Thursday, December 11, 2014

ICT for Agriculture Becomes the Grand Winner of Ncell App Camp 2014

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Ncell App Camp 2014

ICT For Agriculture, grabbed the first prize of Ncell App Camp 2014, securing the highest score in overall markings, leaving behind other 23 finalists, as the grand finale of the six month long competition concluded today in Kathmandu.

ICT For Agriculture - Grand Prize winner of Ncell App Camp 2014

Similarly, Opinio (SentiNep), Riti-Riwaj and Lipi (The Script) won the categorical first places under the themes agriculture, corporate solutions, education and tourism, respectively.

ICT For Agriculture, is an android based mobile application that aims to connect farmers, traders, experts and agricultural extension agencies at a single platform to help with farm management and simplify market chain value while also ensuring food security in Nepal. The app helps farmers pre-harvest and post harvest of crops by providing information about diseases related to their crops. It also provides a weather forecast linking farmers to the end consumers in the market.

ICT For Agriculture

Avinash Jha of ICT for Agriculture, explained that it was really hard for them, being IT graduates, to work on agriculture theme. "Most of their friends had suggested us not to go for it. But since this addresses a common problem that most Nepalese were facing, we decided to continue." The team already has 900 users of the app.

Thematic winner Opinio, under corporate solutions category, developed by a team called SentiNep, analyzes the sentiments and opinions of people and categorizes them into positive, negative and neutral comments. It gathers sentiment related to a product/service/business from around the web (social media, blogs and news portals).

Opinio

Chandan Gupta, team leader of SentiNep, said that the team will use the prize money in office set up and marketing their product. "Since we all are students, this cash prize makes it more convenient to take our business further." The team has expected to publish their app online within next three months.

Likewise, Riti-Riwaj, the thematic winner in the education category, is a platform to store Nepali culture, history and traditions, and thus preserve the traditions by educating people the importance of it in such level.


Manish Shrestha, team leader of RitiRiwaj said that their team is preparing to make their app available in the market within a month and formally go in the market through a registered company within a year. "Waning knowledge in the young generation about their own culture made us realize the need of coming with this app."

Lipi (The Script), the thematic winner in tourism category, is an application that tries to help tourist decipher Devnagari Signboards or text through simply taking a picture which the apps turns into text in a language of the users' choice.

Lipi (The Script)

Rupak Raj Ghimire, business developer for the team said, "Now we will work on making our app more matured. Ghimire said that the team faced more challenges in the technical aspects specially due to large file sizes of the images that the app needs to read.

The 24 finalists of the camp pitched their refined app ideas, including business models, as a part of their final presentation for the competition. During the program, each team was provided 10 minutes, including two minutes for answering the jury's questions and additional three minutes to demonstrate their apps.

A panel of eight independent judges, including Kunda Dixit, Narottam Aryal, Purna Bahadur Chhetri, Saurabh Jyoti, Suman Pandey, Tomi Ahonen and Tomas Martunas, assessed the teams based on five preset ground rules which incorporated the importance of the problem the application would solve, their business model, the completeness of the product, global scalability of their product and the team's presentation.

These finalists had been selected from among competing 150 teams which were filtered from a pool of 457 applicants. The selected teams had received several trainings, mentoring and had participated in different seminars to build up their knowledge on business modeling, marketing as well as the technical aspect of app development.

"Though the program has successfully concluded today, it does not end here. We are still thinking of some ways to encourage all the hardworking and creative teams to move ahead with their startups by providing proper guidance through some kind of new programs in the future," said Sanju Koirala, corporate communication director at Ncell. "This is a beginning of yet another journey."

"I feel extremely excited and extremely proud of being a tiny part of the gateway to a global approach that this beautiful country is not only about the Everest, trekking or Yeti. This country is about technology and creativity," said ErimTaylanlar, CEO of Ncell. "I just want to remind few things. The Ncell App market is ready to market these products into the global market."

Tomi Ahonen, one of the jury members in the grand finale said, "Nepal is generating world class mobile services that serve needs of education, agriculture, tourism and business to business needs."Ahonen suggested all the 24 teams to enter several international app competitions.

The winners of each category received a cash prize of Rs 250,000 and the overall winner received additional Rs 500,000 and won a chance to represent Nepal in the International Application Conference in 2015.
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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

24 teams selected for grand finale of Ncell App Camp #AppCamp14

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Ncell on Wednesday announced 24 teams, six each from four categories of Agriculture, Corporate Solution, Education and Tourism, as the finalists for Ncell App Camp 2014, the biggest mobile app competition of Nepal.

