The five startups of the GP Accelerator program – BuzzAlly, Socian, Cramstack, Ghuri, and CMED – presented their business ideas at the event, in front of more than 100 attendees, including local and foreign investors, professionals, and senior officials from Grameenphone and SD Asia, the operating partner of the program and Bikory.com: another partner of the Accelerator. The honorable State Minister of Information Communications & Technology, Mr. Zunaid Ahmed Palak, MP was present at the event as Chief Guest.
Expressing his excitement with the program and Grameenphone’s role in nurturing new start-ups, the ICT State Minister said that “I am excited to see the level of maturity and diversity of ideas the GP Accelerator graduates have presented with. I welcome the leadership being provided by the corporates like Grameenphone.” Congratulating the five start-ups, SD Asia and Grameenphone for the hard work, the state minister added that he hoped to see more examples of such “continued collaboration”.
Mr. Petter B. Furberg, Grameenphone CEO said that he was very pleased with the progress the startups have shown in such a short time, “As a thought leader in the digital space in Bangladesh, we will continue to play an enabling role to boost the start-up eco-system in the country,” he added.
Kazi Mahboob Hossain, Head of Transformation at Grameenphone, said “it takes an eco-system to raise a startup and we are grateful to a host of partners, mentors, Grameenphone colleagues and the startup community as a whole for the huge support to the GP Accelerator Program.
Minhaz Anwar, Head of GP Accelerator, said that “the ambition for GP Accelerator is to ultimately help create 50 scalable global businesses from Bangladesh by 2021 and help few of them to be on track to become Bangladesh’s first set of unicorns”.
Speaking at the inauguration, Mr. Mustafizur Rahman, Founder CEO of SD Asia, said that “in last 4 months the program went from zero to sixty by applying enormous amount of time helping the founders build businesses from zero revenue to one company on track to grow close to $100k revenue by end of 2016. These are the kinds of stories we want to help make to inspire millions in Bangladesh.”
In October 2015, Grameenphone launched the ‘GP Accelerator’ in partnership with SD Asia in search of the top outstanding tech startups in Bangladesh. After successful completion of the first batch, the program started working with the 2nd batch from August 2016. Selection of the right startup involved a rigorous process of reviewing hundreds of applications, face-to-face interviews, and demo presentations. Once chosen, the successful startups have been provided with an intensive, rapid and immersive training over the four-month program.
Additionally the GP Accelerator batch are provided with over BDT 11 lakh in seed funding each, work space in GP House, and a weighty set of industry contacts to speed up the life cycle of their businesses. This fixed-term, cohort-based program allows the ventures to become stronger and more self-reliant, eventually sustaining faster growth through their own efforts.
Following are the five graduating startups of GP Accelerator, batch two:
BuzzAlly is a marketing and engagement service that helps brands to connect with end-users over a missed call. Phone numbers are placed on billboards and in ads. Consumers opt into ads by dialing a number and hanging up before the call connects. The customer will then receive text messages or calls or IVR with ads in them i.e. in BuzzAlly admin panel you can select a number to run your missed call based campaigns. When a person gives a missed call to this number the system reacts with a return SMS or an IVR Call or a Callback service. The output is the creation of the connection.
Socian is an Artificial Intelligence oriented Social Media Analytics Platform. It helps businesses understand and analyze user posts given on Social Media in a cost effective way. At the same time, companies can compare with competitors to find where they are standing by using Socian’s service. Socian is unique from other competitors as they are the only Analytics company that works with Bengali data. They are aiming to take the Bengali language to the next step in the global context. Socian’s platform supports 81 languages, whereas most companies offer analysis in English language only.
Cramstack’s platform connects to business’ data sources and allows business to put their queries about the data in plain English to get analytics and predictions instantly. Their goal is to become a platform that would simplify data access for people with a non-technical background and help business become more data driven. The idea is a fundamentally different approach to business intelligence in that it is a search driven platform, thus cutting down the time to process large database from days to hours, to a few seconds.
Ghuri is a marketplace for travelers who want to travel within or out of Bangladesh. It helps customers to make a perfect travel plan, based on the available deals on hotel rooms, air tickets, tour packages, transports, and attractions. In addition to local and foreign trip management, Ghuri is now coming up with an exciting offer for 1 or 2 day trip around Dhaka. The startup will handle these events personally allowing customers to customize them as much they want.
CMED is a cloud-based smart health monitoring system for Bangladesh. The system is low-cost, portable, and sensor devices are wirelessly connected to the central system, which is connected to a cloud. The cloud is used to store all information about the patients and diagnosis. They also developed intelligent algorithm to automatically screen different health parameters to perform basic diagnosis and make decisions. That will able to monitor health condition of individuals in rural areas where health services is inadequate. Health Workers run the system and provide basic health advice using cloud based medical system. In an advance and complex (in case of emergencies) health conditions the system will connect to specialist for expert opinions and also guide for next steps. The system uses wirelessly interconnected smart devices also connected to a cloud for data storage and keeping health record. The system will perform regular health monitoring and create awareness on health.