There is an ongoing startup trend in Bangladesh. Young people are being more and more interested in the tech side and coming up with amazing startup ideas. There are so many scopes for upcoming startups in the country. It has a huge population of 160 million where over 60% of the population is below the age of 30. The developing country doesn’t yet have the perfect infrastructure, but the prospect is high here. There are over 130 million mobile subscribers and over 50 million internet users here in Bangladesh.
With the UK and the USA already being a matured market- the focus has long been shifted towards Asia. Bangladesh as a developing country with the aim of digitalization has got quite some attention lately. It has a consistent average growth rate of 6% of the GDP per year for the last decade. It has also been one of the N-11 member nations that met the criteria of having macroeconomic stability, political maturity, openness to trade & investment policies and a good quality of education. With a very young tech-savvy population, Bangladesh has high hopes for innovative apps and digital services. Truth be told- the tech and startup trend has started and will be quite successful in no time!
The startup ecosystem is still in its foundation stage. The documentary “Startup Dhaka” made in 2013 is the primary milestone towards creating the startup ecosystem in Bangladesh. In times, it became an online content platform for the startups and entrepreneurs. It came up with tech and startup events to encourage people to get into the ecosystem. Many others followed after SD Asia to inspire the growth of startups in Bangladesh.
So many events and programs are taking places to put startups under the limelight and many did already come out successfully through these events. Innovation Xtreme, the fist tech conference, started in 2014 and organized by SD Asia each year is a very big platform for the tech startups. Last year, GP Accelerator was introduced by GrameenPhone and SD Asia which is now doing a great job in building up the startup ecosystem in the country. The first batch of this accelerator program is doing great in their fields and made quite strong positions for themselves. The Accelerator program is now working on the 2nd batch and the top 5 startups are getting workspace at GP House, expert mentors, top-notch curricula, and GP’s in-house development resources. By the end of the program, each team will receive BDT 1 million + seed funding and the credibility to boost their startups by creating valuable partnerships with onboard key customers of GP.
There had been quite some other events too over last 2 years. Seedstarts Dhaka, Connecting Startups Bangladesh, Startup Cup Bangladesh, Startup Weekend Dhaka, and other events focused on startups helped them pitch, get funding and investors, and better networking. Besides, there are groups like Desperately Seeking Entrepreneurs that provide platforms where startups can seek advice, present ideas, and follow up on the critique, and minimize time to look for professional and personnel for hire.
Many startups came out in the last two years. SD Asia, Light Castle Partners, Bongo, Newscred, Analyzen, Chaldal.com, HungryNaki have got a strong grip on their startup field with their amazing and innovative ideas. Besides, ZuumZuum, Kokhon.com, Tripooly, GObd, Caretutors.com, 10 minute School, Sheba, Ennovision, Kandy, Repto, and many more startups got so much attention for their works.
In the beginning, there was hype over e-commerce startups, especially fashion startups were coming up frequently. Recently the numbers of traditional e-commerce are slowly reducing. On the other hand, startups based on travel and health technology are increasing. It’s great that the startup sector is being wider with ideas from different aspects. The interest in the tech side of the youth in Bangladesh is the prime-boost for the startup ecosystem in the country.
The 2nd batch of GP Accelerator also involves mostly students and young people. Ghuri, CMED, BuzzAlly, Socian, Cramstack are the top 5 teams from the GP Accelerator 2nd batch. Each of them has great prospects in their sectors.
The startup trend has its merits and qualities. It’s amazing that the young generation is making a path for themselves. Instead of being led, they are creating their own way into the smart business environment. Lots of prospects lie in the startup scene of Bangladesh and it is surely getting lots of global attention. More and more initiatives should be taken both by private and government sectors for the growth of startup ecosystem.