Ncell App Camp

There were 150 teams competing to find place in the top 24 under the four categories. Following the closure of submission of final ideas on December 1, independent panel of selectors, including representatives from institutions like International Financial Corporation of the World Bank Group, Nepal Tourism Board, Golchha Organization, NIMBUS and f1Soft, among others, evaluated and scored their final app ideas and business plan to decide on the finalists.

The teams were judged based on their scores on criteria such as importance of problem their ideas solved, global scalability potential, business model and articulation and presentation, among others.

Six teams that got the highest scores and found way into the finals under Agriculture are Care Crop, Creative Mind, Creatu Developer I, ICT for Agriculture, Saathi and The Revolution. AppsJhola, Cabby, Drupartment, Eagle School Bus, QOD and SentiNep have been selected as finalists under Corporate Solution.

Likewise, MeroAnswer, Group of Innovative Developer, Leazies, Riti-Riwaj, Special Forces and Team Xaverian have been selected as finalists under Education, while HireAGuide, Home Stay Nepal, Nepflights, Team Yellow Nepal, Tourist Talk and Lipi (Script) have their way to the finals under Tourism category.

The top 24 teams will compete in the final competition to be held through December 9-11, 2014. During the final stage of the competition, the teams will learn more about running an innovative business and get additional guidance from local and international mentors on their app ideas.

On the final day, teams will pitch their idea and present a demo of their app to a panel of jury, who will then decide the winners of the competition.

The winners of each category will receive Rs 250,000 and the overall winner will receive additional Rs 500,000 and an opportunity to participate in similar overseas app camp in 2015.
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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Yellow Nepal -- Nepali Startup on Google Business Stories Challenge Final

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If you're a foodie or a regular restaurant goer in Kathmandu, then you might have heard about "Yellow Nepal" - a Nepali startup behind the popular 'Yellow App'. Yellow app is the location based search app that lists nearby restaurants, discount offers and events of Restaurants in Kathmandu. Founded by Anish Shrestha and Manisha Karmacharya in 2014, Yellow Nepal is the mobile startup and aims to become a local search engine for foodies.


The Yellow Nepal, which had applied for the Google Business Group's (GBG) stories challenge earlier, has made to the finals of the GBG stories challenge out of more than hundreds of submissions from more than fifty countries.

"During the contest, we had hundreds of submissions from more than fifty countries from people who are doing extraordinary things with technology, changing lives and creating opportunities.", says Google.


Now Google has asked the general public to select the most inspiring startup among the nine global finalists. Watch this YouTube video of Yellow Nepal and vote for the Yellow Nepal. The three global winners with the highest number of public votes will be eligible to win $5,000 for their venture.

How to Vote for Yellow Nepal?
You can register your vote in two simple steps.
1. Sign-in to your Google account (If not signed in).
2. Watch this Video and Like it -- To register your vote, click on the thumbs of the video.
Yellow App is available for Android on the Play store. The iPhone users have to wait for a few months.
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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Teams Learn About Monetizing Their App Idea #AppCamp14

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Ncell App Camp 2014 team organized a seminar on 'mobile application trends; marketing and monetization' on 4th Novemeber, as 150 teams move ahead to implement their ideas. Below is the PRESS RELEASE:

Addressing to the participants as a keynote speaker, Biswas Dhakal, president of Cash On Ad Pvt. Ltd., encouraged the young developers to add creative fluid to their ideas. "Engagement is another aspect you should consider while making apps. You should plan in advance how you can bring users to your product", said Dhakal who emphasized that the developers should implement appropriate promotion and branding strategies while making apps. "Social media are the most effective tools for viral marketing to decrease user acquisition cost of your apps."


Keynote speech from Biswas Dhakal was followed by a panel discussion where panelists discussed on business potential, legal and technical challenges of mobile application development in Nepal. They stressed on the growing trend of using apps as business tools to minimize cost and increase connectivity.

"Initially, we could not create job opportunities in Nepal using internet technology when most developed countries were already doing it. But now we can see mobile phones in the hands of almost every Nepali. It is important for us to follow the trend," said Sanjay Golchha, director of Golchha Organization.

Stressing that the government should facilitate local operators in Nepal to have their own app store, Golchha added, "Apps provide a better platform for emerging entrepreneurs. However, the telecom operators should help create such platforms by facilitating the sector."

Motivating the participants, Aadish Shrestha, managing director of Focus One Nepal, said that the mobile applications have been largely contributing in the businesses. "Data collection has become easier and faster due to data enabled mobile apps," said Shrestha who argued that there are companies who want to invest in such apps that help in their businesses.

Vahdat Zehtab, head of B2C department at Ncell, asked the app developers to look outside Kathmandu Valley to explore their potential markets. "Data consumption is rich in Nepal but when compared to that of the other developed countries, it is still not good enough. I believe Nepal will leap forward in this sector," said Zehtab arguing that going global is not the major issue for developers to meet their goals. "It is just that you have to be very specific to what you target. Let us make sure, what we want to solve."


