The Grameenphone Accelerator has unveiled the new batch of startups beginning their 4-month long acceleration journey today at GP House in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
After a rigorous process of reading through over 600 applications, face-to-face interviews, and pitch presentations six startups were introduced to the startup ecosystem and the attendees of the media launch on March 30th 2017.
Finance Minister of Bangladesh Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, MP was present on the occasion as the chief guest. Speaking on occasion, the minister said, “GrameenPhone has been a good partner of the digitalization process and the introduction of GP Accelerator will increase the cooperation with the government.”
GP Accelerator (GPA), in partnership with SD ASIA, has been designed to support early-stage, homegrown tech startups. Five startups are provided with an intensive, rapid and immersive training over the four-month program. The startups receive BDT 11 lakh in seed funding each, work space in GP House, and a set of relevant industry contacts to speed up the life cycle of their businesses.
This fixed-term, cohort-based program allows the ventures to build a robust business model, become investable and scale them up. The program ends with a grand event, a demo day, where startups pitch to a plethora of experienced investors, partners and key clients.
Third batch application round saw some strong teams and GP Accelerator decided to make room for one additional team. GPA felt that founders can benefit from attending the mentor session and get GPA support to strike some key relationships for their public service solution. The sixth team will not receive any funding nor will they have to give up equity, however, will receive mentorship and other program support to improve their business model.
Welcoming the new batch to GP House, Grameenphone CEO Petter-B Furberg said, “GP Accelerator is here to support the young innovators and entrepreneurs of Bangladesh to make a mark in the digital world. They can be the vehicles of next phase of development for this country.”
GrameenPhone’s Head of Transformation, Kazi Mahboob Hossain said, “As a leading Digital service provider of the country we would like to see more locally relevant services which can make life easier for our customers. GP Accelerator is creating an ecosystem for young entrepreneurs which promote the development of such services.”
Minhaz Anwar, the Head of GP Accelerator, said: “We are excited to welcome a fresh new batch of five plus one startups to Batch 3. This time we have a great combination of hardware, augmented reality, fintech and digital solutions solving some of the problems we face every day. We hope, with our support, these startups will make the lives of millions in Bangladesh and beyond easier, safer and more exciting.”
Speaking on the occasion Mustafizur R Khan, founder and CEO of SD ASIA said, “After one year of running the program we are brining more robust mentorship support in three key areas for our second year batch intake. Besides our resident entrepreneurs and design support, we will provide dedicated expert mentor support in digital marketing, finance and product development for four months. With the additional support from our alumni network we are confident that GPA is one of the best accelerator programs in the country which is truly designed with local need in mind.”
The Top 5 plus 1 startups that are joining the GP Accelerator program, Batch 3 are as follows:
Crowdware helps companies automate business processes by crowdsourcing work to a network of qualified contributors in developing countries. By combining innovative quality control techniques with new methods for routing tasks and pricing, they are promising to provide a faster, cheaper and more accurate solution than existing alternatives.
Their cloud software enables customers to post jobs on the platform that Crowdware automatically converts into smaller tasks and intelligently routes them to the network of contributors. Contributors complete tasks using the mobile apps and get paid in mobile money or airtime. Crowdware also compiles the results from the tasks and make it available for customers.
JolPi Electronics is rapidly prototyping on IoT and Smart Home electronic products to build a global brand. They have launched ‘Sniffer’ for which they have already received good response from the market. Sniffer is a gas leakage alarm which starts to “beep” if the gas concentration in the kitchen goes over a safe limit.
According to reports, in Bangladesh over 14 accidents occur per day due to gas leakage in kitchen. Sniffer has the potential to stop so many accidents in the households. JolPi Electronics is also working on other products which are in the pipeline and will be rolled out gradually. They are planning to apply IoT and smart electronics product development in other household items that will add lots of values to users’ daily life.
Doctorkoi.com automates the communication channels between the doctors and patients. The value proposition of the startup is a one stop solution for doctors to be connected with their patients automatically and also for patients to find and take appointments of doctors easily. Doctors can also find their patient’s information easily, call them, send the texts and keep them updated. Doctorkoi.com is providing a platform where doctors can keep a record of their patient’s diseases, symptoms and signs and all other vital information. All the information will be formatted in a profile of single table like charting. For the patients, doctorkoi.com is a platform where they can easily search for doctors, find information about them and connect easily through online booking and phone number. This will also ensure more visibility for the doctors and additional business through an online presence.
Doctorkoi.com is providing a platform where doctors can keep a record of their patient’s diseases, symptoms and signs and all other vital information. All the information will be formatted in a profile of single table like charting. For the patients, doctorkoi.com is a platform where they can easily search for doctors, find information about them and connect easily through online booking and phone number. This will also ensure more visibility for the doctors and additional business through an online presence.
Bankcomparebd is a platform for aggregation of financial instruments where an individual can compare rates from different banks and choose the most suitable one that serves their needs. Instead of taking the hassle of visiting so many banks and finding the best rates or service, users can simplify the process by using the platform of bankcomaprebd. The startup focuses on making people of Bangladesh more financially informed. Their website and comparison banking tools are very user-friendly. Bankcomparebd is providing 24*7 support service for the users.
To make learning for kids fun and interactive, Microtech has developed ”Neelimar Bioscope”, an Augmented Reality (AR) application. It has published a book along with application both in Google Playstore and iOS. When someone holds their device over the book, the characters becomes 3D and reads out. The startup is dedicated to make children’s learning interesting and enjoyable. ”Neelimar Bioscope” is for teaching the Bangla alphabets to the kids. Soon, the startup is coming up with books for English alphabets and Mathematics, which all also include gaming interactions. In future, they plan to apply augmented reality to brochures and billboards for different companies.
This time GPAccelerator team has made room for one additional team named ‘Barikoi’ to help digitize the addresses in Bangladesh. Barikoi will receive all other benefits from the program, like mentorship and office space although they are not receiving the seed fund or required to give equity in exchange. Bari koi is attempting to solve the complexity of explaining and finding addresses in Bangladesh. It replaces the traditional long addresses and converts it to a short-code with exact geo-coordinates which make explaining and finding addresses much easier for everyone. Besides, common
It replaces the traditional long addresses and converts it to a short-code with exact geo-coordinates which make explaining and finding addresses much easier for everyone. Besides, common
Besides, common users Barikoi can help e-commerce logistics industry to increase their efficiency and user experience. As it seemed like a good public service proposition GPA decided to invite them to help shape their product, fine tune their business model and specifically broker key relationships that are crucial for their success.