Marking 5 Years of Startup Dhaka Part 1

It has been 5 years since the release of the first ever documentary on Bangladesh’s startup scene, Startup Dhaka Part I. The stories of the local entrepreneurs were shared with rest of the world through a wonderful storytelling by Mustafizur R Khan, Samad Miraly and Fayaz Taher.

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Since then, startups have hit the mainstream, getting special attention in the country. A few of Bangladeshi startups have reached great heights and companies like Pathao, Chaldal, Shopup, Shohoz, Bongo among others were able to raise international funds. The Government of Bangladesh has set up grants for bright ideas solving local problems through Startup Bangladesh and set encouraging policies for the sector. We also saw emergence of angel investors providing seed funding, association for angel and government also provided polices to establish venture capital funds through the alternate investment circular.

Mustafizur Khan was elated with the 5th year of the anniversary and said, “It was a tremendous undertaking to tell a story that not only captured the country’s emerging startup movement, but capture people’s imaginations about Bangladesh. It would not have been possible without help from a number of creative minds in our community and support from the 56 backers from around the world who helped raised money through a crowdfunding platform for the first film.”

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Samad Miraly, co-founder of Startup Dhaka said, “The last five years have primed us for today’s and tomorrow’s successes. The startups and the ecosystem have matured together to come to an inflection point, where the next five years will be a narrative of growth, versus discovery.”

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“The beautiful story of Bangladesh always gets hidden in negative headlines. Startup Dhaka Documentary captured the true spirit of entrepreneurship that has moved this country forward since liberation. We will witness the next evolution of the economy with the power of technology over the next 10 years and Startup Dhaka will be there to tell the story again,” said Fayaz Taher co-founder of Startup Dhaka.

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When Sonia Bashir Kabir, Managing Director of Microsoft Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan & Laos  was asked about the film, she said “I have been privileged to be associated with Startup Dhaka since its inception. Our paths have crossed many times since then through various projects related to the development of the local startup ecosystem. I am super excited for the future of Startup Dhaka and am all praise for their achievements thus far. From coining the term “startup” and establishing the startup culture in Bangladesh to daring our entrepreneurs to dream big are just a few of the mammoth tasks Startup Dhaka has completed. My best wishes to the amazing Startup Dhaka team – Mustafiz, Samad and Fayaz.”

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Founders of startups also shared their views about the documentary on its anniversary as they believe it had an immense impact on the behavior of consumers and investors in Bangladesh. Waseem Alim, CEO and Founder of Chaldal went on to say, ”Countless times I have encountered investors who mentioned watching our clip in the Startup Dhaka documentary. I watched it a few days ago and felt nostalgic — everyone was so young and bubbly. This video will forever remain as a historical record of Bangladesh’s startup ecosystem”.

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Waiz Rahim, founder of local e-commerce platform named Deligram shared, “As an engineering student studying in the US, the Startup Dhaka documentary played a pivotal role in getting me excited about the prospects of the technology industry in Bangladesh & was a key influencer in my decision to come back home & build Deligram, an omni-channel eCommerce solution.”

In these 5 years, Startup Dhaka has worked in multiple verticals, primarily focusing on the development of startup ecosystem of Bangladesh. Today, it operates in four main verticals verticals:

Accelerator – the program is operated in partnership with Grameenphone which helps 10 startups in a year that have the potential to make a positive impact on society and promote digital services for the local consumers. The program has successfully mentored and funded 25 startups.

Upskill – Upskill is an online learning platform that focuses on developing the skills of the young generation through capacity building. It now has over 75 courses on the platform. Upskill runs bootcamps every month to enhance the capacity and performance of startups.

Tiger Cage – Tiger Cage is the first ever video series in Bangladesh that aims at mitigating one of the key problems in current startup ecosystem – providing access to smart capital for startups.

SD ASIA – It is a tech news site which has been running for past 4 years. It covers news on startup and investment news from Bangladesh and around Asia.

 

Resources:

Startup Dhaka – Website: startupdhaka.org Facebook Page: facebook.com/TheStartupDhaka

Upskill – Website: upskill.com.bd Facebook Page: facebook.com/upskillbd

SDAsia – Website: sdasia.co Facebook Page: facebook.com/SDAsia.co

Tiger Cage – Facebook Page: facebook.com/Tiger-Cage-2013438022057439

Startup Dhaka Part 1: youtube.com/watch?v=ElD2fBc1JAI&t=1357s

Startup Dhaka Part 2: youtube.com/watch?v=0qGYGUXf5oQ&t=18s

 

Elvis Gomes

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