DHI Business Acceleration Program will help Bhutanese entrepreneurs launch new ventures.
The IC² Institute of The University of Texas at Austin is pleased to announce the commencement of a new project in Bhutan, together with Druk Holding and Investments (DHI – www.dhi.bt ). This initiative is called the DHI Business Acceleration Program, or DHI BizAP.
DHI was established in 2007, comprising 20 different companies operating in the manufacturing, energy, natural resources, financial, communication, aviation, trading and real estate sectors. The Royal Charter for DHI mandates to “promote and encourage entrepreneurship and business development through venture capital and other required institutional support.” In keeping with the important mandate to promote and support private sector development, a holistic approach to entrepreneurship development is proposed, initially targeted mainly towards promoting Cottage and Small Industries (CSI) sector.
DHI has engaged with the IC² Institute due to the proven IC² methodology, which has been employed with success in over 40 countries around the world, creating more than USD $3 billion in economic impact. IC² programs have taught best practices in technology transfer, entrepreneurship, incubation management and new enterprise commercial acceleration.
This program has already begun, with online training of DHI staff via the IC² Innovation Readiness Series™, with in-country activities that began in September, and with a formal launch supported by His Majesty the King of Bhutan in conjunction with the Royal Wedding Day Seventh Anniversary celebrations on October 13.
DHI BizAP includes:
Training: structured training for selected Bhutanese entrepreneurs, with focus on commercializing business ideas and launching businesses in the market, delivered by global experts in innovation and entrepreneurship, using the proven and patented IC² entrepreneurship training methodology. Selected entrepreneurs will experience a balanced mixture of face-to-face, virtual distance learning and homework assignments.
Funding: opportunity for all entrepreneurs selected to pitch their business to the Business Accelerator Fund panel, and the chance to qualify for capital infusion.
Mentorship: establishment of mentoring relationships, in both Bhutan and internationally, to aid the entrepreneurs in developing a high-impact entrepreneurial venture, building business linkages and networks, and accessing markets for their goods and services.
Advisory services: experts available to provide specific mentoring HR, legal, accounting, etc.
For each of the three 3-month cohorts comprising this initial program, a total of 15 of the applicants exhibiting the highest potential for success will be competitively selected, based on proven IC² Institute selection criteria.
The DHI initiative is the latest in a series of IC² Institute engagements in the South Asia region going back over a decade. Currently, IC² operates the Nexus Startup Hub at the American Center in New Delhi; the XLr8AP Technology Accelerator in Andhra Pradesh, India; and the South Asia Connect program, which links entrepreneurs and startup ecosystem leaders from Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India.
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