Building University Capacity to Support Business Incubation in Nepal (BUCSBIN), ecosystem champion of Idea Studio Nepal had a virtual closing ceremony on Zoom on December 11, 2020. The event was held to officially close the BUCSBIN project and saw the presence of representatives from Oamk LABs, Idea Studio Nepal, Kathmandu University School of Management (KUSoM), Kings’ College, and Young Innovations. BUCSBIN was initiated in 2017 in Nepal to increase university capacity for developing entrepreneurship education and business incubation programming.
The event highlighted the impact and experience of BUCSBIN project participants. Kimmo Paajanen, Project Officer, BUCSBIN shared, “This has been a great learning experience and process where I became familiar with new perspectives and concept of time. I’ve changed as a person and it has helped me understand the world better.” He added, “In 2017, while on a plane to Kathmandu from Helsinki I could have never imagined what this project might have brought. It has been exciting to see all the perspectives.”
A major part of the virtual event was the individual presentations given by BUCSBIN’s partner institutions on its impact and work in different sectors of Nepal. Ulla Maija Seppanen from Oamk LABs shared her experience as a trainer on capacity development. She shared a presentation focussed on learning by doing and experience-sharing by lab masters from KUSoM and Kings’ College. Apart from that, representatives from Idea Studio Nepal, KUSoM, Kings’ College, and Young Innovations each delivered a presentation.
Shradha Pal, Chief Operating Officer at Idea Studio Nepal gave a brief overview of Idea Studio’s lab-based incubation program. She shared, “Throughout Idea Studio’s Season 3 and 4, we have incubated 64 ideators using the lab-based method. Apart from that, we have also been assisting KUSoM to organize various lab-based workshops like Education Lab, Finance Lab, and Industrial Bootcamp.”
Dr. Tshering Lama, Chairperson, and Co-Founder at Idea Studio Nepal shared, “The team in Finland have taught us the importance of building trust and respect and investing in relationships. They have also shown us the importance of building an eco-system and making innovation and knowledge accessible to all.” He added, “From Idea Studio Nepal’s side we have been fully committed to embedding lab-based learning in our curriculum for both College and National Idea Hunt.”
A presentation highlighting the impact of BUCSBIN was also showcased which focussed on how the first generation of the lab-based method learners has been implementing the lab-based technique of learning in their respective institutions. H.E. Pertti Anttinen, Ambassador of Finland to Nepal was the guest speaker at the event. He shared, “Higher education institutional co-operation like this is very much valued as it nicely complements what we are doing on a government to government level. This is in terms of the relationship between Finland and Nepal, promoting people to people connection and institution to institution connection. I’ve always felt that BUCSBIN as a project has a lot of young energy and enthusiasm, which is very nice.”
Dr. Devi Prasad Bedari, Dean, KUSoM also spoke at the event. He said, “I have seen this project grow since 2017. We met beautiful resource persons from Finland and witnessed friendship, knowledge, and network sharing and growing. We want to appreciate everyone who has helped to increase the capacity of knowledge in our university.”
Heidi Fagerholm, President, CEO of Oulu University of Applied Sciences was another guest speaker at the closing ceremony. She shared, “We have been learning to implement the best parts of Finnish pedagogy in the Nepalese context. Training of the teachers has been a vital part of the project. Like in any good relationship, learning happens in both ways and for the Finnish counterparts, this journey has been an extensive learning experience of South-Asian education, culture, its diversity, traditions, mindsets, and so on.” She commended the cooperation between institutions from two countries and mentioned, “Even though this is the closing ceremony, I am confident that this cooperation will continue in one way or the other in the future.”
The virtual event concluded with closing remarks from Paajanen. All the participants acknowledged that though the BUCSBIN project had come to an end, it’s learning will stay intact, always be relevant and replicated through the effort of all the partners and stakeholders.