Interacting in the program, the competing team members raised questions regarding copyright issues and challenges in payment gateway facing young developers mainly in Nepalese context. Mobile applications are mostly taken as intellectual property in Nepal and are dealt under the Copyright Act 2059. This law does not require the application be necessarily registered. "However, registration helps putting ideas into tangible form which makes it easier for the developers to be secured in future," said Anju Upreti Dhakal, advocate at Pioneer Law Associates.

Kailash Neupane, spokesperson of Nepal Telecommunication Authority said that the government has been reactive to the technological developments when it comes to legal provision and government facilitation. "The government should also see it from the perspective of revenue and think of how it can bring such developments into legal frameworks."

Out of total 457 ideas received, Ncell has selected the best 150 ideas to compete in the app camp. These selected teams are working on their ideas on different sectors; agriculture, tourism, education and corporate solutions. Once the teams submit their refined ideas, 6 best ideas from each category – that is 24 teams in total – will be selected for the final competition, which will be held through December 9-11, 2014.

The thematic winners would win cash prize of Rs. 250,000 each and the overall winner will bag additional Rs. 500,000 in cash along with Ncell sponsorship to participate in a similar overseas app camp.
Below is the schedule for training and seminars:


Follow @AppCampNP on Twitter.
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Sunday, October 19, 2014

#StartupGrind Kathmandu with Muncha.com CEO Amrit Man Tuladhar

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Amrit Man Tuladhar, founder and CEO of Muncha.com  shared his entrepreneurial journey in the second edition of #StartupGrind today in Kathmandu, Nepal. Muncha.com founded in 2000 is one of the first E-Commerce sites in Nepal, that was modeled after a regular departmental store "Muncha House".  The Muncha is now more than just an online shopping site, Muncha is involved in ten different internet ventures including Muncha.com, ipay - payment gateway, Money transfer etc. And is expanding its operations all over Nepal in the next few months.


Check the storify below for more details. The program was moderated by +Saroj Dhakal.
Startup Grind is a global startup community designed to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs. It is powered by Google for Entrepreneurs. Startup Grind host monthly events in more than 100 cities and 42 countries featuring successful local founders, innovators, educators and investors who share personal stories and lessons learned on the road to building great companies.
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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Twitter Users in Nepal

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Twitter is open for everyone, but the Twitter stats. Twitter has 271 Million monthly active users worldwide, and is rapidly growing in South Asia. Since I knew the number of Facebook users in Nepal as well as the number of LinkedIn users, my assumption was Nepal has 1 Million Twitter users.


But I was wrong, according to Ncell 1.7 Million users have accessed the Twitter via Ncell under the Twitter Zero scheme. Well, that's a huge number! After going through the Ncell's data, and the number of smartphone users in Nepal, my new assumption is that there are around 3.0 Million Twitter users in Nepal, among them 1 Million users are active. What do you think? 

It doesn't necessarily mean, 3 Million individuals from Nepal are on Twitter, instead one might have 2-3 different accounts. Right now, I'm managing/using around 20 Twitter accounts (including both personal and work related).

PS. These numbers are based on an assumption. Only Twitter data will be official.
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Friday, September 19, 2014

Hello Developers! @Ncell App Camp Debriefing Happening on Monday #AppCamp14

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The Ncell App Camp team is organizing debriefing sessions on September 22, Monday at Hotel Himalaya Kupondle to help the interested applicants know more about the 'Ncell App Camp 2014' competition.


The registration process is in full flow after the launch of Ncell App Camp 2014 and college activations around the valley. While many ideas have been submitted few are in the refining process. To address the increasing queries from applicants, Ncell has arranged the Debriefing Sessions. The event is divided into three sessions:

1st Debriefing Session - 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
2nd Debriefing Session - 11:45 AM to 1:45 PM
3rd Debriefing Session - 2:15 PM to 4:15 PM

Each session will be focused on explaining the process of the competition and its categories, sharing from individuals who have participated in similar events in the past so as to put forth their invaluable insights and answering applicant’s queries. An individual who have submitted the idea or who is a part of a team or who is thinking of participating in the challenge can participate in this session.
Register for Debriefing Event from here. (Registration is mandatory as the seats are limited.)
The "Ncell App Camp" is a mobile app development competition for mobile app developers and enthusiasts. The thematic winners would win a cash prize of Rs. 250,000 each, and the overall winner will bag additional Rs. 500,000 in cash along with Ncell sponsorship to participate in a similar overseas app camp.
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Friday, September 12, 2014

Gionee Launches S5.5 Android Smartphone in Nepal

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Gionee, the Chinese phone maker launched Gionee Elife S5.5 -- the world's slimmest smartphone in Nepal on Friday.

