Bhutan Business Incubation

Bhutan Business Incubation

Four Bhutanese entrepreneurs foster their vision for innovation in the United States

September 28, 2022


On September 4, four Bhutanese innovators landed in Atlanta, ready to kick off a two week journey which would take them from world-leading entrepreneurial mentorship in the city of Atlanta to networking in Washington DC and interfacing with the Department of State. This extraordinary journey was part of the GIST Business Incubation program, which connects innovators around the world to the ecosystems, expertise, and leadership of the United States, fostering dialogue and communication while building a stronger, more collaborative, and connected global startup ecosystem. 


Learn more about the innovators, and their amazing journey, below: 

Pema Chozom
Founder, Chechay Sanitary Pads 
Chechay Sanitary Pads creates menstrual pads with local, rather than imported, materials, affording women easier access to these essential products. They distribute  their product to youth groups and organizations free of charge to make a social impact.

Yangchen Wangmo
Founder, Norwang Chips 
Norwang Chips produces high-quality potato chips. They aim to establish a robust distribution network across Bhutan.

Tshering Lhamo
Founder, Gross International Nature 
Gross International Nature (GIN) is an environmental conservation organization established by youth from across the globe. They aim to implement transboundary environmental solutions and empower local communities.

Jigme Thinley Yoezer Rinzin
Founder, DrukRide
DrukRide allows travelers in Bhutan to book a bus ticket online at their convenience. They have revolutionized the online bus ticket booking industry by bringing together bus operators covering twenty district routes across the country.


Advancing in Atlanta

On their first day in Atlanta, the Bhutanese innovators attended training sessions at Georgia Tech from industry leading mentors. The following day they visited Georgia State, where they had the opportunity to interface and network with ecosystem builders and business development experts. This was followed by a visit to the Russell Center for Innovation, a hub for Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurship, a core pillar of Atlanta’s innovation community. 

Top: Bhutanese innovators visit the Maker Space at Georgia State University. 

Below: While visiting the Russell Innovation Center, innovators learn about the unique history of Black entrepreneurship in Atlanta in a tour given by Paul Wilson Jr. 

Building Bridges

Innovators then went to Atlanta Tech Village, a hub of the Georgia innovation community. There, they attended workshops focused on the early stages of customer success. They then visited The Hatchery, the center for innovation at Emory University. The following day, Bhutanese innovators visited The Farm, an ultra high tech innovation incubator created by Comcast | NBC. There, they attended workshops, met alumni, and were hosted at a roundtable designed to boost dialogue and strengthen connections. 

After a week of exploring Atlanta’s vibrant business community, as well as having the opportunity to see some of the iconic places of this city, like the Coca-Cola Museum and the Atlanta Botanical Garden, they moved on to the next stage of their journey in the United States: Washington D.C!

Top: Innovators take in the Atlanta skyline at the rooftop lounge in Atlanta Tech Village. 

Below: Roundtable discussion at The Farm with Farm Alumni Eohan George, CEO & CoFounder, SkyMul and Accelerator Director Ken Durand. 

Landing in Washington, DC

In their first full day in Washington DC, innovators had the opportunity to network and gain mentorship from some of the most prestigious incubators in the nation. They had the opportunity to visit Halcyon House and have expert instruction on business strategy development from managing director Dan Barker and program director Maggie Groff, followed by networking. They also had the opportunity to work one-on-one with individualized mentors at Seed Spot, a leading DC-based catalyst for mission-driven, impact startups. The following day, they had the chance to continue refining their pitches with expert support from Halcyon, as well as visit the factory of Arcay Chocolate and have a Q&A session with CEO Anabella Arcay on building a thriving company in the food sector. 

Top: Innovators receive expert instruction and mentorship while at Halcyon in Washington, DC. 

Below: Touring the Arcay chocolate factory and learning the secrets to running a thriving food sector company. 

Mentorship and Memories That Will Last a Lifetime

After having the mentorship to continually refine their pitches, the innovators had the opportunity to build on everything they had gained and presented their final pitch to leadership at the U.S. State Department. This was followed by networking and lunch with the Bhutan Foundation, a trip to the National Gallery of Art, and finally, the opportunity to network at an exclusive happy hour function with government officials with ties to Bhutan, from USAID to NASA. The trip then closed with an outing to a live showing of the Broadway musical Hamilton, wrapping up their time in the United States with memories that will last a lifetime!


Congratulations to these incredible innovators- we can’t wait to see what they accomplish next! Learn more about the Business Incubation program, and sign up for our newsletter for the latest opportunities and updates from around the world, only on the GISTNetwork! 

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