French Delegates Experience Dhaka Startup Scene

Startup Dhaka hosted a team of two French delegates for a maiden effort to forge strong ties between the French and Bangladeshi startup scenes. Terming the day as “Intense”, Sophie Clavelier, French Trade Commissioner, along with her Bangladeshi counterpart, Pierre-Henry Lenfant, Economic Counselor of the Embassy of France in Bangladesh, visited some startup destinations in Dhaka.

The French Delegates observing pitches by Truck Lagbe, Moner Bondhu, Garbageman and Upskill, held at the new Startup Bangladesh office.

The French Delegates observing pitches by Truck Lagbe, Moner Bondhu, Garbageman and Upskill, held at the new Startup Bangladesh office

 

The day began at the state run incubator, Startup Bangladesh, with Ms. Clavelier and Mr. Pierre being warmly welcomed by Ms. Tina Jabeen, investment advisor of Startup Bangladesh, and energetic pitches by 4 startup ventures. At this meeting, Ms. Clavelier stated that one of the main purposes of her visit was to feel the beat of the Bangladeshi startup scene as well as to encourage local startups to join French Tech V2, the Asian iteration of an accelerator program led by the French government. With deep affection towards Bangladesh stemming from 7 years of stay in this country prior to being posted to India, Ms. Clavelier regretted that despite a large, young population, Bangladesh is yet to be represented in French Tech.

She also mentioned that “Onboarding Bangladeshi startups to French Tech could break this trend and nurture diversity in addition to devising fruitful relationship between the French and Bangladeshi startups” as well as opening doors for Bangladeshi startups to the French market and vice versa.

Sophie Clavelier addressing local startups, Startup Dhaka team and IDLC Asset Management team at the corporate head office of IDLC Finance Limited.
Sophie Clavelier addressing local startups, Startup Dhaka team and IDLC Asset Management team at the corporate head office of IDLC Finance Limited.

After lunch at Paturi for some local delicacies, visiting co-working space – Moar and the office of Sheba.xyz; the clan of startup enthusiasts reached IDLC Finance Limited, the final destination of the day. At IDLC, the French delegates met some of the country’s most competent financiers and asset managers who provided deeper insights into the future of Bangladeshi startup funding. The productive day drew to an end with more pitches from budding startups such as Intelligent Machines, Onukit, Avijatrik, cWork and Alter Youth.

Last few moments with the French delegates at IDLC Finance.

Last few moments with the French delegates at IDLC Finance.

An advocate of Smart City and E-Mobility efforts, Ms. Clavelier and her colleague Mr. Lenfant took away great insights about the local startup scene. On this positive note, we can look forward to creation of a bridge between France and Bangladesh’s startup ecosystem which may help drive greater socio-economic progress.

Navojit Dastidar

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