Program   Home Base  -  Safety  -  Team

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NEPAL LAB: A Himalayan Adventure in Entrepreneurship

Explore concepts in entrepreneurship, social impact, and product design. Connect with local startups in Kathmandu to explore real world problems and collaborate to develop solutions.

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Program Highlights:

  • Spend two days trekking the Kathmandu Valley Rim Trail

  • Spend three nights in a homestay in the Kavre Village

  • Explore, Discover, & Launch your own small business idea

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TUITION:

$3,495 + airfare

LOCATION:

Kathmandu, Nepal

GROUP SIZE:

10-20 students

MINIMUM AGE:

16 years

COURSE LENGTH:

14 Days

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Itinerary Snapshot:

Day 1: Namaste – Welcome to Nepal!
Day 2: Home Base at Biruwa + Monkey Temple Tour
Day 3: Biruwa - Meeting with Entrepreneurs
Day 4: Biruwa Classroom Sessions
Day 5: Travel to Kavre District
Day 6: Field Work in Kavre
Day 7: Field Work in Kavre
Day 8: Kavre to Nagarkot to Kathmandu Valley Rim Trail
Day 9: Kathmandu Valley Rim Hike
Day 10: Kathmandu + Pitch Deck Prep
Day 11: Pitch Deck Prep at Biruwa
Day 12: Pitch Day at Kili Hub!
Day 13: Reflection and Celebration
Day 14: International Departures

 

The Nepal Innovation Lab offers a unique, hands-on learning experience for students to embrace big ideas and new cultures alongside their peers. Itineraries combine classroom learning led by skilled instructors in Kathmandu, Nepal, cultural immersion and home stays, with trekking and adventure activities supervised by our experienced OneSeed guides.  

Takeaways:

  • An introduction to invaluable tools to help tackle real-world problems.
  • Lessons in design thinking, cross-cultural collaboration, and active listening. 
  • A chance to develop leadership skills, foster curiosity, and build new friendships while gaining an appreciation for another country and culture.
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DAYS 1-4

Meet the local OneSeed Innovation Labs and settle into your lodge in Kathmandu, Nepal where you'll get to know your OneSeed Labs peers.  

The next few days will be spent at Biruwa, your "Home Base" for programing in Kathmandu that serves as a coworking space and incubator for small business in Nepal.

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Here you will learn the fundamentals of entrepreneurship, including Designing with Empathy and Human-Centered Design.

Days will be broken up into programming at Biruwa and excursions like visiting the famous Swayambhunath Monkey Temple. Meet with local entrepreneurs who have completed Biruwa's programming, and hear their stories of how they grew their business.

Select a challenge to focus on, identify the main customers who might benefit from your proposed business solution, and form working teams.  


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DAYS 5-8

Travel to the Kavre district of Nepal outside of Kathmandu and stay with a local family for four nights as you explore your surroundings and meet with locals.

Kavre is home to many different types of ethnic groups and industries, including organic farming and livestock farming. The area has is also focused on rebuilding from the Nepal earthquake and resulting landslides in 2015. 

Continue to uncover opportunities for a product or service to improve lives and create job opportunities.  

Spend time in Kavre prototyping your new business idea. Reviewing, processing, and brainstorming are essential to create any new business, and you’ll have your team members and your own experiences over the past week to draw from.  

Rest up and get ready for your trek along the Kathmandu Valley Rim Trail!


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DAYS 9-14

Say goodbye to Kavre and begin hiking the Kathmandu Valley Rim! Hike through jungles and terrace fields as you trek past small villages on your way to Nagarkot. That evening, spend the night at a traditional Nepali teahouse and enjoy a meal of delicious dal bhat.    

Hike from Nagarkot to Chisapani village to see the mountain range of Everest, reaching over 29,000 feet at its highest point. In the evening, spend one final night on the trail in a teahouse and continue Prototyping your business plan.

Head back to Kathmandu and be sure to consult with your team members and group leaders as you work on your pitch deck over the next couple days.

On Pitch Day, present your plan for a new business to your fellow team members, teachers, and the local entrepreneurs you met at the beginning of your time in Kathmandu.  

The final day is one of reflection and celebration.

  • How has your view of entrepreneurship evolved during your time in Nepal?
  • Consider how you fit into the community in Nepal and at home. How has this experience changed you?
  • What challenges do you want to take on next?

INCLUSIONS

  • medical/evacuation insurance for all participants confirmed 30 days or more prior to program start date
  • airport transfers
  • 8 nights accommodation in Kathmandu
  • 4 nights of homestay accommodation in Kavre Village
  • 1 night accommodation in mountain tea house 
  • all meals - breakfast, lunch, and dinner  
  • trekking permits and entry fees
  • guide & porter services
  • all ground transportation  
  • guided excursions

NOT INCLUDED

  • personal items  
  • trip cancelation insurance (highly recommended)
  • international airfare and meals during travel
  • snacks during trek
  • beverages outside of designated meals

 

*All itineraries are subject to change based on local conditions and the judgment of the guide. We reserve the right to modify the itinerary due to medical considerations or the ability of participants as judged by the instructors. For complete terms and conditions, see here.

