Select Page

Jigme Namgyel Engineering College (JNEC) conducted a week-long Upshift Program from August 25th to September 1st, 2023 aimed at fostering innovation and entrepreneurship among college youths in JNEC. The primary objective was to equip these young minds with the skills and knowledge necessary to develop innovative solutions to local challenges.  A total of 53 participants (20 females and 33 males) from diverse engineering backgrounds and fields of interest took part in the program. To ensure effective training sessions, these participants were divided into 13 groups, with each group tasked with developing a unique innovative solution. Each group was encouraged to brainstorm and collaborate effectively to address a specific local challenge. The participants have come up with 13 different innovative ideas. The program was organized by the Jigme Namgyel Engineering College (JNEC) with the support of the Loden Foundation and UNICEF. The Upshift Program was structured into two main phases: training and prototype.

Training Phase (August 25th-26th):

The program kicked off with two days of intensive training sessions led by seven resource persons. These experts provided participants with valuable insights into various aspects of entrepreneurship, innovation, and problem-solving. The training sessions covered topics such as social innovation, idea generation, creative thinking, design thinking, team building, community mapping, market research, and mock pitching skills.

Prototype Development and Market Validation (August 27th-September 1st):

After the initial training, participants were allowed to put their newly acquired knowledge and skills to the test. They were provided with a week to work on their ideas, develop prototypes, and validate their concepts in the market. This hands-on experience allowed them to apply the concepts learned during the training phase to real-world scenarios.

During the prototype development and market validation phase, the 13 groups worked tirelessly to develop their ideas into practical solutions. They conducted market research, gathered feedback from potential users, and refined their prototypes. Ultimately, each group came up with a creative and innovative solution to a local problem.

Following the week-long prototype development and market validation phase, a final pitching competition was held to showcase the participants’ innovative solutions on 1st September 2023. Out of the 13 ideas presented, the following three were selected as the best:

  1. JNEC Vehicle App: This innovative app aims to improve transportation services for the JNEC community by providing real-time information on vehicle availability, routes, and scheduling. It is designed to enhance convenience and efficiency for both students and staff. A certificate and cash prize of Nu.5000 were awarded to the team as a token of appreciation.
  2. Automated Clothesline System: This solution addresses the challenge of drying clothes during Dewathang’s varying weather conditions. The automated clothesline system offers a convenient and efficient way to dry clothes, making it a valuable addition to households. A certificate and cash prize of Nu.3000 were awarded to the team as a token of appreciation.
  3. Smart Fence: The Smart Fence is a security solution that utilizes advanced technology to provide real-time alerts and monitoring of wild animals in the fields. It helps farmers protect their fields by detecting and deterring intrusions of wild animals. As a token of appreciation, a cash prize of Nu.2000 and a certificate was awarded to the team.

The Upshift Program conducted by JNEC, with support from the Loden Foundation and UNICEF, was a resounding success. It empowered 53 young participants to become innovative problem solvers and entrepreneurs. The top three ideas selected through the final pitching competition showcase the potential for impactful solutions to local challenges. One of the selected ideas will be incubated in the JNEC Incubation Center to materialize the idea and implement it to address the issue in the community.

This program exemplifies the importance of investing in youth, fostering innovation, and nurturing entrepreneurship to drive positive change in Bhutan. The skills and ideas developed during the Upshift Program have the potential to make a meaningful difference in local communities and contribute to the country’s development.