Fostering Innovation in Bangladesh through “IT Incubator”

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Startup incubators help new digital businesses at the early stage to test their ideas. They help entrepreneurs by providing them with workspace, funding, mentoring, training and networking opportunities. Beginning its journey in 2016, the IT Incubator, located at Janata Tower is designed to identify and facilitate innovative digital projects. It is a joint initiative of ICT Ministry, Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority, and Banglalink.

In this fast-moving era of technology, digital ideas help us advance with the world. With the presence of innumerable fresh minds and their innovative concepts, there is an immense scope to thrive. However, there are gaps in the system that slow down the success of such ventures.  A few of the major issues faced by the Digital Entrepreneurs include a shortage of funding resulting from lack of proper guidance and limited access to investors.

Banglalink IT incubator is an ideal platform for young entrepreneurs to put their innovative ideas to reality and make an impact in the digital world. With access to adequate logistics, mentorship, clientele, and quality infrastructure support, Banglalink IT Incubator offers a basket of support a startup needs in order to succeed.

Banglalink IT Incubator has successfully introduced 10 startups in its first season. This year, from more than 200 applicants, a panel of mentors consisting of both Banglalink staff and external jury members had selected top 30 teams. These 30 teams later participated in a boot camp session where they prepared their final business plan and a pitch deck with the guidance of their mentors. Top 13 startups had been chosen for the final pitch who, in the final selection round, were announced the second batch of IT Incubator.

M Asif Rahman, CEO, ARCom & active Angel Investor, one of the key mentors shares, “I believe Bangladesh is on the verge of Tech Startup boom. We are on a course to see our first of many Unicorn (startup with over $1 Billion Dollar Valuation) in next 3-5 years, if not sooner. Now it’s time for us, all the eco-system player to take stronger steps. But if you think in very deep level, from my 10 years’ example of Startup investment, specially 6 years of dedicated Bangladeshi tech investment, I feel there is a gap, success of a startup takes more than just some seen money. Banglalink IT Incubator 2.0 is here to bridge the gap, if you look at the Mentor panel, it’s perfectly balanced. Both Banglalink & ICT Division let us add value, and help the startups in the way they really need. It’s not about shiny event, ultimately it’s all about making sustainable business, and help build Digital Bangladesh!”

IT Incubator, a part of the ‘Make Your Mark’ is the flagship Corporate Responsibility program of Banglalink’s parent company VEON. Both VEON and Banglalink Digital Communications Ltd. are dedicated to providing their constant support in the growth of IT sector and digital leadership in Bangladesh market and are determined to continue similar initiatives.

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