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HOME BASE - KATHMANDU

Biruwa offers innovative business support and consulting services to help entrepreneurs make informed decisions. Located in the heart if Kathmandu, Biruwa HQ will serve as our "Home Base" for programming when we're not in the field. Biruwa utilizes their entrepreneurial experiences, market knowledge, and network to help small business grow, and members of their team will serve as local mentors during the program.

 

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IN THE FIELD - KAVRE & Kathmandu Valley Rim trail

On Days 5-10, the group will travel to the countryside surrounding Kathmandu, home to hillside villages and beautiful terraced farmland. Students will be spend their time in and around Kavre Village for a four night homestay with a local family. Students will stay in groups of four or more and will have dinner with their host family every night after the day's activities. 

After field work in Kavre, students spend two days trekking along the Kathmandu Valley Rim Trail. Students will stay in traditional Nepali "Tea Houses" that offer basic mountain lodge accommodations; double rooms and shared bathrooms. Everyone will eat meals together prepared by OneSeed staff, host families, or Nepali Tea House owners.

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Safety is rule number one, and our Labs team is dedicated to fostering a safe and welcoming environment for all high schoolers during their two-week program.

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If you travel with us, you share our adventurous spirit and our commitment to learning from and collaborating with people in the countries we visit together.

But no adventure is without risk — and at OneSeed, we take risk management seriously. Please take some time to review our approach to keeping you safe and your role in managing risk on the trail on our Safety Abroad page.

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Chris Baker: Labs Instructor

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Chris was born and raised in West Virginia, but now calls Denver, Colorado home where he lives with his wife Elly and their two sons. After graduating from Yale University, Chris lived and studied in Nepal where he started OneSeed Expeditions in 2011 as a way to harness the power of travel for good. With 10% of all OneSeed Expeditions trip costs designated for micro-lending, more than $300,000 has been invested to date in more than 650 small-scale entrepreneurs around the world through the OneSeed Microfinance Fund. Chris is a former Kiva Fellow, Teach for America Corps Member, NOLs alumni, and currently serves as a Business Mentor at the Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute.

When he’s not working, Chris loves a good trout stream, dumplings, and getting haircuts in unfamiliar languages.  


Glenna Barron: Labs Team Leader

Glenna originally hails from Chicago but now calls Denver home. After working in advertising and tech, Glenna decided to make a move to the outdoor industry and hasn’t looked back. Travel is in her blood (her mom was a flight attendant), and Glenna has found a home at OneSeed Expeditions working as the Head of Operations. She is the country director for all OneSeed trips to Tanzania and manages the OneSeed Microfinance Fund, working with our nonprofit partners around the globe to grow and expand the impact of microfinance through travel.

When she’s not cooking or baking, Glenna enjoys everything Colorado has to offer - skiing, hiking, swimming, yoga and barre-ing. Have a question about any of our Labs destinations? Ask Glenna!

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VIDHAN RANA: LOCAL MENTOR NEPAL + BIRUWA CO-FOUNDER

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Vidhan Rana is an Entrepreneur and Researcher with experience in launching multiple enterprises and social initiatives. He started his professional career working as a research analyst at Whittaker Associates, an economic development consulting firm based in the United States providing guidance and support to economic development agencies at state and local level.

In July 2011, he established Biruwa Ventures to support aspiring entrepreneurs to start their own ventures. Vidhan is responsible of setting the company’s vision and giving strategic support to the company’s management team. Over the course of five years at Biruwa, he has mentored over 400 entrepreneurs and invested in four startups. He has been a part of various consulting projects helping entrepreneurs develop business plans to conducting market research to managing a program targeted towards bringing foreign companies to Nepal.

 


LOCAL GUIDES & STAFF

Tek Bahadur Dong

Tek Bahadur Dong

Tek grew up in a remote village of Kavre district, Nepal before relocating to Kathmandu to complete his Masters of Philosophy (MPhil) in Anthropology from Tribhuvan University. His MPhil dissertation, “Cultural Tourism: An Ethnographic Study of Home-stay in Briddim, Rasuwa, Nepal,” critically examines the local perspective on homestay tourism in Nepal. He brings the unique experience in academic research to OneSeed Labs and has worked in the tourism industry since 1998. Since 2011, Tek has served as the Nepal & Bhutan Country Director at OneSeed Expeditions. When he’s not working, Tek loves to study the anthropology of tourism, caste, ethnicity, and affirmative action issues.

Bishnu Thapa

Bishnu Thapa

After working as a porter for three years in the Himalayan mountains, Bishnu worked her way up to trekking guide. The work inspired her to pursue a Master’s Degree in anthropology exploring the question: How can adventure tourism empower women? Since joining the OneSeed team, Bishnu has completed another degree with a focus on coping strategies in small hillside communities after the 2015 earthquake. Her research has shaped much of OneSeed’s vision and goals, including actively employing women guides and porters in Nepal. During her leisure time, Bishnu enjoys preparing Nepali pickle recipes and hiking in the mountains.