One year of Bits Innovation – Empowering Girls in ICT [Startups]



“Gaining Knowledge is the first step of wisdom; Sharing it, is the first step to humanity.”

A startup from its early days has been involved in a noble deed of sharing knowledge. Founded by young technology enthusiasts, the startup, since a year has been actively involved in organizing workshops, hackathons and much more. The company is Bits Innovation.

bits innnovation
[email protected] Innovation

HOW DID IT ALL START?

In June 2016, a group of three decided to take an initiative to bridge the gap of between the students and professional fields in the sector of technology. Based on their experience, they felt that whatever the students are learning in their college was not enough for them to survive in the professional environment. Thus, they wanted to provide students with professional skills so that they can enter and foster in real life scenarios. The three people were Santosh Purbey, Shankar Bhattrai, and Pratik Basyal and their initiative was named as “Bits Innovation”.

They decided to establish it as an IT company. They carried our several tasks of a software company and also knowledge sharing in community concurrently. Since then they have been continuously organizing events and workshops, their latest one being “Hack By Girls” on May 20 in collaboration with Women Leaders in Technology (WLIT). Recently, they have mostly been involved in organizing events focusing especially on girls participation in technology.

TEAM MEMBERS

They are a team of 15 members including three co-founders. The team members are involved in the development and also in organizing different events.

In development, they are primarily focused on web development. They are currently using Python for development. “The reason we choose Python is that data security is our main concern,”, Santosh said.  He further added, “Today, information technology has almost reached its saturation point. What is growing is the importance of data. The companies like Facebook, Google have been able to make their company such a huge success because they have huge and important data. They have been able to use their data properly. Thus, considering the importance of data security, we use Python.”

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THOSE EARLY DAYS

In a society where professions are stereotyped based on their gender, organizing an event and expecting equal participation of both male and female was extremely difficult. It was similar in the case of case of events organized by Bits Innovation. The participation of female in the events used to be negligible in comparison to male. Thus, they figured out a solution for the problem.

They started organizing events for females only and the outcome was impressive. Not only did the girls attended the events, they also actively participated in those events. They also figured out that the main problem was the preconceived notion that the girls in our nation have about them not being as capable and competitive as male participants. Today,  the members of Bits Innovation feel proud that the participants have been able to learn something from their events.

Besides that, as time passed, they also realized the people lack sincerity about these events, especially, if they are free. Since they organized the events for free, some people would not show up even after registering and while some would not attend the training sincerely.

ONE YEAR IN ACTION

When asked about their experience of establishing a company, Santosh Purbey said, “Extremely difficult to survive. We had to go through extreme difficulties in starting this company. From registering the company to convincing people about our legitimacy; everything was a challenge.”

They had to go through lots of struggles while organizing the events too, lack of participants being the major one. There were other problems too such as electricity, slow internet, and the list can go longer. But, slowly and steadily, they figured their way out of these problems.

Thus, today they stand as a software company that is actively involved in organizing activities to empower the students. Till date, they have organized more than 15 events including three seasons of Django Girls Workshops, Tourism for Nepal Hackathon, Github for Girls workshops etc.

THEIR SUCCESS MANTRA

We all see problems everywhere, but very less of us dig into to the problem and try solving it. Bits Innovation is one of them. When they noticed that despite having a scope, Python is often overshadowed by other programming languages. They decided to develop a platform where people can learn, explore and master the language. Thus, they started organizing different workshops.

They planned the workshop in such a way that, it is interactive, and participants-centric. The concept of workshops is influenced from Chan-Zuckerberg initiative. The concept was new and difficult to implement. But they have been able to get it into practice.

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Later, when they realized that the girl’s participation in their programs is almost negligible in comparison to that of boys. They started organizing women-centric events. Currently, their events manage to create a great buzz every time.

FUTURE PLANS

“We want to establish our company as the synonym of Python- Django in Nepal, ” Pratik said with full of enthusiasm.

They plan to establish themselves as a core Python software company. Currently, they have been doing mainly outsourced projects like apartment finding application, social media platforms etc. We take feedback from participants after every event. And we will incorporate them incrementally to better their learning experience.

MY SAY

The interaction with the team actually put me into quite a dilemma. There were so many questions that came to my mind. I didn’t know if I should be happy that there are workshops that lessen the gap between the formal education and practical knowledge or sad with the fact that the gap still exists!

I could not figure out whether I should be glad that, there are girls specific events that are happening or disappointed that these SPECIFIC events are required. Nevertheless, we cannot deny the fact that what startups like Bits Innovation are doing is commendable.


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Written by Prabina Neupane

Prabina Neupane is a easy going enthusiastic person. She believes in learning from experience and is always ready to try something new. She likes reading, writing and exploring new things.

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