IT Incubator started its journey back in 2016 to identify and nurture innovative digital ventures to build a self-sustaining digital ecosystem. Banglalink and Bangladesh High Tech Park Authority, ICT Division of Government of Bangladesh established IT Incubator in the capital for ensuring the advancement of the IT sector by empowering digital entrepreneurs. The incubation program supports early stage startups by providing co-working space, mentoring facilities and other supports.
After the graduation of the first Batch, IT Incubator launched scouting of the second batch this year with the launching of “IT Incubator 2.0”. Hosne Ara Begum, Managing Director, Bangladesh Hi-tech Park Authority, and Taimur Rahman, Chief Corporate and Regulatory Affairs Officer, Banglalink officially announced the launching of the program at a press conference held at Janata tower.
Initially, 200+ applicants applied for the competition. Top 30 teams were selected in the first phase with a rigorous selection process by the external and internal mentors.
Top 30 teams participated in boot camp where mentors helped them finalize the business plans and prepare pitch decks. Of the top 30, the top 13 were selected for the final pitch. Finally, 6 teams got the privilege to have hi-tech office space at Janata Tower located in Dhaka.
To engage the startups and boost their enthusiasm, a workshop session was arranged at the IT Incubator. The startups had an engaging sessions with both internal and external mentors. This open conversation helped the startups get to learn sharpen their presentation skills for the final level.
On the basis of uniqueness and commercial prospects of the digital ideas, top six digital startups were selected for Batch 2 from more than 200 participants. The Initiatives of the selected digital startups- Genie IOT, Chobir Baksho, Homefoodz.co, Parkly, Teach it and Easy Sense- are based on AI-powered smart appliances, photography marketplace, online food delivery, car-parking solutions, e-learning and Industrial IoT respectively.
The six startups are going to get logistical assistance and mentorship support from this platform. The projects of top six startups are:
Genie IOT: Genie aims to reduce electricity wastage in homes and organizational buildings through Home Automation. Its affordable IOT technologies convert “traditional appliances” into “smart appliances” – allowing them to be remotely controlled either by the residents, or the company’s AI: Genie that understands both Bengali and English speech.
Chobir Baksho: : Chobir Baksho is the first ever photography marketplace in Bangladesh, which enables photographers to sell their stock images. In addition, it helps brands and agencies to get the perfect photos that reflect the brand story they are trying to communicate.
Homefoodz.co: HomeFoodz.co is a location based mobile app for connecting homemade food producers and consumers so that consumers can avail healthy food at reasonable prices.
Parkly: Parkly is a tech-based platform that matches drivers with parking spaces through its mobile application. They are working on a product which will help parking function seamlessly by using all the underutilized spaces in our cities.
Teach it: Teach it: ‘Teach It!’ is an online platform for teaching-enthusiasts and learners alike that takes a community driven approach to ensure quality, while making education affordable at the same time. ‘Teach It!’ empowers and enables its community of teachers and learners to go beyond the conventional methods of knowledge sharing while facilitating a cultural-shift towards e-learning
Easy Sense: Easy Sense is an industrial IoT device aimed with the vision of minimizing the myriad of fire incidents that occur in industries, factories and markets of Bangladesh. This IoT device can accurately detect smoke, sending a signal to the nearest fire station instantaneously as well as the owner of the facility that has caught fire.
Giving the right environment to the promising startups at their early stage helps them to grow as a successful business. Remarkable digital startups can make a great contribution to the materialization of the government’s vision of building a truly digital Bangladesh.