Innovation Xtreme-an initiative of Startup Dhaka and the most anticipated entrepreneurship event this year took, place recently at the Radisson Hotel in Dhaka. The event brought together over 350 people including entrepreneurs, investors, corporate employees, along with students and aspiring entrepreneurs.
The theme for Innovation Xtreme this year was ‘Innovation in Bangladesh’. Sessions and workshops featured big names from home and abroad starting from Nepali Billionaire Nirvana Chaudhary, MD and Partner, Malaysia, of Boston Consulting Group-Zarif Munir, to Pakistani Entrepreneur Kalsoom Lakhani, who were among the 30+speakers present at the event.
Apart from the sessions and workshops, a number of major announcements were made by Startup Dhaka at this mega event that will set the tone for Bangladesh becoming a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship in the region. Here are some of the highlights:
- Startup Dhaka re-launched as SD Asia, expanding the base beyond borders to create a bridge between the local startups & investors both local and global.
- There are new partnerships being formed with interested parties. There is one between SD Asia and Radio Foorti and another with Daily Ittefaq with whom it will have quarterly roundtable discussions.
- SD Asia, will start providing Bengali content from the first quarter of 2015.
- SD Asia will launch its accelerator program in first half of 2015. Kasloom Lakhani, CEO & founder of i2i have come on board as knowledge partner for its new Accelerator.
- The Startup Dhaka founders and its current board members have also announced an early stage seed fund of $2 million to help scale local startups.
Towards the end of the event 10 startups got the chance to pitch infront of real investors in a Mock Pitching Session. Among the startups were Light Castle Partners, GIST winner Buckets Engineers, biponee.com, Shobjibajaar, Parallax Logic, DamCom.bd, Kokhon, BongoBD, Lydia May and ZuumZuum. The startups that made it to the top were Bongo (a Bengali entertainment media portal), zuumzuum.com (an emerging e-commerce solution) and Dam.com.bd (a price comparison site).