Collaborizm, a Kickstarter-esque Website- Specializes in Helping Companies in the Pre-incubation Stage

Steven Rocker reported yesterday at The New York Times Online that, “When a huge earthquake hit his hometown in Nepal in 2015, Madindra Aryal and his family had to stay in tents without electricity. He and his neighbors lived in complete darkness at night, and they could not charge their cellphones, which meant they were unable to contact worried family members.

“From that experience, Mr. Aryal, a 26-year-old electronics engineer, came up with an idea: Why not try to produce a solar-powered cellphone charger, one that would be inexpensive enough that Nepalese villagers could afford it?

“Although he knew he could not do it on his own, he set up a project called Nepal’s Light, then looked for a way to raise money, which is no easy feat in a poor nation.”

The Times article noted that, “Enter Collaborizm, a Kickstarter-esque website based in New York that specializes in nurturing companies in the so-called pre-incubation stage — before they have seed money, a business plan or even, in many cases, a working prototype. Collaborizm connects aspiring entrepreneurs like Mr. Aryal with mentors, suppliers and early-stage capital.

“For Mr. Aryal, help came fast: Collaborizm connected him to Gham Power Nepal, a utility. He also had a previous deal with Bal Joshi of, which transfers money and goods to and from Nepal. Those resources enabled him to build a prototype two weeks after the quakes.”

Mr. Rocker explained that, “After the prototype was built, 500 chargers were manufactured, priced at 2,500 rupees (about $24), and delivered to those most affected by the temblor. With the help of Collaborizm, Nepal’s Light raised $10,877 on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo.

“With these funds, Mr. Aryal was able to build another 500, which were distributed free to rural Nepalese still living in darkness.

Collaborizm helped Mr. Aryal create weekly discussions panels to give him advice on improving the product. From those discussions, he decided to make his charger more portable by using plastic instead of metal.”

The Times article added that, “‘If we want more entrepreneurs going from step three to 60, we need to help more young ones go from zero to three,’ said Steven Reubenstone, the founder and chief executive of Collaborizm, which was set up in March 2016.”

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