Ministry of ICT is going to start the 'Startup Bangladesh' project to create a national entrepreneurship platform. This project will enable Bangladesh to innovate faster, create new opportunities, develop technical skills and help realize the vision of Digital Bangladesh.
'Startup Bangladesh' will nurture innovative ideas and support startups in the areas of Education, Agriculture, Health, Financial Services, eCommerce, eGovernance, Environment, Transport, and Infrastructure.
'Startup Bangladesh' project Adviser Jamil Azher and Tina Jabeen have been working together to make this project successful. SD Asia Team had the chance to meet with these two Startup Experts. During a recent conversation, the dynamic duo defined how 'Startup Bangladesh' project will help the growing IT startups in Bangladesh.
'Startup Bangladesh' Will Promote Bangladesh as The Next IT Hub: "The objective of the "Startup Bangladesh' project is to project the country as an IT hub. This program will offer mentorship, funding, co-working spaces, marketing, and legal support to selected startup entrepreneurs to help them achieve their visions. We want to promote Bangladesh as a global hub for leading startups and create the appropriate regulatory framework to support their ambitious dreams. Any startup that is part of our program is sure to get comprehensive support from this program. "
Tina mentioned all these while talking about the objective of the project. She added that the proposed Startup Accelerator program will have a robust curriculum. Furthermore, the ICT division wants to partner with the local organizations to drive the project.
"The aim of the project is to create an innovation-based economy, which will support the future development of the country. We want to select the potential startups which will help to build Bangladesh as a middle-income country by 2021. Startup Bangladesh will provide everything you need to go ahead with your promising startup'. Advisor Jamil Azhar described how the project will impact on the development of Bangladeshi Economy.
'Startup Bangladesh' will be a lot more scaled up Accelerator program:
"One of the biggest differentiation of the proposed accelerator programs is that this program will have a larger scale. The amount of the funds will be much higher. Other than that, Experts from 500 Startup and Silicon Valley will act as mentors in this program." Tina highlighted how this program is different from the other startup accelerator programs.
While asked how Bangladeshi Startups will be benefited from this project, Jamil said, "There are many entrepreneurs who passed through a lot of obstacles and built their startup to a certain scale. "Startup Bangladesh' will offer a regulatory framework which will help these battle tested startups to move fast and bring more revenue."
Branding will be the key priority:
Jamil pointed out 'branding' is really vital in promoting Bangladeshi startup ecosystem.
"We are planning to do a campaign to promote this project. We are also planning to do road marches in several districts. We will conduct several information sessions in the universities across the country to engage more youths." Jamil said.
ICT division and many local organizations have been organizing and doing so many startups related activities in Bangladesh. But Tina thinks we are much behind in terms of branding. As a result, very few investors and IT experts know about Bangladeshi IT sectors. This project aims to introduce this potential sector to the foreign investors.
The participation of women entrepreneurs will be ensured:
While asking about the participation of the women entrepreneur Tina said, "The participation of women entrepreneurs in the startup sector is really low. We want to ensure the participation of women entrepreneurs through this program. So, at least one female entrepreneur will be selected from each batch". Moreover, there will be different categories like m-commerce, e-health or e-commerce to make sure that there are proper variation and participation from different sectors.
Unique 'Bangla-book' may come out:
While asking about the outcomes of the project Jamil said, "There is no shortage of young talent in our country. A new social media platform 'Bangla-book' may come out from the 'Startup Bangladesh' project which might get more traction than famous facebook in Bangladesh. We believe in our youth; they just need proper guidance, funding and technical support to reach the world class standard".
Tina has no doubt about the talent and technological knowledge of Bangladeshi youths. She said, "Bangladeshi youth have amazing talent and technical expertise. Their talent can be utilized in so many constructive ways. A long-term plan can be vital to support the startups to go beyond the boundaries".sdasia.