Incubate Nepal

Connecting the brightest young minds in Nepal to create and explore

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About Incubate Nepal

Incubate Nepal is an 8-week virtual program that connects 20 of the most talented students from all over Nepal to collaborate on open-ended projects. These students are matched with accomplished mentors as they navigate through their projects in small teams. Students will need to think creatively, deeply, and collaboratively as they write papers or prototype apps during the program. Mentors and guest speakers will also provide guidance on the US college admission process, as well as career advice in research and entrepreneurship. Incubate Nepal is completely free and available to students who have completed Grade 11 or Grade 12, and not yet enrolled in university.

This program was founded by a group of MIT and Harvard graduates to make project-based learning more accessible to students in Nepal. In addition to connecting talented students from all over Nepal, this virtual program offers mentorship and exposure to open-ended projects. Students are encouraged to highlight these projects in their portfolio to gain an upper-hand in the US college admission process.


Larisa Shrestha

Larisa is a student at Harvard studying neuroscience, with interests at the intersection of neuroscience, psychology, and education. She currently conducts research at the Harvard Lab for Developmental Studies. Before coming to the US for college, Larisa spent two years traveling within Nepal teaching and performing spoken word poetry. These formative years of her life heavily influenced her interest in teaching. Together with her deep-seated love for pens and colorful sticky notes, Larisa enjoys bullet journaling, DIY projects, and hoarding washi tapes.

Simanta Gautam

Simanta is an engineer and entrepreneur with interests in technology and social systems. After graduating from MIT, he started an artificial intelligence company in Silicon Valley, and recently led it through an acquisition. Simanta has been featured on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, and has numerous patents and publications in computer science. On a good day, he can be found tinkering with side projects that range from experimental gardening and woodworking to writing code. Simanta is also an enthusiastic foodie, and enjoys creative contemporary takes on traditional food.

Surya Tripathi

Surya grew up as a farmer in the beautiful village of Hemja in Pokhara. He attended Gandaki Boarding School starting from primary school and studied IB diploma in the UK through Pestalozzi Trust. After taking a gap year, he got into MIT as a bioengineering major. where he develeped a passion in microbiology and preventive medicine. Surya has numerous publications in Nature and Cell in these topics. Currently, he is a PhD student at UC Berkeley, and aside from research, loves mentoring and helping students.

Bibek Pandit

Bibek is a student at MIT pursuing a double degree in Computer Science and Physics, with interests in computer systems, machine learning, and energy. During his time at MIT, Bibek has worked on everything from particle physics research and building robots to working at Facebook and various other startups. Bibek has also learned a lot about the world from his travels to China, Switzerland, France, Spain and other countries. Besides work, he enjoys meditation, reading fiction and non-fiction, and playing soccer.

Ahilya Khadka

Ahilya is a graduate from Harvard where she studied Economics and Statistics. In college, she was involved in South Asian Cultural organizations, Social Innovation Club, and conducted research with the Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Sciences. Ahilya is passionate about access to higher education and worked at the Harvard Admissions office for several years. In her free time, Ahilya likes running, reading the news, mastering the true art of being a Zillenial, and watching 19th century period dramas. Currently, Ahilya works in product and data at

Abishkar Chhetri

Abishkar is working as a Machine Learning Engineer at Microsoft. He graduated from MIT with a major in Computer Science and a minor in Statistics. His academic interests include human-computer interaction, reinforcement learning, and the intersection between Ethics and AI. Besides being a total nerd, Abishkar also enjoys playing soccer, meditation, and rock climbing.

Applications for 2020 open!


    You will have the opportunity to collaborate with smart and motivated individuals to work on real-world projects.

    You will build a relationship with accomplished mentors from competitive universities.

    You can showcase your project to gain an edge in a US college application process.

There are two types of projects in the program: Explorative and Creative. For Explorative projects, teams must select a topic and dive deep into the topic to produce a report by the end of the program. For Creative projects, teams must select a problem, and design and prototype a solution. Students are encouraged to brainstorm on ideas together during the program, but a list of project ideas will also be provided by the mentors.

Example of Explorative project

Write a research/review paper on “Potential therapeutic for diabetes by modulating gut bacteria”. This project will look at studies that establish correlation between diabetes and presence/absence of certain bacteria in the human gut and based on that come up with approaches to treat specific types of diabetes by modulating the gut bacteria either through diet or prebiotic/probiotic feeding.

Example of Creative project

Craig’s list for Nepal: Generally in Kathmandu/Pokhara city, people do not recycle stuff from one house to another or one locality to another. Although other applications like amazon and uber have struggled in Nepal, an app like Craig’s list will be very popular. We are going to create an application/website where people can post about anything they want to sell on the cheap such that other people in the locality can buy it. Great potential as a site and could be a great hit as a business. But will have to be careful to educate people not to fully trust others and be generally careful while dealing with strangers.

In the first week of the program, participants will meet each other and the mentors. Mentors will discuss project ideas and students may also pitch their own ideas. By the start of the 2nd week, students will be divided into groups, and assigned a project and a mentor. From Week 2 to Week 7, students will collaborate with their teammates and get guidance from mentors as they work on their project. Week 8 of the program will feature project presentations, guest speakers, and presentations on US college application process by mentors.
Anyone who has completed Grade 11 or Grade 12 is eligible to participate in the program. The applicant must not have enrolled in a Bachelor’s program. Students must have access to a computer and stable internet connection for video calls. Please contact us if you want to participate in this program but cannot meet this requirement.
The application will be due on July 19, 11:59pm NPT.
Yes! There is absolutely no cost to attend the program.
This program will be conducted virtually. All communication will happen via video calls.
No, we do not have any strict cut-offs. All the applications will be considered on a holistic basis and all the components of the application will be considered to select a diverse and talented set of participants. We are looking for a group with strong work-ethic, creativity, and ambition.
Anyone who has completed Grade 11 or Grade 12 is eligible to participate in the program. The applicant must not have enrolled in a Bachelor’s program.
Students are required to commit at least 10 hours per week to the program. The more time you can put into the program, the more you’ll likely get out of the program.
No. This program will feature projects across various disciplines: natural sciences, engineering, economics, humanities, and so on.
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