On Wednesday, 16 October,2019 the “Bangabandhu Innovation Grant” was handed over to top 10 startups at the closing ceremony of the Digital Device and Innovation Expo 2019 at Hotel Pan Pacific Sonargaon, Dhaka. The chief guest of the program was Honorable Minister for the Ministry of Commerce Tipu Munshi, MP; The special guest of the program was A.K.M. Rahmatullah, chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and IT Affairs, and N M Zeaul Alam, senior secretary of ICT Division.
Secretary General of WITSA Dr. James H. Poisant were attended as guest of honor. Honorable Managing Director of Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority Hosne Ara Begum ndc, Project Director (Joint-Secretary) of iDEA Project Syed Mojibul Huq, Mr. Md. Shahid-Ul-Munir, President of Bangladesh Computer Samity (BCS), Coordinator of CRI Mr. Tonmoy Ahmed, and many others attended at the program. The program was presided by Hon’ble State Minister for Information and Communications Technology Division, Mr. Zunaid Ahmed Palak MP.
As the chief guest, Honorable Minister for the Ministry of Commerce Tipu Munshi MP thanked the organizers for such an event and described the various experiences of his own. He said that the country has now gone a long way. Bangabandhu dreamed of a Sonar Bangla. He thought a Bangladesh would be as Golden Bengle. Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina hold that dream in of Bangabandhu. She is working hard at day and night which has brought this country to its present state of development. He believes Bangladesh will never lose its way, it will go ahead.
As an special guest, A.K.M. Rahmatullah, honorable chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and IT Affairs said that Bangladesh is now an icon to the world for development of information technology and Bangladesh is on the top of the development. Bangladesh is now also known as a role model for disaster relief for the welfare of information technology. He expressed great pleasure for organizing such a fair and thanked the organizers at the same time.
As a special guest, Senior Secretary of ICT Division said that the event was a very interesting event. We have achieved a lot more than what we expected. Our startups have been able to attract the audience, as well as investors, to our youth innovation. Through seminars or other event, there is a lot of information, advice and suggestions that will help us in the next days.
The program was presided by Hon’ble State Minister for Information and Communications Technology Division, Mr. Zunaid Ahmed Palak MP. He said that the ICT family has taken over the Hundred Plus Strategy on the occasion of 2021 and 2021 Mujib years. By 2021, all officers of the ICT Division will work at least 100 hours longer than usual. At the same time, more than 100 services will be brought together from ICT Division and its all wings. This is the first time that the “Bangabandhu Innovation Grant” has been given to 10 startups, but in the future 100 more startups will be given the Innovation Award. Those who did not get it can apply directly to the iDEA project in the future. He believes that these startups can lead the world in the future. It was for this purpose that a program like Student to Startup was started.
Mr. Syed Mojibul Haque, Director (Joint-Secretary) of the iDEA Project thanked everyone for the opportunity to bring startups products and services to the public through Digital Device and Innovation Expo 2019. As per guideline provided by Hon’ble Prime Minister, we will work to create and fulfill all the instructions to make Digital Bangladesh. He encouraged the startups to accept the grant and encourage them to develop their products or services, and hopes to support future funding in the seed and growth stage through the ideas for Startups project.
The pitching session of the final top 10 startup selection has been arranged on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 with the top 30 startups from the National Startup Camp of the contest. The final pitching session was held at the Hall of Fame at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC) in Dhaka on the last day of the “Digital Device and Innovation Expo 2019”. The selection committee of iDEA project with experienced judges completed the final selection of the contest. Interested Startups and Everyone got the opportunity to watch the pitching session live by going to the venue. This is the first time such initiatives have been taken and Each of the top 10 startups received grant of Tk 10 lakh as ‘Bangabandhu Innovation Grant’. At the same time, the top 20 startups got the opportunity to take up Grooming, mentoring and specialized training from the iDEA project as a runnerup. After completion of grooming, if the startup meet the targeted improvement then the matured startups will also be funded. About 2500 Startups submitted their ideas at the contest and then 75 startups has been selected preliminarily from university campus pitching round from 24 venues of 8 Divisions. This time, more than 200 students of 75 startups have been participated in the national startup camp.
Innovation Design and Entrepreneurship Academy (iDEA) project of Bangladesh Computer Council under the Information and Communication Technology Division (ICTD) is organising this initiative in association with the leading youth platform ‘Young Bangla’ under ‘Centre for Research and Information (CRI) for the second time. Details of iDEA project will be available into Startup Bangladesh website as follows- www.startupbangladesh.gov.bd