Bangladesh is gradually establishing itself as “Asian Tiger” for extraordinary economic growth. In the last couple of years, it had over 7% GDP rate which is expected to rise up until 2050. To continue this robust economic progress, Bangladesh needs to focus on developing infrastructure, increasing collaborations and creating an investment climate. Recently, Startup Dhaka and BongoBD hosted a networking event with the NRB community in Silicon Valley, U.S.A. Speakers participating in the event broadly discussed the immense potential and investment opportunities in Bangladesh. After returning from Silicon Valley, Fayaz Taher, the Co-Founder of Startup Dhaka shared his experience in a personal interview.
“Startup Dhaka” is the torchbearer in the startup scene in Bangladesh. It is a startup platform that connects entrepreneurs, tech talent and investors through venture acceleration, events, content, online community, and training.
Over the last 5 years, it has arranged major funding for over 15+ Companies, arranged 200+ startup pitches and over 10 large startup events & tech conferences (Digibuzz, Innovation Xtreme and its largest project GP Accelerator etc.) to bring Bangladesh forward as a viable foreign investment destination.
According to Fayaz, for its exceptional economic growth and enormous population, Bangladesh is considered to be a hidden “gem” that needs to be discovered. From a macro level perspective, Bangladesh must go through a massive renovation in the overall scenario to attract major foreign investments. But convincing Venture Capitalists is not an easy job. Raising PR of the country, making the market and regulatory information easily accessible are some of the precursors to foreign investments in Bangladesh. On the contrary, investing in people is also very important as local talent and experience are still inadequate to scale up tech companies in Bangladesh.
As for the local startups, having a brilliant idea is not enough anymore. Investors also scrutinize the quality of the team who is going to execute the idea. So the homegrown startups must concentrate on building a stellar team. Undoubtedly, Silicon Valley is the hub of talent, technology, and investors. But in order to get there, local startups must spend a lot of time learning from the best people around them. If the above-mentioned prerequisites are met, only then Bangladesh will be the next investment destination.
“The startup ecosystem has changed drastically from the beginning when we first started, said Fayaz. We have come a long way in the last 4 years and we are hopeful things will move a lot faster in the near future. Startup Dhaka will continue to establish its presence in the Silicon Valley. We are looking forward to connecting the local tech startups with the global market with the help of Silicon Valley and believe this will have a huge impact on the ecosystem.”