Demo Day is around the corner where the bravest Bangladesh startups will do a lightning round pitch in front reputed local and foreign angel investors on May 24, 2015. Among the foreign investor pool, it includes Hideki Fujita of SEGNEL Ventures Pte. Ltd, who has already invested in a couple of startups in Bangladesh. At Demo Day there is no winner, all will be winners with the exposure to the diverse audience. The entrepreneurs who can network well, will walk out with many business cards. We have already had interest in the startups from the demo day profiles that were sent out. It is an event not to be missed. The program is being organized by Startup Dhaka and partners are The Wave, The Daily Ittefaq and Invest to Innovate.
The startup teams have been working really hard for the last 12 weeks to build their businesses and develop their ideas further. Some of the participants have teamed up together while others have developed teams outside of the camp. This is going to be an exciting Bangladesh startup demo day event.
What happened over the 12 Weeks?
The 12 Week Entrepreneurship Bootcamp was led by serial entrepreneurs, investors and Co-Founders of Startup Dhaka, Mustafizur Khan, Fayaz Taher, and Samad Miraly. There were several mentors that also shared their experiences as well including Sameer Sattar of Sattar & Co, Riyad Husain of Magnito Digital, Bijon Islam of Lightcastle Partners, Raf Mustafa of ZuumZuum, Zarif Munir of Boston Consulting Group and Kalsoom Lakhani of Invest to Innovate. There were a total of 7 sessions that was held every two weeks which were 4 hours long that was interactive, hands-on and intensive. Each participant had to think in depth about the problem they were trying to solve and discover their customers in the process. Over the course of the 12 weeks many of them initiated their businesses while others tweaked their business models and ideas. Some even changed their idea at least 3 times. Each week the participants also had to repeat their one-liner about their company.
Bootcamp covered the following topics
Formulating & Validating Idea & Strategy
Marketing & Sales
Operations, HR, & Execution (Included a Factory Visit to Fortuna Footwear)
Fund Raising, Financial Modeling & Legal
Here are the startups who are presenting on Startup Demo Day. Read on to know more about the founders, what they have to say about their startups and themselves.
“My company, Hijab Haven, fills a market gap by providing high quality hijab ensemble that complement the upmarket prêt-a-porter favored by modern, fashion-conscious women adopting hijab lifestyle elements”
Founder: Zinia Chowdhury
One word: Passionate
BIO: I am a business graduate with industry experience and entrepreneurial insight, passionate about transforming the modest fashion industry into a chic niche. My natural inclination towards simplicity, honesty and naiveté makes it easier for me to dream without limits. I am driven by the excitement to enjoy the journey of self discovery as an entrepreneur as much as the thrill of the thought of becoming a successful entrepreneur someday.
“My Company, SalEx is developing the Bangladesh’s first Toll Free call center to help ‘Ready-To-Buy’ customers to find best shopping deals/discount offer in their neighborhood over free phone call(toll free).”
Founder: Anowar Shahadat
One word: Persistent
BIO: Anowar Shahadat is a software engineer, product designer, big data analyst(informatica),quality and process improvement professional. He is passionate about building innovative products and services beyond the box. He is a founder of SalEx.
Umbrii is your social media robot in the cloud that enables small to medium businesses manage their social media, saving them time & money.
Co-Founder: Shahtaj Anwar
One word: Energy
BIO: I was born & brought up in Canada – a product of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. I worked in the startup scene at a couple tech companies in Toronto such as AdParlor and Top Hat. All was well until I came across SD Asia’s documentary on Dhaka’s high energy, fast growing startup scene. The documentary was so darn inspiring that I was no longer able to hold in my excitement! I literally quit my job, booked a flight and came straight to Dhaka, Bangladesh! Started from Canada, now I’m here.
Co-Founder: Aamer Ahsanullah
One word: Charismatic
BIO: I was born on a cold day in Montreal, Canada but please excuse my French. I grew up in Toronto but often spent my summers burning in Dhaka. Although Canadian by birth, Bangladesh has always resonated in my heart – I always knew I’d come here to be a part of it’s growth. I spent my undergrad years at McMaster University. It’s very inspiring to see the ambitious youth of Bangladesh and so I’m confident about our nation’s capability in becoming a tech startup hub. I look forward to contributing towards reaching such heights.
Avtro High Tech
Avtro High Tech is an hardware company that is working on building affordable computers that will be accessible for young people in rural areas.
Founder: Dewan Arif
One word: Maverick
BIO: Dewan Arif is an Electrical & Electronic Engineer & also a private pilot. He has so far devoted his life to learning technology. His dream is to reach for the stars and make technology accessible to the millions in the rural areas.
Dutch Water Partners
My company, Dutch Water Partners, is revolutionizing mineral water in Bangladesh, making it affordable to everyone, with the help of local entrepreneurs and DWP technology.
One word: Genuine
BIO: Boudewijn moved to Bangladesh in January 2013, where he learned the difference between ‘normal’ and ‘cold’ water. Boudewijn believes that no one should risk their life drinking water; normal water should be accessible to everyone. By unlocking the potential of local entrepreneurs Boudewijn wants to ensure access to safe drinking water / make Bangladesh healthier, one glass of water at a time.
My company Golatech consults and creates IT documentation solutions to help companies with over 50 employees solve communication gaps and inefficiencies with Six Sigma analysis to ensure better overall functioning of the client’s company.
Founder: Tania Ali
One word: Clarity
BIO: Tania Ali has almost 2 decades of experience helping companies communicate better- both internally and with their customers. She has an innate understanding of human nature, along with a diverse and comprehensive technical background, resulting in some very human friendly technical solutions. Tania received her Bachelors in Computer Science from Ithaca College in New York, USA and has had 15 years corporate IT experience in the US before moving to Dhaka, Bangladesh where she now lives.
My company, OrganiKa seeks to help the physically disabled people in Bangladesh by providing them ultra-affordable, beautiful, articulated and fully customizable 3D printed prosthetic limbs and orthotic support at a low cost solution.
Founder: Khan Samiuzzaman
One word: Curious
BIO: My name is Khan Samiuzzaman, I’d like to consider myself as an idea person, who loves everything creative. I am a photographer, cinematographer, director and an aspiring entrepreneur and filmmaker in the making, hoping to make the world a better place through all I can.
GO! Traffic – Saving you time for the things that matter.
Founder: Qasim Rana
One word: relentless
Bio: Qasim Rana is the Co-Founder and CEO of GObd. Qasim has over twelve years of experience in the field of global satellite telecommunications and information technology. In his most recent position at Inmarsat as Vice President of Business Development, Qasim was responsible for winning strategic contracts worth half a billion dollars.