Gionee Elife S5.5

The Gionee S5.5 has an Octa-core 1.7 GHz Cortex A7 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16Gb of storage, a 13-megapixel rear camera, and a 5-megapixel front facing 95° wide angle camera. It packs a 2300mAh battery which can deliver up to 27 hours of talktime on 2G, 11 hours of talktime on 3G networks respectively and 490 hours of standby time. The world's slimmest smartphone comes with dimensions 145.1X70.2X5.55mm.

The Gionee S5.5 is priced at Rs 36,525 (NRS), sports a 5-inch Super AMOLED, FHD 1920*1080 display, powered by Android 4.2 Jelly Bean OS (Kitkat OTA is available). It comes with a metal body, and is available in two colors.
Gionee S5.5 Specs:
  • Octa-core 1.7GHz
  • 5.0” FHD
  • 16GB+2GB memory
  • Android 4.2 (Upgrade to 4.4 Kitkat)
  • 13.0+5.0MP camera
  • 2300mAh battery
  • Rs 36,525 (price)
Along with the S5.5, Gionee also launched the entry level and mid-range smartphones in Nepali market.

Gionee Pioneer P3

Gionee P3 Specs:
  • Quad core 1.3GHz
  • 4GB+512MB memory
  • Android 4.2
  • 5.0+ 0.3M camera
  • 1700mAh battery
  • Rs 10,992 (price)

Gionee Marathon M2

Gionee M2 Specs:
  • 5.0 FWVGA
  • Quad core 1.3GHz
  • 8GB+1GB memory
  • Android 4.2
  • Large battery 4200mAh
  • Rs 15,988 (price)

Gionee V4S


Gionee V4S Specs:
  • Quad core 1.3GHz
  • 8GB+1GB memory
  • Android 4.4
  • 8.0 MP camera
  • 1800mAh battery
  • Rs 15,988 (price)

Gionee GPad G5


Gionee G5 Specs:
  • Six-core 1.5GHz
  • 5.5”HD
  • Android 4.2
  • 8.0+2.0MP camera
  • 2400mAh battery
  • RS 23,982 (price)
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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Facebook Users in Nepal [INFOGRAPHIC]

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The social networking giant Facebook has around 4 Million users in Nepal, thanks to the smartphones and internet penetration. Back in 2011, there were only 0.85 Million Facebook users from Nepal.


According to Facebook Ad platform, among 4 Million Facebook users, 2.8 Millions are male and 1.3 Millions are female. Just a fun fact that, among 2.8 Million male users 0.64 Millions are single whereas 0.22 Million female users has a relationship status as single.

The rise in number of smartphones have also fueled the growth of Facebook. Out of 4 Million users, around 3 Million users have accessed the Facebook from mobile devices. Data reveals that, around 1.8 Million users have accessed the Facebook from Android devices -- phones and tablets. And 1.3 Million users use the feature phone to access the Facebook. So far, only 0.19 M users have accessed the Facebook from iOS devices -- iPhone, iPad etc. And 0.032 Million users own the Windows phone. These numbers tell that, Android smartphones and tablets are popular here in Nepal.


Disclosure: The data is an approximate figure collected using Facebook's Ad platform.
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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Ncell Launches Mobile App Development Competition #AppCamp14

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Nepal's leading private telecommunication company Ncell has unveiled the "Ncell App Camp" -- a mobile app development competition for mobile app developers and enthusiasts.


Mobile app developers and enthusiasts can take part in the competition for free by registering their teams and ideas around the four thematic areas -- Agriculture, Education, Tourism, and Corporate solution. The app can be created for any platforms, including Android, Apple iOS, Windows.
Issuing a statement on Monday, Ncell said first 150 best workable ideas will be selected and the teams will be invited to take part in capacity building seminars. During the seminars the teams will undergo coaching on various aspects of app making and business development.

Once the teams submit their refined ideas, 6 best ideas from each category - that is 24 teams in total - will be selected for the final competition, which will be held through December 9-11, 2014.

These finalists under the mentorship of national and international experts would come up with working prototypes, present them and pitch their ideas to independent jury, comprising of experts from different sectors. After evaluating the usability and viability of the app prototypes, the jury will select four category winners and one overall winner.

The thematic winners would win a cash prize of Rs. 250,000 each, and the overall winner will bag additional Rs. 500,000 in cash along with Ncell sponsorship to participate in a similar overseas app camp.

Any development team with an initial idea, or an idea in development stage, can register to participate in the competition. Registration closes at noon on October 28, 2014.
Hello, developers! Did you register for the Ncell App Camp? Register from here: ncellappcamp.com

(via Ncell App Camp Image:  @SomeshVerma
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