The Grameenphone Accelerator (GPA) has held a combined event at GPHouse for Demo Day for GPA Batch 3 in conjunction with the media launch for GPA Batch 4.
Startups from Batch 3 have successfully completed their 4-month acceleration journey with Grameenphone and showcased their businesses to the investors. On the same platform, the program also unveiled five new startups for the upcoming GPA Batch 4.
Honorable Minister of Information of Bangladesh, Hasanul Haq Inu, was present at the event as the chief guest and shared words of encouragement with both the outgoing and incoming batch of startups. Speaking on the event he thanked Grameenphone and SD Asia for supporting startups.
He said,” Digital product and services are important for digitization of the country and digital lifestyle. The government is trying to support this and I’m happy to see you are also supporting innovation that will help people get a better life.”
The GPAccelerator program, in partnership with SD Asia, has been designed to support early-stage, homegrown tech startups. In every batch, the startups are provided with a curriculum-based mentorship by a host of international and local experts over the four-month program.
The selected startups received BDT 12 lakh in seed funding each, around US$1000 worth of Amazon web service (AWS) credit and work space in GP House. In addition to that, a number of investor exposures, relevant industry contacts and professional help on things such as term sheet, valuation or financial modeling are offered to speed up the marketing for the start-ups. Two of them will also be joining Digital Winners Asia by Telenor Group in September 2017 to try expanding their businesses to another country in Asia.
Three of the startups of the GPAccelerator program Batch 3 – JolPi, Microtech, and Bankcompare– presented their business ideas at the event, in front of more than 200 attendees, including local and foreign investors, professionals, senior officials from Grameenphone and SD Asia, and the media.
The upcoming five startups from Batch 4 introduced themselves to the audience. The top 5 startups- AlterYouth, Foodtong, Avijatrik, MARS, and Amruddog, are focusing on critical issues in different sectors of our country. Welcoming the new batch to GP House, Grameenphone CEO Michael Foley said, “We are working to develop an eco system around our businesses to match the new realities and the services you innovate operate over our network and meet the new demands of the customers ”
Grameenphone Head of Transformation, Kazi Mahboob Hossain said, “it inspires me to see how the startups are solving the problems that we face every day. We are glad to be part of the journey where the starups are able to quadruple their value in just about 4 months of the program.”
All the startups that are selected for the GPAccelerator program go through a competitive selection process. This time, after careful revisions through about 700 applications, GPAccelerator held a 2-day Bootcamp where they called the top 25 shortlisted startups, out of which, 11 startups had to go through certain assessments, face-to-face interviews, pitch presentations and finally after a tough evaluation, the top 5 startups for B4 was selected.
Minhaz Anwar, the Head of GP Accelerator, was visibly excited to welcome the new batch of startup. “We are very excited to welcome Batch 4 as we see the startup ecosystem in Bangladesh maturing. There is now a more diverse and relatable problem set that startups are addressing such as saving harvests from rain by the timely weather forecast, preventing children from dropping out of school or promoting the best of Bangladesh through community tourism.,” he said.
Thrilled about the graduates and upcoming startups, Mustafizur R Khan, founder, and CEO of SD ASIA said, “After a great show at demo day by GPA Batch 3, we are excited to welcome Batch 4, who have shared some interesting business model that is sure to make a dent in Bangladesh.”