Gyaltshen Of Kingdom Essenses

This story is part of an exclusive feature by Yeewong Magazine in Dec 2018 on celebrating entrepreneurship in Bhutan.

Jul 21, 2019 20:48

Bhutan Economic Forum for Innovative Transformation Conference Held To Boost Cottage & Small Industries

The Bhutan Economic Forum for Innovative Transformation Conference was held from 16-18 July in Thimphu.

Jul 18, 2019 22:32


Bhutan Has Great Potential To Be A Top Eco-Tourism Spot: Albert Teo

Despite Bhutan being home to a wide array of flora and fauna, it is still not a top ecotourism destination.

Jul 19, 2019 23:58

Ride Up Bhutan’s Legendary Tiger’s Nest Monastery And Enjoy The Scenic Trail On Horseback

Pony services to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery is expected to be more organised come next month.

Jul 17, 2019 21:28


French Designer Christian Louboutin Releases Bhutan-inspired Shoe Collection

Bhutan’s rich craftsmanship inspired the designer’s latest collection.

Jul 06, 2019 08:53

An Exciting Line-Up Of Speakers To Be Featured In Bhutan’s Mountain Echoes Festival 2019

Themed ‘Many Lives, Many Stories’ - the festival, according to the press release, will mark its 10th anniversary with modern Bhutanese...

Jun 25, 2019 21:28

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!